Image: LG

Consumers are perfectly happy with their 4K televisions and have very little interest in stepping up to displays capable of 8K resolution. That’s according to the latest research from analyst and consultancy firm Omdia, which has taken a look at the adoption rate of 8K TVs and discovered “failing” numbers, something that’s reflected by the limited and declining shipments of the technology going out from major manufacturers that include Samsung. Omdia has speculated that only 2.7 million households worldwide will have an 8K TV by the end of 2026; less than 1,200 homes currently have one.

Image: Omdia

Omdia research finds consumers remain sceptical about the benefits of 8K (Omdia)

According to Omdia, shipments of 8K TVs only accounted for 0.15% of all TV shipments in 2021. This translated to a little more than 350,000 units globally. Samsung shipped 65% 8K TV units, with none to Japan.

It appears that 8K TVs have lost momentum especially when the following reasons are considered:

With no convincing reason to buy 8K TVs (very little native content is available) the marketing is failing, numbers-wise.
Shipments were weaker than in 4Q20 and even 1Q21.
Samsung shipped 18% fewer 8K TVs than a year earlier.
China will not drive 8K compared to North America or even Western Europe, despite the large set sizes. Price pressure is too high.
We see no convincing market demand of further 8K service development. Even in Japan, where there is a true 8K channel (from NHK) uptake has been minimal.

Some of the 8K TVs that available on the current market include Samsung’s Neo QLED Smart TVs and LG’s premium SIGNATURE ZX 8K OLEDs, which start at a pricey $19,999 for the 77-inch model. Sharp began selling the world’s first 8K TV, an 85-inch set, for $133,000 in September 2015, around the same time that Samsung unveiled its first Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

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12 comments

  1. Oh my, you don't say! How can this be?! I am utterly shocked, just absolutely stunned! With the extreme affordability of 8K sets, the rampant availability of 8K video content, and the fact that 8K is not very demanding for today's GPUs (which are both cheap and plentiful) to render graphics at, I would have thought that people were scrambling all over each other to purchase 8K HDTVs!!! 4K is such an extremely low resolution, how can people be satisfied with that? Might as well be rockin' 640x480 at that point.
  2. Probably need at a minimum 200 megabit just to feed an 8k signal well with audio included. Plus the TV capable of rendering that kind of streaming content will be super expensive too.
  3. And to be very real on my 55 inch TV in my livingroom that is 4k. I can rarely tell the difference between native 4k and 1080p. Other than 1080p being more... blotchy in background content. And thst isn't even the right word.
  4. Well, I'm a tech junkie and I feel like all new horizon tech (not so new but...) should never go ignored due to current-gen trends.

    Remember, nay-sayers had complained about 4K rez and its lack of content too years ago as well.

    8K+ cinema cameras (and the majority of the latest films are recorded in 8K+) exist today, improved compression also exists, etc., and the only thing that is stopping 8K growth is greed (like always in the beginning) and extremely poor marketing.

    But 8K is the future, it is what it is.
  5. Well, I'm a tech junkie and I feel like all new horizon tech (not so new but...) should never go ignored due to current-gen trends.

    Remember, nay-sayers had complained about 4K rez and its lack of content too years ago as well.

    8K+ cinema cameras (and the majority of the latest films are recorded in 8K+) exist today, improved compression also exists, etc., and the only thing that is stopping 8K growth is greed (like always in the beginning) and extremely poor marketing.

    But 8K is the future, it is what it is.
    I figure if a 48MP camera isn't big enough for consumers, 8K TV isn't enough either.
  6. We learned from the megapixel wars that camera shopping was as simple as sorting by MP and choosing the biggest number. /s

    The extra-crispy fonts look pretty good on my 32" 64K desktop monitor though.
  7. 8K and lord knows how many versions of HDR or whatever succeeds it. I'll pass, for now. Plenty happy with 4K for the moment. I'm more interested in less compression and better encoding than finding more ways to throw pixels around. I'm willing to compromise with DLSS in gaming but not so much for watching media and these days we're already being increasingly locked into streaming with fewer physical media options. Even then, you never know until you read the reviews or drop the $$$ on something if it's been mastered and released properly.

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