Research: Number of Global UHD TV Homes Passes 200 Million

The number of homes worldwide using an Ultra HD TV has now passed the 200 million mark, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Home Devices service.

The report, 4K and 8K Ultra HDTV Global Market Forecast, predicts that 222 million homes will own an Ultra HD TV by the end of 2018, an increase of nearly 50% over the past twelve months. The report also forecasts that more than 600 million homes will own an Ultra HD TV by 2023. The vast majority of these homes will have a 4K display — only 3% of Ultra HD TVs in use will be 8K-ready by this time.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • North America will continue to lead in adoption of Ultra HD TVs, with 71% of homes owning one by 2023;
  • The largest market in terms of annual sales of Ultra HD TVs is the Asia Pacific region, where they will reach nearly 46 million units this year;
  • Sales of 8K Ultra HDTVs will reach more than 400,000 units in 2019 and more than 11 million by 2023, which will represent a 6% share of the total Ultra HD TV market; and
  • By 2023 3.9% of Ultra HDTV homes in North America will own 8K displays, compared to 4.1% in Asia Pacific and 1.7% in Western Europe.

“The success of Ultra HDTV has been driven by technology adoption rather than content and services,” said David Mercer, principal analyst and the report’s author, in a statement. “4K video and TV services are now becoming more widely available, meeting the expectations of 4K Ultra HDTV owners for the best quality TV experience. But our expectations for 8K services should be cautious: while Japan has now launched 8K TV in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the rest of the world will be slower to follow suit, given that the number of homes with 8K-ready TVs will remain low until the mid 2020s.”

“Owners of 8K TVs will primarily be watching 4K and HD content, while the TV’s image processors will do a good job of scaling most content to give impressive images,” said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. “Amidst the excitement surrounding 8K TVs, it is important to remember that image resolution, whether native or otherwise, is only one element in perceived video quality, and TV vendors and content players alike should not lose focus on other important drivers of consumer satisfaction, such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) and High Frame Rate (HFR).”

‘The Shield’ Series Set Coming to Blu-ray From Mill Creek Entertainment

The entire series set of “The Shield” will come out on Blu-ray Dec. 18 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

The collection includes all 88 fully restored episodes in high-definition from the series’ seven season run, which ended in 2008. Packaged in a digi-book with 18 Blu-ray discs, the set retails at $229.98.

“The Shield” stars Michael Chiklis as antihero Detective Vic Mackey, who runs his elite Strike Team under his own set of rules as he tries to maintain balance in the criminal ecosystem on the streets of Los Angeles.

The set is “the exclamation point to the legacy of ‘The Shield,’” said series creator Shawn Ryan in a statement. “A high-definition restoration was not possible until now,” he stated.

A new patented process allowed the entire series to undergo a 4K transfer and restoration from the 16mm film elements, “preserving the intentional grit and raw texture that’s unique to this series,” according to a Mill Creek release.

“We are thrilled to be able to present ‘The Shield’ in its entirety, available for the first time on Blu-ray having been masterfully restored in widescreen, high definition,” said Barrett Evans, VP of marketing and product development for Mill Creek Entertainment, in a statement. “The series had a monumental impact on television when it debuted, and its themes and subject matter are still poignant and relevant today.”

Bonus features include an all-new cast reunion, writers panel featurette, and a retrospective on the landmark series. For the release extras, Mill Creek Entertainment is orchestrating a reunion with the principal cast and crew, including Shawn Ryan, Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins, Jay Karnes, Benito Martinez, CCH Pounder, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, Kenny Johnson, David Rees Snell, Paula Garcés and David Marciano. Also included on this special Blu-ray release will be a writers’ panel from the ATX Festival, featuring Ryan, Kurt Sutter and Glen Mazzara, plus interviews with the executives and critics who framed and followed the show as it changed the television landscape.

“’The Shield’ redefined cable television and paved the way for a new level of hard-hitting shows that followed,” says J.W. Starrett, director of product development for Mill Creek Entertainment, in a statement. “Getting the cast and crew back together 10 years after the final episode aired gives some really interesting insight and fascinating stories about their experience working on the show.”

