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3D TV ‘Refresh Cycle’ Brings New Opportunities For High-Margin Sales

If recent buying patterns are any indication,
consumers may make a
mad dash to replace their current
TVs with 3D-capable ones as the new
technology matures.

Along the way there will be ample
opportunities for dealers and installers
to generate sales from the 3D “refresh,”
or wave of buyers ready to upgrade to
the latest platform. The suite of products
that will be required to even begin
to enjoy the 3D experience, such as
starter kits with glasses and 3D-specific
BD players, will kick off this cycle,
followed by expected add-on opportunities
in home theater and the larger
home entertainment network.

This kind of phenomenon has been
seen before in several high-tech markets.
A prime example was the launch
of Microsoft Windows 7 in late 2009.

Similarly, consumers have shown
a reliable tendency to turn over their
TVs and adopt the latest and greatest
display technologies as they hit the
market. Six years ago flat panel invigorated
TV sales, quickly eclipsing rearprojection
and turning CRTs
into proverbial dinosaurs. Nearly
three years later
LED technology
appeared, sending
sales soaring again.

As stated, the 3D
TV refresh will begin
with the basic
components that
consumers must purchase in order to
use their 3D capabilities. Each manufacturer
will sell accessory sets consisting
of 3D glasses with integrated
batteries that are proprietary to each
manufacturer’s TV, and consumers
will also have to invest in a 3D-compatible
Blu-ray Disc player in order to enjoy
the extra dimensionality.

But just as the iPod spawned an industry
of third-party peripherals, there
will likely be a host of 3D add-ons that
can provide easy supplemental sales at
healthy margins — particularly among
high-end, first-adopter consumers.

In audio, industry buzz points to enhancements
to augment the new 3D format.
This could include digital sound
projectors, some of which boast HD audio
decoding and 1080p-compatible
HDMI, or advanced A/V virtual theater
systems. New 7.1 audio setups, which
outpace previous 5.1-channel home-theater
systems, are also being introduced.

Consumers may also be amenable to
other top-of-the-line functionalities that
leverage their new investments, such as
the ability to stream Internet-based content
to their TVs, or to access their computer
desktops via the big screen.

The marketplace always responds to
fresh demands with innovation, so 3D
may drive ongoing new devices and capabilities.
Future enhancements could
include 3D gaming consoles, while development
is already underway on 3D
TVs that don’t require glasses.

Whenever an exciting technology
develops, it not only creates a profitable
new category in itself, it has the power
to create a new ecosystem of manufacturers
and products to support it. Leverage
your partners to help you identify
and sell those products as they
emerge. If you’re ready for it, this new
dimension may be able to add depth to
your bottom line.

Jeff Davis is sales senior VP at D&H
Distributing, a leading national technology
distributor based in Harrisburg, Pa.
For more information call (800) 340-
1007 or visit