Hidden depths

The ultra HD supply chain came together at this year’s SES Ultra HD Conference at the techUK offices in London to discuss the market, content availability and the challenges of educating consumers...


According to IHS Market Research, in the last quarter of 2018, nearly two thirds of TVs shipped in Europe were of 4K resolution. “This

is a tremendous fi gure,

but there is still a long way to go,” said Mike Chandler, MD of satellite operator, SES Astra GB. “We are in the golden era of content right now, because the variety and quality of the programming on offer, but 4K can push that even further. “Today we will scrutinise the developments with an array of experts and discuss standards in terms of production and


production, as well as compression technology, transmission and right through to the all-important retail.”

According to the latest GfK data, presented by Nick Simon, Account Director at GfK: “In 2018, a lot of CE sales were down to the fi rst half strong uplift in TVs as the World Cup was approaching. Since August and September last year, or even since the last SES Conference, things have been quite tough. “We get to November 2018, we’re in negative fi gures, and

you know Black Friday hasn’t worked. Get to December, still negative fi gures.

“Having said that, at the start of this year up until April, it’s not been that bad. So somebody, somewhere, is investing. “The TV market has been growing, albeit rather slowly, so far this year; it’s just about at turnover level. Even 4K is still only up 15 per cent as opposed to 115 per cent when it was fi rst around in the market.”

In terms of units sold, the HD television market was up seven per cent in the UK for the fi rst four months of this year, while there were declines elsewhere across Europe. Mr Simon added that fi ve million units in the UK is “the new norm”. “It doesn’t

‘There should be more 4K TV sales’, reports GfK The TV market has been growing, albeit rather slowly, so far this year

look as though that’s going to change very much; the value of the market seems to be fi xed. “Why hasn’t everyone bought a 4K TV yet?” he asked. “For

some reason there’s UHD Ready, occupying 30 per cent of the market since 2014 and gradually declining. Yet still people are trundling out lots of UHD Ready TVs, and suffi ce to say the people doing UHD Ready are not the more sophisticated retailers or not necessarily sophisticated manufacturers.” 4K televisions are currently selling in “even fi gures” and there

are many more sales across the industry now, but Mr Simon said he feels that there could be more and there should be more. “We used to sell more 4K TVs than anywhere else in Europe, but now the UK is second in market share in Europe, just behind Germany, which is at 58 per cent. It’s not an absolute disaster and at some point everyone will have to buy 4K. “In terms of 8K - it is happening; it’s something that I’m really looking forward to presenting this time next year. We want to see this happen.”

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