BAD NEWS: 70% of folks don’t know “4K” from “Special K”

Well, that’s not encouraging. The mania for HDTV started twenty years or more before actual TVs were available. Folks fantasized about gigantic, hang-on-the-wall TVs back in the 1970s and the term “HDTV” was in general use as early as 1985. On the other hand, a massively large percentage of people not only don’t care about 4K, they don’t even know it exists.

Broadband Reports quotes a Leichtman Research study with a lot of good news in general. 72% of TVs in use are now HD, and 88% people with incomes over $50,000 have nothing but HDTVs. But hidden in the report is a much more disturbing trend: 4K TVs are garnering almost no interest. 70% of respondents said they’d never heard the term, while only 10% of folks confessed to actually having seen one.

That’s bad news for several reasons. First of all, consumer electronics companies believe that 4K is the future, and don’t care if you agree. Not only that but 4K is the only way that manufacturers will drive people out to buy ever-larger TVs, which look increasingly bad even with HD content. It’s certainly not helping matters that the leading consumer electronics trade group would rather have you use the term “UltraHD” instead of “4K,” a move which it seems only about half the manufacturers support.

It wasn’t that long ago that the consumer electronics industry was trying to push 3D TVs on the public, a move that can only be described as a failure, given the lack of live 3D TV content and the rapid disappearance of 3D TVs this year. It seems like manufacturers are doomed to repeat this costly mistake with 4K TVs that cost more and don’t make people any happier.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.