3D TV Sales To Hit 3.4 Million This Year: DisplaySearch

Jonathan Sutton

Another week, another forecast on how 3D TVs are going to do. This time it’s from DisplaySearch, a display market analysis and consulting firm based in California, and the future painted by the company will surely be music to the ears of TV/ hardware manufacturers and content providers who have invested sizable amount of resources into the fledgling 3D TV industry.

In its latest issue of Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, DisplaySearch published its forecast expecting shipments of 3D TVs to hit 3.4 million units globally this year, which would account for 5% of the total number of flat-screen televisions shipped in 2010. The market research firm went on to predict that by 2014, 42.9 million units would be sold, representing a flat-panel TV market share penetration rate of 37%.

DisplaySearch based this relatively optimistic forecast on increasing availability of 3D TV models and 3D content. Paul Gray, director of the European TV Research division at DisplaySearch, said that TV makers have moved quickly and decisively to jump on the 3D bandwagon, offering a full array of 3D TVs ranging from screen sizes of 40 inches to 63 inches, with more expected to be unveiled at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin come September this year.

Despite lingering concerns over the lack of 3D content to truly sustain 3D TV growth, Mr Gray said the crisis is easing slowly but surely. He gave examples of Hollywood producing more 3D movies which would eventually be released on 3D Blu-rays, hardware manufacturers like Panasonic, Samsung and Sony launching 3D Blu-ray players, sporting events such as the World Cup 2010 being broadcast in 3D, and 3D games being developed as factors that would not only generate interest in 3D TVs, but also convince consumers that 3D is here to stay.

Mr Gray conceded that some other obstacles stand in the way of widespread 3D TV adoption at home, namely the relative scarcity of 3D content and 3D media players especially outside North America and Japan (which might lead potential buyers to adopt a wait-and-see approach), and negative consumer sentiments towards compulsory 3D glasses. A rise in energy consumption among 3D television sets to counter the darkening effects of 3D glasses was also put forward as a key issue, particularly for those who are environmentally conscious.