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Samsung Electronics Reaching Out to Rivals to Jump Start 8K TV Market
Lack of Content Impedes Sales of 8K TVs
Samsung Electronics Reaching Out to Rivals to Jump Start 8K TV Market
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • February 8, 2019, 09:49
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Samsung Electronics is encouraging its competitors such as Sharp and LG Electronics to join the 8K Association to create an ecosystem for 8k TVs.

Samsung Electronics is reaching out to its competitors such as Sharp and LG Electronics in a bid to promote 8K TVs.

Last month, Samsung Electronics launched the 8K Association together with major global TV manufacturers, including Panasonic, TCL, Hisense and AUO.

Samsung is now encouraging its competitors such as Sharp and LG Electronics to join the conference, which was established to standardize 8K TV technology, create an ecosystem and promote 8K TV platforms and content.

At present, 8K TVs are not popular in the market due to a severe lack of content.

In order to address this problem, Samsung Electronics loaded its 8K TVs with an upscaling technology that upgrades the image quality of 4K content to that of 8K content using artificial intelligence (AI). Despite such efforts, experts say that it will take much time for the 8K TV market to take off.

Market research firm IHS Markit lowered its worldwide 8K TV sales forecast for 2019 to 338,000 units last December. This is a 21.4 percent drop from its October forecast of 430,000 units, and about one third of its April 2018 forecast of 905,000 units.

Against this backdrop, Samsung Electronics is reaching out to Sharp as the company is a leader in developing 8K TVs. Sharp launched the world's first 8K TV in 2017 and the world's first 8K TV with a built-in tuner at the end of last year. It also took the wraps off an 8K TV model compatible with 5G mobile telecommunication at CES 2019. Sharp is aiming to make a turnaround through 8K TVs. In fact, Sharp unveiled a new 8K LCD TV model under the theme of “Sharp Is Back” at the IFA Global Press Conference (GPC) 2018 held in Rome, Italy in April of 2018.

The problem is that Sharp's reputation is not as good as it was. Although Sharp enjoyed a high reputation as one of Japan's leading consumer electronics companies together with Sony and Panasonic until the mid-2000s, the company was sold off to Foxconn in Taiwan due to a poor business performance. IHS Markit said that Sharp came in ninth with a 3.7-percent share in the global TV market standings in the third quarter of last year.

LG Electronics's participation in the 8K Association is expected to be delayed as the company has not unveiled its 8K TV yet. LG Electronics has not yet decided whether to join the 8K TV group.

"In 2013 when the 4K UHD TV was first introduced, few TV market watchers said it had high growth potential," said an official in the electronics industry. "There is a concern about a lack of 8K content, but I see a bright future for the 8K TV market because consumers tend to pursue better picture quality.

“In the near future, TV makers will achieve 10 percent of their TV sales with 8K TVs," he added. “To this end, they will strengthen their 8K TV product groups worldwide starting this month."