Some data on the state of the TV market - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Some data on the state of the TV market

I've often suggested here that the world may see a lot fewer TVs sold in the future. In the present, however, things may well be stable coming off the depths of the Great Recession.

1) Last year, according to WitsView, TV sales crept up a bit from 2015, reaching 219 million.

2) That's a 1.6% increase from the year before, so it's possible sales were flat to down. But it's also possible they grew 4% (though unlikely, no one reported gangbuster sales volumes)

3) The firm is optimistic that 2% growth is happening this year (I'm not, but hey, it could happen thanks to China)

4) Despite what AVSers believe, only 30% of TVs sold this year will be 50 inches or larger. That's more than a decade since they've been available and at least 5 years when they've been affordable. Yes, TV size is averaging higher. No, it's not doing what you think.

5) 4K is growing so quickly as a feature, it's going to be in more TVs than there are 50 inches. You may be confused by this because you are certain that TVs below 50 inches don't have 4K. Again, look mostly to China. But also understand that mid-40s-sized TVs will see 4K proliferation. (Combine this with news Amazon and Netflix are going to keep pushing for more 4K and that's good for resolution junkies.

6) In the broader market for TV-sized panels -- which includes all sort of industrial screens that aren't included in the above totals, e.g. some airport displays, factory-floor dashboards, etc. -- the same analyst firm see sales actually declining to 255 million panels. It's a small decline but still.

7) Looking at that category, which is nearly 20% bigger than "just TVs" so it doesn't map perfectly, reveals fascinating data about screen sizes (pay attention LG OLED fans!) n.b. These numbers don't include those OLEDs but it's a good proxy. And since LG shipped significantly less than 0.5% of the volume of LCD, adding them in won't change anything anyway.

* TV panels (not just TVs, because again... other uses + inventory shipments) greater than 60 inches (i.e. not including 60s) will be 5.2% of all shipments this year or a total of 13 million-ish. That's up sharply from last year when it was only 3.6%, perhaps 9 million. That's for the world. TV totals are lower.

* 75 inch? The forecast is 1.5 million, up from the paltry 0.7 million of a year ago. That's barely more than one half of one percent this year. It was about 1/3 of a percentage point last year.

* 65 inch? Expected to grow from 7.6 --> 11 million. That's a huge 45% jump and points out how popular the size is getting. Still, it means it's moving from 3% to 4%. When you add in the 70-inch shipments, you can now understand that even in the "jumbo segment" it's 80% @ 65, ~14% @ 70, ~5% @ 75. And an infinitesimal set of shipments at other sizes.

* The average panel will be 45.5 inches, up from 43.5. Interesting, if you look at the two categories of size 40-45 and 46-50 they are essentially flat as a portion of the total. The smaller one is shrinking (a bit), the larger one growing (a bit). Together they will be about 41% of all TV-sized panels, down from about 42%.

* 51-60, on the other hand, will grow about 20% in terms of share, reaching about 1 in 6 panels sold.

* While 31-35 remains a very robust size (dominated by 32) and has a forecast of 28% of the market (down a bit), there are essentially zero 36-39 inch panels. And TVs 26-30 and <20 are also mostly gone. 20-25 is about 4% of TV panels. <20, 26-30, 36-39 all together don't add up to 4%.

8) Think TVs are getting bigger? You'd be right. In fact, about 5% on average diagonally. That's actually a lot but still likely means the average TV won't be 50 inches or larger for another 3 years at current trends. (and those could break, but cannot realistically accelerate)

9) Think 4K is catching on? Heck yes, it will be >50% of all LCD shipments (and OLED) by the end of the decade.

10) Think >60-inch TVs are catching on? Sure, the growth is strong. But overall this remains a segment that is -- as a percentage of all sales -- smaller than luxury car sales are to car sales. (If you add Audi/BMW/M-B/Jaguar/Porsche/Lexus/Infiniti/Cadillac, they are a bigger share of all cars sold than TVs 65-and-up are of TVs sold.)

