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LighTimes: Curved TV Screens Jump Into Global Market

08 Apr 2014

April 8, 2014…NPD Display search forecasts that shipments of curved TVs will reach almost 800k units in 2014 and are predicted to be more than 6 million units by the end of 2017. According to the company, curved TV is a feature that is expected to reach its peak in LCD TVs in 2016. Then, growing shipments of OLED TVs are predicted to increase curved TV shipments in 2017.

After two straight years of declining revenue from the global TV market, brands are exploring numerous avenues to revitalize the business such as curved screens, OLED displays, and increased resolution (4K or Ultra-HD).

“The novelty of curved screens is expected to wear off with time, leading to shipments peaking and then trailing off,” said Paul Gray, director of European TV research for NPD DisplaySearch.“Even so, curved screens will have completed the important task of differentiating new high-end models, thereby helping to boost overall value in the global television market.”

Curved LCD displays first emerged at IFA 2013. Samsung, LGE, and several Chinese brands showed curved screen LCD TV models at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but the companies are hedging their bets with other features. “Brands are not staking their futures only in curved screens or any other single feature, but are instead exploring a whole mix of features to attract TV buyers,” Gray noted.

OLED TVs are getting much attention, but they still face significant manufacturing difficulties. NPD Display Search says that at best only 100K will ship in 2014, and annual shipments are expected to reach only over in 2016.

“LCD has proved a tough act to beat, because it is a mature, efficiently-manufactured technology, with a surprising amount of room for innovation,” according to Gray.

Companies are racing to get the best screen resolution. This year, Netflix announced 4K streaming services to support expansion of the category. The number of ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K TVs shipped in 2014 are forecast to exceed 12M units and increase to 62 million in 2017. China will reportedly dominate demand and shipments of 4K TVs with an 83% share of 4K TV shipments in 2013, falling to 46% in 2017, as other countries catch up. “4K TV is currently grabbing a lot of headlines, but it would not have been possible to deliver 4K, had there not been investment in connected TVs, over the past five years,” Gray said.