The penetration of 3D TV sets will determine the success of the format. Estimates of these figures differ greatly however.
Consumer electronics manufacturers and suppliers are accelerating 3D activities, according to a new report by IMS Research.
The study estimates that 5.99 million 3D TV sets will be sold in 2010 alone with more than 218 million selling in total between 2010 and 2015.
“Within five years the majority of high-end large-screen TV sets and Blu-ray players are likely to offer 3D capability,” says Anna Hunt, author of the report and principal analyst at IMS Research. “The price premium of these products over similar 2D equivalents is expected to diminish quickly.”
Among the drivers for 3D technology are the growing popularity of 3D movies released at cinemas, fierce home entertainment competition and the aggressive pricing of 3D TV sets.
A recent forecast by DisplaySearch paints a more conservative future for 3D TV sales. Its most recent Quarterly TV Design and Features Report estimates sales of 3.4 million in 2010, rising to 42.9 million in 2014.
Based on this forecast, 3D TV market penetration is expected to grow from a 5 per cent share of total flat panel TVs in 2010 to 37 per cent in 2014.
“TV manufacturers have managed to launch products very rapidly. We have seen a full range of 3D TVs in sizes from 40-inch to 63-inch already available,” says Paul Gray, director of TV electronics research, DisplaySearch.
“Through the first half of 2010, only two flat panel TV makers in the US launched 3D TV products – Panasonic and Samsung,” explains Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV research, DisplaySearch. “Based on early indications, the launch of 3D TVs is similar to Samsung’s rollout of LED LCD TVs at the beginning of 2009, albeit at a slightly slower pace. This would be in line with our forecast of just over two million 3D TVs shipped in North America for 2010.”
A report by iSuppli notes that internet enabled TV (IETV) will be the focus of consumer upgrades in the short-term. It estimates 3D TV sales of 4.2 million in 2010 compared to 27.7 million connected TVs.
“Despite aggressive promotions from the industry and intense consumer interest generated by the blockbuster Avatar and other titles, the 3D TV market in 2010 will be limited to a small pool of enthusiastic early adopters,” says Riddhi Patel, director and principal analyst for television systems, iSuppli. “In contrast, IETV is entering the mainstream in 2010.
This is because 3D is still dealing with a number of barriers, including cost, content availability and interoperability, while IETV provides immediate benefits by allowing TV viewers to access a range of content readily available on the Internet.”