Although many analysts had claimed that it could take years before 4K Ultra HD televisions become the norm, the latests figures to be announced show that more than a million devices were shipped in March 2014 alone- with those numbers set to increase dramatically as we progress throughout the remainder of the year and into 2015.
The figures come from IHS Technology, who put the exact number of shipped units for the month of March at 1.1 million, which is quite impressive when you consider that February of this year saw just 384,300 units shipped.
The exact reason for the three-fold increase is up for debate, but it's likely a combinaton of a number of factors, including the impending 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil next month, new initiatives being pushed by major 4K manufacturers including the likes of Sony, and big orders coming in from retailers planning to push the new technology during Labor Day sales in the United States this month.
Senior Analyst for Large Displays at IHS Technology, Linda Lin, shed some light on the figures, saying:
From the time UHD TV panels were introduced to the world for the first time in 2012, demand for these cutting-edge displays has been slow in growing, mainly because the televisions using the panels have proved prohibitively expensive. But with the technology becoming more pervasive, coupled with increasingly aggressive marketing from panel manufacturers, UHD TV panels are starting to take off.
Given the amount of time it took for HD to become the norm (around 15 years in total), 4K TV is still in its infancy, and it'll be another decade before market penetration will reach the level of HDTV - something which could be a major factor in making people decide to hold off on early adoption.