Is this the year 4K UHD TV sets finally become mainstream?

A pair of studies forecast a surge in sales for 4K UHD TVs this holiday season as consumers will have more brands, options and screen sizes from which to choose, and as prices continue to fall.

4K UHD television sales are set to grow by 40% Y/Y in the U.S., according to the Consumer Technology Assoc., and account for more than half (56%) of all TV sales during Q4.

Prices for 4K sets are down 22% since January, helping to make TVs among the most desired technology holiday gifts this year, behind notebook computers and tied with smartphones, CTA said.

“We’ve been bullish about 4K UHD since day one, and market growth continues to justify our enthusiasm,” said Gary Shaprio, CTA president and CEO. “Strong growth in display sales, combined with the increasing number of 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and other content, 4K cameras, and additional devices in the market will cement 2016 as a ’banner year’ for 4K UHD.”

The 4K UHD market is outpacing its predecessor, the HD TV, with more than three times as many units sold (18.6 million units) in the first three years of 4K availability as HD TVs did in their first three years (4.2 million units) on the market.”

Researcher NPD, meanwhile, said it believes this holiday season could mark a shift in the market from early adopters to mass market consumption.

NPD said growing consumer awareness of 4K – in Q3, 38% of consumers were “very, or somewhat, likely” to use a 4KTV in the future – an increase of 5% from since Q1.

NPD also pointed out that 87% of 4K TVs were already connected to the Internet, a strong indication that owners were eager to stream 4K content.

The NPD report also highlighted the growing number of 4K streaming media playesr available on the market including Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Roku.

The Connected Home Entertainment report noted that the number of homes that have the hardware and broadband speed needed for streaming 4K video remained relatively limited, just 5 million.

But, said NPD analyst John Buffone, “Content distributors with an infrastructure prepared to offer 4K UHD video streaming are poised to take advantage of the pending inflection point in the display and TV programming industries, as viewers who stream video will be the first to expect their movies and TV shows delivered in 4K resolution.”

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn