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DisplaySearch Raises 3D TV Forecasts

4/08/2010 03:35:18 PM Eastern
Austin, Texas - DisplaySearch formally issued its revised forecasts for worldwide 3D TV ships, raising expectations to 2.5 million units in 2010, rising to 27 million units in 2013.

According to the latest Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, more than half of those shipments are expected to come from North America, which the firm now said should see shipments of 1.7 million 3D TVs this year.

"In 2009, we saw the first 3D-capable TVs, with the market greatly accelerating at CES 2010. Now we are seeing the hype turning into real products," said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch TV electronics research director. "The key issue will be how consumers react to the initial product launch, and what the industry will learn from the feedback of early adopters. Complications in the TV supply chain — especially 3D content shortages — remain the biggest hurdles to overcome."

Not surprisingly, the firm also said it expects 3D sets to be offered predominantly in screen sizes of 40 inches and larger.

"3D makes the most sense with the largest screen sizes, combined with a more developed Blu-ray Disc market and 3D broadcast services. For this reason, we expect North America to be the most favorable region for initial 3D development," Gray said.

The video processing and extra display performance required for 3D remain relatively costly compared with entry-level models. As a result, 3D is constrained by the penetration of double or quadruple frame rate sets in the market, DisplaySearch said.

Despite the growth of the format, DisplaySearch said it expects only 27 percent of 40-inch and larger sets shipped in 2013 will be 3D-capable.

Furthermore, Blu-ray Disc and HD broadcast have low penetration in Western Europe, and as a result there remains a content gap that needs to be filled before 3D can flourish.

The chart below shows what penetration of shipments 3D-ready sets will represent, when taken as a percentage of total sets for the category.

In other words, 3D-ready sets will represent a higher percentage of total 40-inch and larger plasma display panels (PDPs) than of total 40-inch and larger flat-panel displays (FPDs) (LCD and plasma) or 30-inch plus LCDs. So, 3D is very important to PDP success, and 3D will be a strong driver of the PDP category going forward with all major brands, especially Panasonic, which is placing importance on 3D PDP, said Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch North American TV market research director.

Keep in mind that 3D is more prevalent in large screen sizes, and PDP is mostly a large-screen technology, so 3D will represent a greater proportion of PDP sales than LCD.

"This is particularly so given that there aren't many 46-inch and smaller 3D SKUs in LCD this year, nor do we anticipate very many sub-40-inch 3D SKUs from LCD, which is where the bulk of LCD volume is done," said Gagnon.

 3D Penetration By Technology
 Source: DisplaySearch
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