Television technology took center stage at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, with major brands showing off their latest high-resolution sets during the event. “Ultra-high-definition (UHD) resolution is the basis from which TV brands will make further improvements on their products,” said Boyce Fan, senior research manager for WitsView, a division of TrendForce. “As the market gradually matures, TV industry hopes to rekindle consumers’ interests with features such as high dynamic range (HDR) imaging, active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays and ultra-thin sets.”
Besides LCD TVs, the emerging application of automotive displays has also generated excitement in the panel market. Below are some of the major themes reflected in the exhibitions of various display technologies and applications during this year’s CES:
TV industry establishes UHD Premium standard to address the demand for superior viewing experience
WitsView projects the market penetration of 4K TV sets will reach 22% in 2016 as the popularity of the UHD format continues to grow. Also, consumers’ demand for superior picture quality has again pushed the concept of HDR to the forefront of innovations. The previous promotional efforts for HDR came from the hardware side of the industry. This year’s HDR campaign, however, is industry-wide and integrates all the critical aspects – content offerings, channel broadcasting and end devices. Moreover, the industry group UHD Alliance used the 2016 CES as an opportunity to introduce UHD Premium, the next-generation UHD standard.
South Korean panel makers accelerate their AMOLED development to widen their lead over Taiwanese and Chinese competitors
LG Electronics (LGE), Panasonic and several Chinese TV brands all unveiled their AMOLED UHD products at the CES. Shipments of AMOLED TV sets worldwide may hit 1 million units this year, according to WitsView.
The smartphone panel market is also seeing an increasing AMOLED presence as Samsung Display Corp. (SDC) steps up its sales of this technology to other branded smartphone makers. Consequently, more Chinese smartphone brands have released models with AMOLED displays, and the technology’s influence in the high-end smartphone market is expected to grow.
Likewise, monitor and notebook brands have been exploring the prospect of using AMOLED displays for their high-end products as well. Fan noted that there is not much differences among panel products in the saturated thin-film transistor LCD (TFT-LCD) market. Therefore, AMOLED becomes a major differential advantage for the South Korean panel makers as they again try to extend their competitive lead over their Taiwanese and Chinese rivals. The Korean panel suppliers’ intention to accelerate their AMOLED development is evident in their increasing investments in the technology.
Growth in the automotive panel market will drive demand for specially shaped and curved display screens in vehicles in the future
Fan pointed out that advances made on infotainment systems, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and other Internet of vehicle platforms have greatly expanded the potential consumer demand for in-vehicle information displays. These various sources of demand in turn will spur the growth of the panel market for automotive application. Also, aesthetics plays a major role in the development of new vehicle models. The demand for specially shaped and curved panels is likely to rise rapidly in response to design requirements of future vehicles.