Validating the appeal of high dynamic range (HDR) as a performance feature, new data from IHS Markit finds that HDR TV sales will rise approximately 300 percent by 2021.
As part of its TV Design and Features Tracker research, IHS Markit estimates that HDR TV shipments will increase from 12.2 million units to 47.9 million by 2021. IHS Markit also says that further supporting the acceptance of HDR technologies, another 88.6 million HDR TV sets that decode the format, but don't display HDR will also ship by 2021.
“HDR is the biggest improvement coming to TV viewing,” states Paul Gray, associate director for consumer devices, IHS Markit. “It has been conclusively demonstrated to have the biggest impact with viewers, and what's more, the effect works regardless of screen size or resolution.”
HDR TV Sales Supported by Broadcast Community
In its study the research company also examines what methods the broadcast community is looking at to transmit HDR content, and what types of HDR-enabled TVs will be available to consumers.
“We expect that only 23 percent of the ultra-high definitinon [UHD 4K] that ship in 2017 will offer the full HDR experience,” notes Gray. “The remainder will be able to decode a signal, but lack the high contrast capability to display HDR content to an advantage.”
According to IHS Markit, the biggest challenge slowing the growth of HDR adoption will be the cost of backlighting for liquid crystal displays (LCD).
Gray also points out the research covers the inclusion of HDR in HDTVs.
“In locations where the airwaves are congested, broadcasters have no spare space to transmit the extra data required for the 4K UHD,” he says. “However, HD with HDR provides a huge increase in perceived quality for a very low data overhead, and that's incredibly interesting.”
Breaking the data down by region, IHS forecasts that North America will lead the adoption with 14.6 million HDR sets shipping by 2021, with China the next biggest adopter with just under 12 million units.
“North America remains the sweet spot for TVs, with a preference for large screens, [and] the availability of rich UHD content and a willingness from consumers to buy full-featured sets,” adds Gray. “While Chinese consumers are buying the biggest TV sets these days, price sensitivity is higher and UHD content is scarcer.”