New York - Internet-enabled and 3D TV shipments are enjoying robust growth, with shipments of the former far outstripping those of the much-hyped 3D variety, according to iSuppli.
iSuppli is forecasting shipments of Internet-enabled TVs (IETV) to hit 27.7 million worldwide this year, growing to 148.3 million in 2014. 3D TV shipments will touch 4.2 million in 2010, climbing to 60.5 million in four years.
DisplaySearch is projecting lower shipments for 3D TV of 3.4 million this year, growing to 42.9 million by 2014.
The discrepancy is due to different tracking methods employed by the two research firms.
The reason IETV growth will far out-distance that of its much-hyped 3D TV cousin remains cost, content and interoperability, said iSuppli's Riddhi Patel, television systems director and principal analyst. iSuppli expects 3D TV to remain a niche product for 2010, purchased primarily by early adopters, while IETV enters the mainstream.
"IETV provides immediate benefits by allowing TV viewers to access a range of content readily available on the Internet," he said.
IETV is also benefiting from the aggressive stance taken by vendors to strike partnerships with content providers, ensuring a steady stream of new programming available via the web, said Patel.
This is an area still causing problems on the 3D TV front.
DisplaySearch's Paul Gagnon, director of North American TV research, noted that delivery of 3D-capable TVs is currently outstripping content availability.
"3D content for TV remains limited to a small number of movies, plus some sports events on pay TV, which are dependent on cable providers. Blockbuster movies in 3D, such as â€˜Avatar,' will not be available for 3D TV in 2010," Gagnon reported.
Other obstacles noted by DisplaySearch were consumer questions regarding 3D glasses, and low Blu-ray player penetration outside of North America and Japan.