According to the data, the average price of 8K TV was 48000 yuan last year, 10 times that of 4K TV and 12.5 times that of the whole TV market. However, according to the data of Aowei cloud, the retail volume of 8K TV from January to may in 2020 is only 8775, and in 2019, the retail volume of domestic 8K TV is less than 10000, accounting for less than 0.1%. Why is the 8K TV, which is highly expected by all manufacturers, a cold start?
Why can’t 8K TV sell?
We know that the biggest difference between 8K TV and 4K TV is resolution. The resolution of 4K TV is 3840 * 2160, while that of 8K TV is 7680 * 4320. The higher the resolution is, the clearer the picture will be. In addition, the current 8K TV adopts four-color technology, and the picture will be richer and fuller.
In addition, the standard of 8K TV is not only about resolution. According to the 8K Association’s standard for consumer 8K TV, it also has relatively strict performance rules, and has certain requirements for total pixels, input frame rate, display brightness, video coding, interface standard and other performance.
For example, the total number of pixels is 4 times higher than that of 4K, reaching 33 million; The maximum display brightness of TV should exceed 600 nits; In terms of frame rate, 8K standard accepts three specifications of 24P, 30p and 60p, video stream coding still adopts hevc standard, namely h265, and video interface standard is at least HDMI 2.1.
Although from 4K to 8K and from 8K to 16K in the future are the inevitable trend of technology development, there are two problems at present. First, the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain are not mature, and the popularization time node of 8K TV has not yet arrived. Second, it didn’t hit the pain point and consumers didn’t catch a cold. Third, the pricing strategy is wrong.
8K TV needs LCD panel with real 8K resolution. Although it is reported that Samsung display, Youda optoelectronics, sharp and BOE have all launched 8K panel, the high cost of 8K panel in the current market limits its penetration in the consumer market.
According to Taiwan’s panel industry, the current cost of producing an 8K panel is more than twice that of a 4K panel. Only when the price gap between 8K and 4K models is reduced to 1.3 times, the penetration rate of 8K panel will be improved.
According to the latest statistics, the global shipment of 8K LCD panels is expected to reach 500000 in 2020, accounting for only 0.2% of the global LCD panel shipment. The current 8K panel shipment is expected to see the 8K TV shipment ceiling – this year is still hard to say optimistic.
Based on cost, some manufacturers use 4K panel instead. Earlier, sharp developed a “4K next” standard, which is equipped with 4K panel and achieves 8K image quality through special pixel algorithm.
But sharp’s claim that this technology has not caused great repercussions in the industry and consumers, which actually means that this algorithm technology of 4K panel to achieve 8K image quality has not been recognized by the industry.
In addition, 8K TV involves the improvement of display terminal, video coding, signal transmission, image processing, network bandwidth and other links. At present, these links still need continuous investment of technology, capital and time.
Of course, a core problem known to all in the industry is that 8K TV lacks 8K source, that is, content. If you buy an 8K TV, if you don’t have an 8K source, it’s a 4K TV with an 8K concept but only a 4K source.
Consumers who have experienced 4K TV will know that as early as five to six years ago, 4K TV ushered in a wave of concept tide. At that time, many consumers were quite excited to watch 4K TV commercials in stores, but they found that there were no 4K movies to watch.
Because at that time, 1080p was the mainstream. The 4K TV you bought can only play 1080p movies. Obviously, the effect is still 1080p.
It was not until the last two years that 4K film sources were finally popularized, while the price of 4K TV was a fraction of the original. Even if the price was a fraction of the original price, the indicators of the TV we bought were far beyond the level at that time. If we look back at the high price of 4K TV at that time, it would have been out of date.
Now 8K TV is actually the same. How many times the price of 4K to 8K, how many consumers are willing to buy it?
We know that from 1080p to 4K, and then from 4K to 8K, they need to go through a long transition period and popularization period from emergence to popularization.
Some people in the industry said: in 2009, the first 1080p TV was born; In 2013, the first 4K TV appeared, but the 1080p source was only popularized in recent years, and 4K is rare on video websites. If you buy 8K now, basically when this TV retires, it may be the time to popularize it.
As we all know, the hardware parameter technology and mass production of digital home appliances update iteratively very fast, which basically can not escape Moore’s law. It does not have the value preservation within a certain time range. In just a few years, with the progress of technical parameters and the popularity of film sources, the price of 4K TV has almost shrunk to a fraction of that time, and the situation of 8K TV may be roughly the same.
