"The continued market growth of Ultra HD TV is performing better than initially projected in 2014," the CEA said when it updated its forecast for this year. Unit shipments of Ultra HD displays are expected to reach 800,000 in 2014, earning $1.9 billion in revenue, a 517 percent increase over the 2013 total. And it expects revenue from 4K sets to exceed $5 billion in 2015, up from virtually nothing in 2012.
The CEA says TV sales remain critical to the industry's overall bottom line, with total TV sets and displays projected to reach $18.4 billion in 2014, down 5 percent from 2013. LCD TVs will account for 94 percent of all digital display sets sold this year, with 36.7 million units expected to ship in 2014. That total will produce $17.3 billion in revenue, in line with 2013 levels as the third-highest revenue driver to the industry.
The new U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts report projects that total industry revenue, including televisions, will reach a record $211.3 billion in 2014; a steady 2 percent increase from $207 billion in sales in 2013. Looking ahead to 2015, the CEA expects total industry sales to grow by 1.2 percent, with industry revenues reaching another all-time high of $214 billion.
This is what gives NPD's Baker optimism about 4K television's future. "I have not heard a lot of naysayers about 4K, in contrast to 3-D, which everyone knew was a gimmick," he told CNBC.com.
"No. 1, it's a great picture—everything looks better—that's what sets 4K apart. It appeals to the higher end, probably an older demographic, with money to spend."