IHS Predicts 8k in 2018

Although UltraHD TV adoption continues to climb – with panel shipments forecast to reach 15% penetration this year, and 30% in 2018 – resolution continues to be pushed higher. In a new blog post (, IHS DisplaySearch analyst Yoonsung Chung asks, ‘When will the 8k display market start’?

UltraHD (by which we mean 3840 x 2160 resolution) broadcasting is most advanced in Japan and Korea. However, even these countries still only have a very limited programming selection. Despite this, the display industry continues to push ahead with resolution, even when the eco-system is not ready.

In general, new resolutions continue to grow for about six years after being introduced to the market, before being replaced by a higher resolution. HD lasted from 2000 – 2006, and Full HD continued to grow until 2012.

If this trend continues for UltraHD, 8k sets could begin to be introduced to the market in 2018 – the same timeframe that Japan is targeting for its 8k broadcasts. With UltraHD panel penetration expected to exceed 30% at this point the technology will be mature, and the market will need another driver to stimulate it. Vendors could begin to ramp up their 8k businesses in 2015 and 2016 to prepare.

8k, of course, holds its own challenges. The technology requires four times the data processing – and pixels – as UltraHD, so backplanes with high electron mobility and required. Transmittance is another issue, with 8k panels found to have lower transmittance compared to typical units. This causes lower brightness and higher power consumption. Panel makers must find ways to overcome these issues, such as advanced sub-pixel rendering.

Chung expects Korean makers to be aggressive in 8k, since Taiwanese and Chinese vendors took the initiative with early UltraHD. Therefore, these companies could begin 8k production next year. Competition in the market is not visible yet, but it will be soon.