Additional special features will be included from previous DVD releases, as well as new features currently in development. A complete listing will be announced in the coming weeks, according to Mill Creek.

“The Shield” originally aired on FX from 2002-2008.  It won two Golden Globe awards, including Best Television Series – Drama, a Primetime Emmy award and two AFI Awards for “TV Program of the Year.”

This story originally posted July 27, 2018, has been updated to reflect a change in street date from Nov. 6 to Dec. 18.

Season Two of ‘The Deuce’ Coming to Digital Dec. 3, Disc Feb. 5 From HBO

The Deuce: The Complete Second Season will come out on digital Dec. 3 and Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 5 from HBO Home Entertainment.

The Deuce: The Complete Second Season continues to trace the evolution and power dynamics of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square neighborhood in the 1970s. Picking up in late 1977, five years after season one, The Deuce’s backroom massage parlors and hotels have exploded into sprawling emporiums, while the New York Mafia’s grip on the porn business is beginning to slip as talent migrates to the West Coast. Season 2 also captures the disco era in all its excesses before developers, crack cocaine, AIDS and videotapes conspire to end the scene.

The cast includes James Franco (The Disaster Artist), first season Golden Globe-nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart), Margarita Levieva (“Revenge”), Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (“The Wire”), Dominique Fishback (HBO’s “Show Me a Hero”) and newcomer Luke Kirby (“Rectify”).

Bonus features include “The Deuce Season 1 Recap”; “Candy’s Back,” showing viewers where Candy (Gyllenhaal) is headed in season two; and “Height of Porn,” which explores the proliferation of porn in late ‘70s New York.

Complete ‘Rescue Me’ Series Available on Blu-ray Disc From Mill Creek

All seven seasons of the Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated “Rescue Me” are available in one Blu-ray box set from Mill Creek Entertainment.

From series creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan, “Rescue Me” was an uncompromising portrayal of the New York City firefighters of 62 Truck, whose duty to save lives puts their own in constant turmoil — on the front lines, in the firehouse, and at home.

The series stars Denis Leary (The Amazing Spider-Man), Andrea Roth (Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why”), Daniel Sunjata (ABC’s “Notorious”), Callie Thorne (USA’s “Necessary Roughness”) and Steven Pasquale (CBS’s “Doubt”).

The 16-disc special edition Blu-ray set, with all 93 episodes, retails at $149.98.

Vizio Adds Features to Smart TV Experience

Vizio announced the rollout of new features to its smart TV experience, SmartCast Home, adding such entertainment apps as CBS All Access and allowing users to personalize their SmartCast Home experience via the app sorting feature.

The latest iteration of SmartCast Home is rolling out via free cloud-based updates to Vizio SmartCast 4K Ultra HD TVs and displays, as well as select HD and Full HD models.

“Vizio continues to fulfill consumer demands by way of free, rolling cloud-based updates that enable new, intuitive smart TV features via Vizio SmartCast,” said Vizio chief technology officer Bill Baxter in a statement. “With versatility, simplicity and value in mind, Vizio SmartCast is an ever-evolving entertainment solution. Everyday users, cord-cutters and smart home enthusiasts alike are able to continuously receive new features, the latest apps and other beneficial enhancements that help ensure they are getting the most out of their viewing experience.”

With the update, Vizio SmartCast Home users can sort and position their favorite and most frequented apps on the home screen. To change the order of apps within the app row at the bottom of the SmartCast Home screen, users scroll to the end of the app row and select the “Sort App Row” icon. From there, they will be prompted with on-screen cues that guide them through the process of highlighting and selecting various apps to customize their position.

New to Vizio SmartCast Home is the CBS All Access app, offering such programs as “NCIS,” “The Young and the Restless” and “Madam Secretary”; exclusive original series such as “Star Trek: Discovery” and “The Good Fight”; and streaming of local live broadcasts. YouTube TV — which allows SmartCast users to watch and record live TV from more than 60 networks — Baeble and Toon Goggles, among other apps, have also been added to the SmartCast lineup.

