(Yicai Global) April 13 -- Super-large screens, ultra-high-definition, UHD, flexible displays and content represent the future trend of the TV industry, which has experienced a market contraction, according to the sixth China Information Technology Expo, or CITE 2018, which takes place in Shenzhen this week.
By 2020, China will have five production lines for above-10th-generation liquid crystal display, LCD, panels, which will help promote 8K UHD TVs with super-large screens such as 65-inch screens, according to the expo. The market of organic light-emitting diode, OLED, TVs with flexible displays is also expanding.
As of last month, China had over 50 million average daily active users of smart TVs. With the commercialization of 5G technologies and more diversified 4K content, the relevant parties are better placed to charge for premium content on big-screen TVs. Content will become a new source of income for the TV industry.
8K Display Represents General Trend
According to market intelligence firm HIS Markit’s forecast, global 8K TV shipments will reach 100,000 units this year and increase to 2.6 million in 2020.
“We are all interested in 8K TVs. But without 8K content, such TVs won't become popular. Content itself should be diversified. Just one TV drama or one movie is not enough,” Chen Zhenguo, vice president of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., better known as Foxconn, which oversees Sharp Corp’s business in China, told Yicai Global.
8K display can be applied to a wide range of scenarios, Chen said. Since the clarity of 8K displays is 4.3 times that of 4K displays, 8K displays will be more readily adopted in smart security, smart stores and health care than in education and entertainment. For example, Foxconn's application of 8K displays to industrial networking will have a revolutionary impact on smart manufacturing.
Since artificial intelligence technology can help upscale ordinary video content to 8K and the operation of several 10th-generation LCD panel production lines will help cut the costs of 8K panels, 8K display will be the future direction of the TV industry, said Wang Cheng, senior vice president of TCL Group and chief executive officer of TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings Ltd.
Expansion of OLED TV Market
OLED TV also represents a future trend. The OLED TV market, though small, is growing rapidly, and in particular, annual growth in the Chinese market is expected to exceed 100 percent in the next two years, according to data from market research firm GfK. OLED TV sales are expected to reach 2.83 million units worldwide and over 210,000 in China this year, up 77 percent from 1,596,000 units and up 122 percent from a year ago.
In China, six brands including LG, Sony, Philips, Skyworth, Konka and Changhong have rolled out OLED TVs. Hisense will also offer such TVs from the second half of this year.
Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co., or CSOT, under TCL Group also showcased a 31-inch OLED TV using printing technology for the first time at CITE 2018. CSOT applies inkjet printing technology to make OLED panels, and such panels have lower production costs, a longer service life and a higher yield rate than those made using traditional evaporation coating technology.
In addition to big screens, ultra-high-definition and flexible displays, content has also become a new source of income for the TV industry.
The number of average daily active users of smart TVs exceeded 50 million for the first time in China last month, according to big data from All View Cloud, AVC. The size of China’s over-the-top, OTT, advertising market reached CNY2.6 billion (USD413 million) in 2017, up about 170 percent from 2016.
“The advertising market is set to keep growing. We project the size of the domestic OTT advertising market to reach CNY5 billion this year, up about 100 percent from a year ago, and exceed CNY10 billion next year,” said Dong Min, vice president of AVC.
Baidu Inc’s IQiyi Inc., a video service provider that went public last month, is also upbeat about business opportunities arising from paid smart TV content and advertising. “Only 25 percent of Netflix users registering with iQiyi watched videos on TV after the company teamed up with Netflix,” said Duan Youqiao, senior vice president of iQiyi. “However, one month after their registration, many users switched to TVs to watch videos, and six months later, some 70 percent watched videos on TV.”
In addition to paid content and advertising revenue sharing, providing life services will also become a new source of income for TV operators. Ordering meal delivery on TV would be nothing new in the future.
AI-enabled TVs are already making progress from simple voice recognition to interactive responses and are set to become an integral part of our smart home life in the future, a GfK report said.
Editor: Mevlut Katik