In the final analysis, in a mature hardware product industry, it is difficult to drive the consumption tide by trying to raise prices based on the concept gimmicks of unclear market positioning and lack of consumer perception.
Many people may say that mobile phones sell at a high price. Why do users buy them?
In fact, the highest price of mobile phones is 10000 yuan, and only apple can sell well at 10000 yuan, except for luxury mobile phones. But we can see that the price of 8K HDTV products is often tens of thousands.
In the final analysis, the mobile phone has a certain rigid demand value and social currency attribute. Its frequency and duration of use are extremely high. The user’s experience standard for product performance, innovation, software and hardware is very high, because it is about daily travel, life and other aspects of experience. Some consumers are willing to pay a certain high price in exchange for a better experience.
TV is obviously not. HDTV has no just need property. Even in today’s era when mobile phone tablet has been popularized among young people, TV products have been marginalized. Some home appliance sellers say that 55 inch 4K LCD has dropped to less than 2000 yuan, and 32 inch LCD has sold to more than 600 yuan. Even so, it can’t be sold.
In addition, the power on rate of TV products is declining. Many young people don’t watch TV any more. The core demand of consumers for TV products is not 8K, but whether there are interesting innovative ways to play or attractive content to bring consumers back to the living room.
Last year, data showed that the average daily power on rate of TV dropped from 70% three years ago to 30% last year. Today, the power on rate continues to decline. In recent years, almost every gathering of color TV manufacturers has a day to ask: “what if young people stop watching TV?” It is said that at this time, the atmosphere will be particularly dignified.
But even if consumers don’t like watching TV, it’s not the right time to push 8K, and manufacturers are trying their best to push 8K. Why?
Why manufacturers still push 8K when consumers don’t like it?
The reason is very simple. Now the 4K TV is almost to the ceiling, and manufacturers want to launch new products. The resolution is the most easy to break through and to be understood by consumers.
If you say that content ecology and other innovation of play methods are not easy to be understood by consumers, you are also faced with the risk of failure due to unequal input and output of innovative technology and inadequate understanding of demand.
Relatively speaking, 8K is actually a linear development direction of the industry. Although it has nothing to do with the current core pain points of TV users, it can seize the first mover market share and users’ mind.
Secondly, after years of competition over the cost performance of TV industry, they are all pinning on an opportunity to raise prices and obtain higher brand premium and profits.
Taking Samsung as an example, it seems that Samsung TV has not learned the lesson from the decline of Samsung mobile phones in the Chinese market, and has gone up the high price as soon as it comes up. For example, the q950ts series of Samsung 8K TV has three sizes of 65 inches, 75 inches and 85 inches, and the prices are as high as 49999 yuan, 69999 yuan and 99999 yuan respectively.
Of course, Samsung’s pricing strategy has its own considerations, that is, to declare its dominance and industry status in the high-end market through high pricing. Raise the high-end image of Samsung’s main qled technology with high price. In particular, the two major TV giants Sony and Samsung are competing to push their top 8K TV products z9g and q900r, competing for the right to speak in the 8K era.
Whether it’s mobile phones or TVs, Samsung’s pricing strategy seems to have fallen into a strange circle of thinking – whether consumers approve of its brand premium or not, whether the market environment goes up or down, whether its sales volume and reputation go up or down, they are habitually setting high prices, equating three stars with high-end. But Samsung’s strategy has failed in China’s mobile phone market.
Compared with the 5g competition in the mobile phone industry, manufacturers rely on 5g as an opportunity to raise prices. However, today, 5g mobile phones have entered the era of thousands of yuan in the fierce competition.
From the previous comparison, we can see that mobile phones with rigid demand property and social currency value are still like this, and the situation of HDTV products is even less optimistic. The core demand of consumers for TV products is not 8K, but whether there are interesting innovative play methods or attractive content experience to promote user upgrading.
There are many reasons why 8K TV can’t be sold.
As mentioned earlier, on the one hand, the current 8K TV does not touch the demand of consumers, and there are fewer young people watching TV. Whether it is 4K or 8K, there is no huge difference in the core experience, because 4K is clear enough now, and the resolution is not the core pain point of users’ viewing. It is difficult to be convincing to pay several times or even more than 10 times the price for 8K.
It’s understandable that manufacturers are trying to promote high-end brands, but the high price of 8K hinders consumers from trying new products in the non rigid demand and price sensitive market environment.
