The ultra-high-definition (UHD) panels now being adopted by televisions are also primed to make significant headway this year in the digital signage market for advertising and information, according to analysis from the Digital Signage service of IHS Technology.
Shipments in 2014 of UHD panels aimed specifically for digital signage purposes will reach an estimated 145,000 units, up a colossal 590 percent or nearly sevenfold from just 21,000 units last year. The tremendous surge of the market is the first real growth for digital signage displays featuring UHD—also known as 4K because the panels feature four times the resolution of full high-definition 1080p panels. This year will mark the first real growth spurt for the panels after an initial low starting base in 2013, and the market will continue to support remarkable expansion in the years to come. By 2018, UHD digital signage shipments will approach an expected 656,000 panels, as shown in the attached figure.
“Increased momentum for UHD panels first started in 2013, capturing noteworthy attention among industry gurus, consumers and technology enthusiasts alike,” says Sanju Khatri, director for digital signage at IHS. “This year, IHS anticipates further expansion of the digital signage industry as growth of the 4K ecosystem supports additional upgrades to 4K content and connectivity.”
The digital signage market includes displays used for both digital out-of-home communication and commercial applications. Digital signage deploys advertising, branding, entertainment and information to its target audiences, using a network of displays in which content can be remotely controlled, managed and updated. Growth in digital signage comes from proliferating use in installations for commercial markets like the retail and hospitality industries, the government and corporate sectors, and in public areas such as sports venues.
As UHD technology becomes more readily available this year, display costs are also expected to decline. Such a development, in turn, will encourage more 4K installations to take place, especially in price-sensitive digital signage markets. Content drawn from the UHD consumer space could likewise be repurposed, given that the trends and technologies driving the consumer market tend to highly influence digital signage as well.
Notwithstanding the impressive growth of the UHD market for digital signage this year, the panels constitute a mere drop in the bucket for the overall UHD display space. UHD panels intended for LCD TV sets will reach 10 million units in shipments this year, on their way to some 40 million pieces by 2018.