One in ten homes in the United States will be watching 4K Ultra HD television or video online by 2021. A recent forecast suggests that there could be approaching 200 million users globally by that time. By then, 8K screens will be available.
Juniper Research forecasts that the usage of 4K video, with four times the resolution of high definition television, will rise from about 1 in 500 residents in the United States in 2016 to about 1 in 10 by 2021.
Online services such as YouTube, Netflix and Amazon already offer some 4K video.
2016 has seen the launch of a number of new 4K services, including for Sky Q in the United Kingdom, together with new hardware to support streaming of the format.
4K video can be viewed across a range of devices, including connected televisions, games consoles, personal computers, tablets and smartphones.
“The popularity of online video has seen the use of set-top boxes from vendors such as Roku and Amazon soar,” said the report author, Lauren Foye. “New device launches, such as the 4K capable Xbox One S this month, among others, are likely to spur a boost in 4K usage.”
The Digital Entertainment Group reports that to date more than 8 million 4K Ultra HD televisions have been sold in the United States.
The Consumer Technology Association says that 2016 will be a flagship year for 4K UHD televisions. It expects that shipments will reach 15 million units in the United States.
Looking ahead, 8K screens will be a reality by 2020. There is currently only one commercially available 8K television and that costs $133,000. Test broadcasts of the Rio 2016 Olympics were available in Japan but limited to a few public exhibitions.
By the time of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a full 8K service will be available, driving the sales of 8K screens. Juniper forecasts that 8K smart television shipments will reach over 400,000 a year in 2021.
The full report, Digital TV & Video: Network and OTT Strategies 2016-2021 is published by Juniper Research