People adopt new TV technologies very slowly. It's taken about a dozen years for Direct'v HD penetration to get to 50%. So even today, nearly half of highly progressive Directv's customers are watching SD.
Even if D* launches a small number of Ultra channels in the 2016 timeframe, it will likely take years for a large enough customer base to build up before it becomes a real driving factor.
I agree. Looking at the history, the first HDTV broadcast that was really seen nationwide (and not in peoples homes) was coverage of John Glenn's return to space in 1998. For 4k, it was the 2012 London Olympics where Oxford University in cooperation with a Japanese University tested worldwide delivery (in this case from London to Japan) of live 4k sport events.
It really wasn't until 2002 until commercial carriers started carrying national channels in HD, and in 2006 - 8 years after the first proper test - most cable and satellite companies had no more than 25 HD channels.
If the same happens with 4k, 2016 would be a good target date for the first channels to be launched in 4kHD, but I don't see it growing that fast. Perhaps, by 2020, we will also have 25 4kHD channels.
Price, as always, will determine the the growth of 4kHD. Regular HD didn't start to become popular until HDTV's became affordable. I bought my 40" for $1200 in 2008, and I can buy a 40" for HALF that now with the same and better features. There is a line to cross, the line where mass production has become affordable and thus the price of the units drops to a "comfort zone" level for people to go out and buy a new TV for Christmas.