11) Sony weirdly is still in the top 5 in TVs. They make no meaningful parts of TVs and make no money selling them, but they sit behind Samsung, LG, Hisense and TCL. It seems inevitable they sell the brand to one of the two Chinese firms and just be done with it. Yet they haven't yet.

12) Apple sold 260 million video players last year: iPads and iPhones. That's more than the TV industry sold of TVs, no matter how you add it up. If you use the "all TV panel" figure, which is wrong, Apple is still bigger in volume. Throw in the other 1.5 billion smartphones and well, yeah.

13) I still tend to believe TV sales will erode below 200 million within a few years and that the bottom is closer to 150 million than many would think. While resolutions will rise again, I see no catalyst that will ever create a growth spurt like HD did. That doesn't mean sales never rise again, it just means they are cyclical from here and will not see any technical fix. 3D failed to catalyze sales, 4K is popular as a feature and should thrive but has not catalyzed sales either. The future of cool "screens" is AR/VR. It isn't living room panels.

14) TV sales are about 12-13% off their peak. That's bad but not PC-sales bad, which is >25%. If, however, I'm correct and TV sales are now permanently cyclical and in a secular decline around which the cycle flows, it's all-but guaranteed they'll fall below 200 million. The difference between current sales and a 25% drop off the peak? The equivalent of all the TVs sold by LG! There will be blood in other words.
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post #2 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 02:43 AM
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The only thing I'd question is how fast 4K is really catching on. Just about every TV sold supports 4K now but is the media really selling that well? I suspect not. There aren't nearly enough quality titles out that people actually want to own. And, some of the transfers are barely upgrades over their bluray counterparts. Remember, the average joe has to buy into this for it to fly, not us AV nerds!

I think 4K needs to up its game. Get better catalog titles out. Get the HDR specs settled. Make sure the transfers are top notch.
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post #3 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 04:11 AM
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I am not wanting any of this new junk. I can't care less about 4k. So many bought into this new crap with the new HDMI junk coming it was just a waste. I am waiting it out a few more years.

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post #4 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadLizard View Post
The only thing I'd question is how fast 4K is really catching on. Just about every TV sold supports 4K now but is the media really selling that well? I suspect not. There aren't nearly enough quality titles out that people actually want to own. And, some of the transfers are barely upgrades over their bluray counterparts. Remember, the average joe has to buy into this for it to fly, not us AV nerds!

I think 4K needs to up its game. Get better catalog titles out. Get the HDR specs settled. Make sure the transfers are top notch.
The media sales are a different story...there was recent bragging about it doing better than its predecessor at the same point in its life cycle, but that was during a time of uncertainty between warring formats. With it catching on in displays, that's just a symptom of availability and the phasing out of 1080p panels.
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post #5 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CHASLS2 View Post
I am not wanting any of this new junk. I can't care less about 4k. So many bought into this new crap with the new HDMI junk coming it was just a waste. I am waiting it out a few more years.
4k and Atmos/DTS-X are a step above standard 1080/DD.....well worth the minor investment.....
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post #6 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Cutler View Post
4k and Atmos/DTS-X are a step above standard 1080/DD.....well worth the minor investment.....
Do you mean HDR and other components of UHD because 4K resolution is worthless at typical US home seating distances.
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post #7 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 01:31 PM
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And DTS-MA and TrueHD are no slouches since they are lossless. You need more channels to really appreciate the upgrade to Atmos/DTS-X.
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post #8 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post
Do you mean HDR and other components of UHD because 4K resolution is worthless at typical US home seating distances.

Lucky for me I guess since my set-up isn't typical.....
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post #9 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post
Do you mean HDR and other components of UHD because 4K resolution is worthless at typical US home seating distances.
That is what i keep trying to pound into these guys heads. 4k does nothing for my bedroom viewing at 11 ft away from a 55 or 60" screen. I mean sure at 1 ft away from a screen 4k looks great, even on a LCD.

