Sales of 4K Ultra HDTVs, UHD players and supporting 4K media saw strong sales over the first three months of 2016, according to preliminary data supplied Friday by the DEG: Digital Entertainment Group, a multi-industry home entertainment promotional association.

Ultra HDTV sets continued to show “dramatic” growth in the quarter, with unit sales shipments surpassing 1.5 million for the period, according to the preliminary numbers released by the group.

The DEG reported U.S. shipments of 4K Ultra HDTVs were up 210 percent for the period, bringing the total number of sets sold since the technology market launch to more than seven million units.

The group said the displays have generated strong demand for native-resolution content that can be played on the next-generation TVs.

Overall, home entertainment spending was stable for the period, but out-performed the box office, the DEG numbers show.

The DEG said that initial shipments of the first Ultra HD Blu-ray player (Samsung’s UBD-K8500) in the U.S. market were quickly purchased in the period by 4K Ultra HD-hungry consumers. The group couldn’t report sales volume numbers because only one manufacturer is currently supplying a player.

Hollywood studios have released 26 Ultra HD Blu-ray titles in the first quarter, and accounted for sales of “more than 80,000 discs in their first weeks of launch,” the DEG said. The group said sales of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs doubled the number of standard Blu-ray Discs sold during the first weeks of that format’s launch.

Read more on the DEG’s first quarter 2016 home entertainment market demand after the jump:

The DEG said HDTV penetration is now approaching the number of U.S. households, estimating that nearly 95 percent – or 104 million – of all U.S. homes have at least one HDTV.

Meanwhile, all Blu-ray playback devices (including set-tops and game consoles) can now be found in more than 84 million U.S. households, adjusting for duplication rate and cross-device ownership calculations for all Blu-ray Disc set-top players and game consoles.

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Concerning first-quarter consumer home entertainment software sales, the DEG revealed: that total U.S. home entertainment spending was nearly $4.6 billion for the first quarter, in line with the same period in 2015 and outpacing the box office value on video release by nearly 10 percentage points.

The group said video on demand (VOD) platforms continued to grow in the period, up seven percent for the quarter, and reversing the downward trends seen in early 2015.

Subscription VOD (SVOD) saw a 19 percent growth rate for the first quarter over the the same period last year.

By Greg Tarr


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