More than half of all television sets shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2018 were ultra-high-definition and over three quarters of all sets were able to stream online services. In Western Europe, almost two thirds of sets shipped were ultra-high-definition. The global television set market grew by 2.9% in 2018, reaching 221 million units, boosted by the football World Cup.

Almost 100 million ultra-high-definition televisions shipped in 2018. Just over 30 million of them were in China, followed by almost 25 million in North America.

In the fourth quarter, 65% of sets shipped in Western Europe were ultra-high-definition, as were 60% of sets in North America. The lowest proportion was in the Asia Pacific region, where 22% of sets shipped were ultra-high-definition.

TV Shipments 2018 Q4. Source: IHS Markit

More than three-quarters of sets shipped in the fourth quarter of 2018 were smart televisions. In North America more than 85% of all televisions shipped were smart, which is 10 percentage points higher than the previous year.

“Average new TV screen sizes are still growing at least one inch per year,” said Paul Gray, research director at IHS Markit. “Western Europe and Latin America, in particular, exceed this benchmark in 2018. With falling LCD panel prices, consumers clearly care more about trading-up in size than about spending less money. Even in Japan, where consumers have been resistant to buying large TVs, the average screen size increased year over year.”

“The launch of an 8K channel by Japan’s broadcasting corporation, NHK, was an important landmark last year, which led to an acceleration in 8K TV shipments in Japan during the fourth quarter of 2018,” he said. Just 18,600 8K televisions shipped globally in 2018.