I am happy with 720 and 1080p on my 60vt60.
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Yes, we so stupid. Actually, what you mostly try to pound into our heads is how wonderful your VT60 is and that you're not going to upgrade it anytime soon. Resolution increase wasn't the main point of retiring a VT/ZT60 for OLED anyway, the former of which is a phosphor glower. The promise of zero blacks (after a Kuro) made the final Panasonic lineup a mere stopgap for those of us who wanted to see space like it was meant to be seen.
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post #11 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CHASLS2 View Post
That is what i keep trying to pound into these guys heads. 4k does nothing for my bedroom viewing at 11 ft away from a 55 or 60" screen. I mean sure at 1 ft away from a screen 4k looks great, even on a LCD.

I am happy with 720 and 1080p on my 60vt60.
Well said + your panny will have excellent motion and no near black issues that many oled owners have

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post #12 of 17 Unread 04-04-2017, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post
Do you mean HDR and other components of UHD because 4K resolution is worthless at typical US home seating distances.
Sounds like TV makers need to mount an education campaign on proper size/seating-distance. There are a lot of people apparently just don't care about immersion or picture quality, which is a shame. I'm still flabbergasted when I go to someone's home and they have a nice HD or 4K TV with an SDR cable or satellite box hooked up and seem completely unaware that they're wasting the potential of their screen.

I wonder how those numbers would break down looking only at the US market. Asia is probably skewing things a bit, lots of smaller living spaces means smaller TVs. Granted, the average size of TVs for forum members here likely skews quite a bit to the larger end of things, but I don't know anyone personally who considers anything smaller than a 50" to be suitable for a main TV.

VR is going to shake things up to be sure, though I'm still perplexed at why anyone would want to watch anything longer than a YouTube video on a phone screen. Maybe I'm just not 'with it' though, I don't see the draw of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat either.

Hopefully Sony can continue to erode deficits and bring their TV division back to its former glory and make it a consistent profit center, it would be a crying shame to see it sold off to the Chinese. Thankfully the official statements from the company have refuted any desire to do that, they believe the TV business is important for visibility for their other products that are currently making money.

Only 50% 4K is also a bit surprising, how many regular HD TVs are still being made? That could be Asia skewing things again though.

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Originally Posted by video_analysis View Post
Yes, we so stupid. Actually, what you mostly try to pound into our heads is how wonderful your VT60 is and that you're not going to upgrade it anytime soon. Resolution increase wasn't the main point of retiring a VT/ZT60 for OLED anyway, the former of which is a phosphor glower. The promise of zero blacks (after a Kuro) made the final Panasonic lineup a mere stopgap for those of us who wanted to see space like it was meant to be seen.
And SPACE1999 looks great on the 60vt. DNice did a great job on it. Maybe in 2 or 3 years i will get a OLED.

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(Tv Resolution*2) is the equation for the next years TVs 1080P 2K 4K 8K 16K ......
and tiny improvements in some other specs like motion blur input lag etc
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Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post
Do you mean HDR and other components of UHD because 4K resolution is worthless at typical US home seating distances.
Perhaps if all things were being treated equal, but alas they're not. The streaming providers seem to be working hard to make sure we can't enjoy their UHD streams on non-UHD equipment.

Heck, HD may have never caught on, if the industry actually bothered to take full advantage of what could be done with 480p back when it would have mattered instead of squishing and over-compressing the video so they could squeeze in their 500 channels.
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Originally Posted by CHASLS2 View Post
I am not wanting any of this new junk. I can't care less about 4k. So many bought into this new crap with the new HDMI junk coming it was just a waste. I am waiting it out a few more years.
Wait all you want? It's your TV, your money...

For me, I saw a convergence last year with the HDR standards starting to settle in, the introduction of the PS4 Pro, and more and more streaming content becoming available in UHD.

Yeah, I won't be surprised if the industry keeps finding ways to obsolete our equipment, but what's going to make that stop? The move towards streaming and IPTV means technology is no longer constrained by FCC mandated broadcast standards.
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