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Is 4K UHD really 10 years ahead of HD’s pace?


A recent study claims that UHD adoption rate is 10 years ahead of HD’s (during its lifecycle). But is this a real distinction, or an illusion?

According to the good folks at IHS-Consumer Electronics & Video Technology, UHD has “hit the ground running, and is about 10 years ahead of where HD TV was just two years after standards ratification.” (Thanks to Advanced Television for alerting us to this story.)

Wow! That must mean that everybody on your block is in the market for a UHD television, if they don’t already own one, or a few. But let’s cool our jets for a moment and unpack what’s really been said.

On the surface

The first HDTV went on sale in 1998 here in the U.S., eight years after the first standards ratification. It’s easy to contrast that with UHD, which saw 2013 as the year UHD televisions went on sale, or just one year after the UHD standard came into being.

The UHD standard arrived in 2012, with H.265 HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, allowing UHD streams at just double the rate of HD, as opposed to 4x) following in 2013. By September of this year, UHD televisions shipments totaled 14 million for 2014 and counting, making up 7% of the entire global market for all televisions.

So, in a way, the assertion that UHD is zooming along, is fairly accurate. It’s really just another case of the Big Bang model of technological development that has replaced the old Bell Curve of the past, as elaborated on by RedShark Editor-in-Chief David Shapton in this artice. But it’s problematic to compare the adoption of HD televisions to UHD without considering the conditions around the birth of each standard.

Varied beginnings

The marker in time that the study uses as its starting point is a bit bogus [Read the rest of the story at RedSharkNews.com]