PORTLAND, ORE. –
Approximately 586,276 3D televisions were shipped to U.S. dealers during the first quarter of 2011, up 352 percent from the same period a year before, according to new figures released by Quixel Market Research.
Of course, last year’s numbers reflected mostly those 3D sets released in March, when products supporting the newly issued Blu-ray 3D specification standard were first introduced.
Sets supporting the new 3D spec went on to ship 1.23 million units over the full year of 2010, and the capability is now offered in more than 60 percent of some manufacturers’ TVs measuring 40 inches and larger, helping to significantly bolster Quixel’s optimism for full year 3DTV-ready shipments in 2011.
The firm is now forecasting more than 6.2 million 3DTV shipments, including plasma, LCD and projection (front and rear) displays, in all of 2011. The number is also more aggressive than some other analysts’ predictions, including those of the Consumer Electronics Association.
But Quixel was more conservative than most forecasters last year, and was virtually dead on with its revised fourth quarter forecasts for 3D sales for full year 2010.
The market analyst projects 3DTV shipments continuing to build momentum in the years ahead, with forecasts of 10.3 million 3DTVs in 2012, rising to 18.6 million for full year 2014.
As for the brewing battle between 3D sets based on active-shutter glasses and new less-expensive 3D HD LCD TVs based on passive glasses technologies, Quixel said passive comprised 5 percent of industry 3DTV shipments during the first quarter of 2011, and is forecasting them to represent 18 percent of all industry 3DTV sales by the end of the year.
Vizio, LG Electronics and Toshiba are among the largest TV brands to have announced support for passive glasses 3DTVs this year. The technology uses inexpensive, non-powered glasses similar to those used for public movie theaters, but active-shutter glasses advocates point out that the passive technology (called film patterned retarder) also delivers about half the resolution of full HD 1080p 3D sets using active-shutter glasses technologies.
As for the mix of first quarter 2011 3DTV sales by display type, 153,012 units were plasma, up nearly 3,000 percent from just under 5,000 units in Q1 2010, while 3D LCD sales rose 851 percent to 340,811 units.
Sales of microdisplay based projection TVs, which were introduced several years earlier and did not initially conform to the new Blu-ray 3D spec, rose 4.11 percent to 92,453 units from the year-ago period.