In the post epidemic era, consumers generally focus on quantity and become rational. Especially for non rigid demand electronic digital and household appliances, there are more price sensitive consumers.
Secondly, from the perspective of 8K market environment, the current 8K resources and content are scarce, and the big probability of buying is to play 2k and 4K content. Now even the 4K content system on the market is still in the stage of further improvement, and many content still stays in the era of 2K.
Some consumers point out that it’s not necessary to go to the supermarket every day to buy a few hundred yuan bowl of food.
If you wait until 8K content resources, hardware perfect, universal time, probably now buy TV to update.
Of course, based on the fact that there is no 8K content and movie source, many manufacturers have also taken it into consideration. For example, Sony, Samsung and other manufacturers have said that they can optimize the lower resolution pictures to the level close to 8K through AI algorithm. However, in fact, it is difficult to distinguish the visual gap between 4K and 8K in terms of visual presentation.
For example, in March this year, a well-known film production company, Warner Bros., together with Pixar, Amazon Prime video and LG, launched a “double-blind test” to analyze consumers’ perception of 4K and 8K TV content.
But the results show that most people can’t tell the difference between 4K and 8K.
This means that when the 4K experience is good enough, the AI algorithm is used to optimize to 8K level. In fact, this is because whether the computing power can reach this level or not, at least it is easier to fool consumers in the visual presentation level.
But at present, most of the TV products are faced with the stock user market, its upgrading is slow, it is difficult to perceive the obvious visual differences in the experience level, and the ultra-high price positioning is obviously difficult to drive the demand for replacement.
In the current market environment where consumers are price sensitive, 8K TV’s super high-end strategy in the early stage did not conform to the trend of the current consumer market.
The popularity of 8K depends on the integration of software and hardware, the ecological maturity, and the cost performance may still be the main theme
In the 8K TV market, the ratio will probably return to the old way of cost performance.
As mentioned above, before the whole market is mature, it is difficult to have a clear perception of the experience gap between 4K and 8K on the consumer side. In addition, it does not have the right card. Consumers are slow to update TV products, so it is difficult for 8K TV to stabilize the current high pricing.
At present, the biggest problem of 8K is that there is almost no basic support of 8K content resources and software industry chain. In this case, most ordinary consumers will not buy it. Manufacturers, based on the urgent demand of shipping, will have a high probability that the price of 8K TV will go up or down, and the price performance ratio will still be the main theme of this battlefield.
For example, in terms of the domestic market environment, Xiaomi TV has risen with the cost performance strategy, sweeping the 4K entry market within 3000 yuan. Now, the price war in the TV industry has become the norm.
In late April this year, Changhong launched a new d8k series 8K TV, in which the 55 inch starting price is only 3999 yuan, while the 65 inch starting price is 5999 yuan, and the 75 inch starting price is 8699 yuan, which is several times cheaper than the same size 8K TV. The signs and signs of the price performance of 8K TV have begun to show.
In addition, Huawei, Hisense and other manufacturers continue to make efforts in the mid-range products. In the smart screen market, domestic manufacturers are also fighting secretly, and the price threshold of the smart screen market is also continuously lowered, which will continue to seize the cake of the TV market.
In this market environment, although the sports new year has given birth to the 8K layout and shipping demands of HDTV manufacturers, it is still difficult to mobilize consumers’ purchase desire due to the influence of multiple comprehensive factors such as panel, chip, transmission, film source, price and technical short board.
What we need to know is that the sign of the mature 8K market is that there are enough 8K legitimate content resources in the market and the hardware and software foundation have been built. For example, in terms of hardware, we have to wait for the maturity and mass production of 8K LCD panel technology, and the price threshold of hardware should be low enough.
In fact, it requires manufacturers to abandon the single hardware profit thinking and promote the market through the integration of software and hardware.
In other words, the popularization of technology relies on a large number of genuine content to generate enough attraction on the consumer side. In fact, it requires manufacturers to give up pure hardware profits, reduce the hardware price to the market acceptance category, drive the linkage of hardware industry chain, mobilize the enthusiasm of the content side, create a win-win content ecology, and promote the development of 8K content producers Issuers and agents should establish a reasonable profit mechanism to make content. Only when content and technology are linked and coordinated, can it promote its attraction in the C-end consumer market.
For HDTV manufacturers, besides lowering the price threshold, how to break the situation at the content level is also a test of their wisdom.