UltraHD Comes to Fore in All Display Markets

The promotion of UltraHD display resolution by TV makers, display manufacturers and distributors has successfully raised consumer awareness of the format, with a corresponding rise in UltraHD LCD TV penetration in 2014, says IHS. While the resolution is best-known as a feature in high-end LCD TVs, in 2015 UltraHD displays will emerge in all major display applications – from smartphones and tablets to OLED TVs.

Last year, the UltraHD display market was worth $9.3 billion, of which $8.8 billion came from LCD TVs. In 2015, however, revenue will rise 94% YoY, exceeding $18 billion. IHS believes that the evolution of new display process technologies will raise yield rates and lower manufacturing costs, resulting in an UltraHD display market worth $52 billion by 2020.

LCD panel vendors are targeting 40 million UltraHD LCD TV panel shipments this year – 17% of all LCD TV panel shipments. While these products are expected to be the largest segment of the UltraHD market, smartphones and OLED TVs will experience the strongest growth this year.

OLED TV vendors are using UltraHD to compete with LCD in the high-end segment. Additionally, improving fine-pitch pixel designs and brightness transmittance is improving the popularity of UltraHD screens in mobile devices. Panel vendors including Sharp and JDI have announced and shown smartphone panels; tablet units, using IGZO and LTPS technologies, are also planned.

IHS expects sub-pixel rendering (SPR) to become an important way for panel makers to enhance UltraHD pixel design in their own displays. SPR has been used in the commercial production of LCD and AMOLED displays for years – for instance, in Samsung’s Tab S products and Sharp’s Aquos+ TVs. SPR uses different sub-pixel arrangements to RGB displays.

“The main benefits of SPR include fewer sub-pixels, higher transmission and lower power consumption”, said IHS’s David Hsieh. “SPR is an important element in the growth of the 4K display market”.

Analyst Comment

At the moment, as far as we are aware, nobody is shipping UltraHD TVs in Europe exploiting sub-pixel rendering, but if and when they do, we can expect some arguments about resolution. (BR)