A new report from TDG has suggested that "rosy forecasts" for the short-term uptake of Ultra HD 4K TV are "overly optimistic", with high prices and the lack of available content expected to remain a barrier to mainstream demand.

According to Forecasting the 4K Video Ecosystem 2014-2025, Ultra HD will remain a "niche market for at least another five years" and that 2019 will be the year in which 4K finally cracks the mainstream TV market internationally.

Report author Joel Espelien said short-term uptake of 4K TV will be fuelled primarily by people buying a smart TV with 4K capability, with internet set-top boxes and Blu-ray players expected to account for a fifth of 4K viewing in 2017.

Meanwhile, Espelien pointed towards services such as Amazon and Roku in having an important role to play – along with smart TVs – in supporting the likes of Netflix and other streaming providers during the initial pick-up of 4K content.

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Espelien said: "This will create a ‘halo effect’ around broadband video quality and provide a strong differentiator for OTT services. This will be a valuable tool in recalibrating consumer perceptions of video quality."

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Pay TV providers are also expected to have an important role to play in boosting demand for Ultra HD 4K TV, starting with on demand events before moving towards the addition of live support and legacy offerings to drive growth.

"The sheer strength of legacy pay-TV and the ability of operators to deliver must-see live events such as the Super Bowl and the Olympics will propel operator 4K-enabled STBs to a dominant position," added Espelien.

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