Samsung and LG Electronics are reworking their strategies for high-end TVs after spending billions of dollars on a new display technology that is behind schedule and costs almost $10,000 (€7,760) a set.
The companies have not been able to boost production enough to achieve the econ- omies of scale that they have with older technologies.
Samsung and LG sell almost half of all TVs sold worldwide – Samsung had 28pc of the industry's total sales last year while LG had 15pc.
"Samsung and LG both misjudged the ultra-high definition market," said Jeon Byung Ki, an analyst at E-Trade Korea.
"Now they're thinking they may have to stick with LCD technology for a while."
The misstep by the Koreans has created opportunities for Sony, Sharp and Chinese maker Skyworth Digital Holdings, who are introducing TVs using conventional liquid-crystal displays that offer resolutions rivalling the new technology for about half the price.
Sony has lost money on TVs for the last nine years. Its board is discussing a proposal from hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to sell as much as 20pc of its entertainment division and focus on electronics.