With the latest updates, the Vizio WatchFree free streaming service is now also included in the App Row.

SmartCast also now offers dedicated TV and Movie Detail pages highlighting the selected title’s trailer and synopsis, along with cast and director credits, running time, parental ratings, critic insights and more. The TV and Movie Detail pages will also soon allow users to browse seasons and episodes across multiple apps such as FandangoNow and Hulu, and then view on their app of choice.

‘Nathan for You’ Complete Series Coming on DVD Dec. 11 From Paramount

The Comedy Central series “Nathan For You” arrives in a complete series set on DVD Dec. 11 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

Comedian Nathan Fielder uses his business degree and life experiences to help real small businesses turn a profit. Because of his unorthodox approach, Nathan’s genuine efforts to do good often draw real people into an experience far beyond what they signed up for.

The nine-disc DVD set includes all four seasons and more than 30 episodes. It also includes audio commentary on select episodes and extras such as the full “Dumb Starbucks” press conference and deleted scenes from “Finding Frances.”

Lionsgate Promotes Kapouranis to President of International TV and Digital Distribution

Lionsgate has promoted Agapy Kapouranis to president of international television and digital distribution.

She will report to Lionsgate president of worldwide television and digital distribution Jim Packer.

She succeeds Lionsgate veteran Peter Iacono, who has decided to leave the studio to become CEO of TravelCadabra.

During her seven years with the company, Kapouranis has structured a broad range of complex global and regional licensing deals encompassing the company’s films and television series, including alternative programming formats and Starz original programming, to a broad range of digital and linear platforms around the world.

She has broad experience in the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), electronic sellthrough (EST) and transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) space, according to a Liongate release.

“Having an executive with experience in all forms of global distribution such as Agapy gives Lionsgate an advantage as we continue to navigate a dynamic and fast-changing environment with our growing and evolving portfolio of content,” Packer said in a statement. “She is the ideal executive to carry Peter’s leadership of our international team into the future. Peter is a great international sales and marketing executive who has helped lead the charge as we’ve built a robust network of digital and linear relationships around the world. We wish him the very best in his entrepreneurial endeavors.”

Kapouranis joined Lionsgate in 2011. She first served as SVP of television and digital distribution and was based in Paris for four years. In that capacity, she closed global digital EST deals with Apple, Xbox, Playstation and Google. She was later promoted to EVP of worldwide subscription video on demand, the position she held until her latest promotion.

Iacono has been part of the worldwide television and distribution group leadership team for nearly 10 years, leading all international distribution, acquisitions, sales and marketing for Lionsgate’s television and catalog feature slate. He recently spearheaded the company’s new Latin American first-run pay television deal with Amazon Prime.

“It’s been a pleasure working with an innovative studio like Lionsgate for going on a decade where I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by one of the best international sales and distribution teams in the business,” said Iacono in a statement. “It is time for a new adventure where I will be CEO of TravelCadabra an internet travel, entertainment and e-commerce platform launching in early 2019 for which we have been fortunate enough to secure up to $10 million in initial funding.  It gives me great pleasure to pass the stewardship of Lionsgate brilliant international distribution team to such a talented and dynamic executive as Agapy as I venture on this entrepreneurial path.”

IHS Markit: TV Shipments to Grow 3.6% in 2018 With UHD Models to Account for More Than Half of Shipments in 2019

After declining unit-shipment volumes in 2017, global TV shipments are forecast to grow 3.6% year over year in 2018, with additional 1.4% growth in 2019, according to a new report from research firm IHS Markit.

Of the 226 million TVs expected to ship in 2019, more than half will be ultra-high-definition (UHD) models, the majority of which are 4K. However, 8K TVs from major global TV brands will launch toward the end of 2018, kicking off the next wave of resolution transition, according to the report.

“Growth in the TV market typically is the result of more attractive retail prices for large-screen sizes and the continued commoditization of 4K resolution, driving TV replacements and upgrades,” said IHS research and analysis executive director Paul Gagnon in a statement. “However, this growth through price compression has a negative effect on profits, so TV brands are actively looking for more growth from advanced TV models to improve earnings.”
Technologies such as 8K, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and quantum dot (QD) carry substantial premiums, and 4K TVs still carry premiums of more than 35 percent at screen sizes where 1080p resolution is still an option, such as 40-inch to 49-inch TVs, according to IHS.

IHS Markit forecasts that the 8K TV market will grow from less than 20,000 units in 2018 to more than 430,000 in 2019 — eventually approaching 2 million units by 2020. All of this growth will be centered on 60-inch and larger screen sizes, with 65-inch TVs accounting for more than half of the volume.

OLED TV is expected to grow more than 40% in 2019, rising to 3.6 million units. This growth is in line with previous forecasts, because demand is essentially matching industry production capacity, according to IHS. The size mix still favors 55-inch TVs, based on current prices, but it will transition to mostly 65-inch TVs by 2020, when new production capacity is optimized for larger screen sizes, and when substantial growth is expected in the OLED TV category.

Quantum dot LCD TV shipments are now forecast to exceed 4 million units in 2019, based on more aggressive pricing and the introduction of transitional quantum-dot-equipped LCD TV models, according to IHS.
“The high-end prices of non-QD-equipped LCD TV models and the prices of the low end QD-equipped LCD TV models have moved closer together,” Gagnon said in a statement. “This extension of the quantum dot LCD TV lineup into more moderate price ranges effectively reduces the quantum dot premium to less than 100 percent at mid-range sizes, opening up the category to a larger addressable market of consumers.”

LG Introduces ‘World’s First’ 8K OLED TV

LG Electronics is introducing the world’s first 8K (7680 x 4320) OLED TV, according to a company press release.

Previewed at IFA 2018, the 88-inch, 8K LG OLED TV features more than 33 million self-emitting pixels to produce the “unmatched contrast ratio and true blacks that define OLED TV’s iconic picture quality,” according to the release.

OLED TV shipments in the market are expected to double in 2018 and reach more than 9 million units by 2022, with the 8K TV market expected to grow to more than 5 million units by 2022, the release stated.

“LG’s first 8K OLED TV is the pinnacle of technological achievement and the next evolutionary step in display technology,” said Brian Kwon, president of LG Home Entertainment Company, in a statement. “4K OLED played a major role in reshaping the TV industry, and LG is confident that 8K OLED will do the same.”

Lionsgate Inks TV Deal With Common

Lionsgate has signed an overall television deal with Oscar and Emmy winner Common and his Freedom Road Productions to develop and produce new television series.

Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs made the announcement.

The agreement expands Lionsgate’s relationship with Common, who starred in installments of the studio’s John Wick and Now You See Me film franchises. Common’s additional film credits include starring roles in Wanted and Selma, for which he earned an Academy Award for the original song “Glory.” He also received an Emmy for his music in Ava DuVernay’s Oscar nominated and Emmywinning documentary 13th. Common is currently starring in and executive producing the television series “The Chi” on Showtime, and his upcoming film projects include Warner Brothers’ Smallfoot, FOX’s The Hate U Give, Hunter Killer from Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label and indie films Three Seconds and All About Nina.

“We’re thrilled to have the talented multi-hyphenate Common join our television team along with his longtime manager and producing partner Derek Dudley, President of Production Shelby Stone, and creative executive Melisa Resch,” said Lionsgate EVP and head of worldwide scripted television Chris Selak, in a statement. “Common’s expertise from working across all different artistic platforms offers a rich and exciting creative vision to our group. We look forward to the bold, premium content Freedom Road Productions will bring to our deep and diverse television slate.”

“I’m proud to expand my relationship with the innovative content creator Lionsgate,” said Common in a statement. “The studio offers a collaborative, creative freedom that is unique in the entertainment industry, which makes them a perfect partner for Freedom Road Productions. I’m looking forward to teaming up with Kevin, Chris and the Lionsgate collective on exciting and fresh television programming.”