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Global 3D TV Shipments to Hit 4.2 million in 2010

by June 11, 2010
Source: iSuppli, compiled by Digitimes, May 2010

Source: iSuppli, compiled by Digitimes, May 2010

According to iSuppli, a technology market research company, Global 3D TV shipments are expected to reach 4.2 million units in 2010, thanks to increasing traction and acceptance from enthusiastic early adopters. Global 3D TV shipments will then triple to 12.9 million units in 2011 and then more than double to 27.4 million units in 2012.

In 2015, 3D TV shipments will reach 78.1 million units, rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80.2% from 2010.

Among US consumers who purchased a new TV in the first quarter of 2010, 4% indicated they were acquiring one that was 3D capable, with 60% buying a 3D LCD TV and the remaining 40% preferring a 3D plasma set. As of April, 26 TV models featured 3D capability, compared to 23 the previous month.

Despite such an apparent strong showing, 3D TVs occupy only a small portion of the overall TV market. Shipments of all types of LCD TVs are expected to hit 170 million this year, while shipments of LED backlit sets will reach only 26 million globally in 2010.

The majority of 3D TV sales in 2010 will occur in the mature TV regions of the US, Japan, and Western Europe, where sizable markets exist for upgrading or replacing older, non-3D sets. Other countries that have rolled out 3D trials include South Korea and Australia.

"Although robust growth of 3D TV sales appears to be assured during the next few years, mass consumer acceptance will not come until three critical issues are resolved concerning standardization, content availability and interoperability of the 3D glasses used to view the sets," said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for TV systems at iSuppli.

In the case of standards, the Blu-ray standard for 3D TV establishing 1080p 3D to each eye was set in 2009.

However, other standards are still being worked out to ensure a successful rollout, including HDMI 1.4 for a variety of 3D formats, SMPTE for 60 frames-per-second resolution, CEA for 3D glasses and SCTE for 3D content over cable.

Content is also a critical driver. Although consumers will expect quality similar to the blockbuster movie Avatar, achieving an equivalent immersive experience will depend on content availability, among other factors.

Cognizant of this fact, content providers and broadcasters alike are pooling their efforts to develop 3D content availability and service plans. Already, ESPN has declared its plans to launch the world's first 3D network, while Walt Disney and Sony both have announced 3D Blu-ray title releases for 2010.

A third issue concerns the use of 3D glasses or eyewear: 3D glasses are among the most common 3D TV bundles preferred by consumers, aside from 3D Blu-ray players and 3D Blu-ray movies.

While TV manufacturers might throw in one or even two pairs of 3D glasses to sweeten a 3D TV purchase, additional glasses to accommodate more viewers - either other family members or guests to share the 3D viewing experience - could be expensive. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that 3D glasses will be interoperable among brands - that 3D eyewear bundled or purchased with a particular TV will work with another.

Technology for watching 3D TV without glasses is at least several years away, analysts say.

Concern also has been expressed about potential health hazards posed by viewing 3D TV content. Samsung Electronics has cautioned its Australian customers, for instance, about potential dizziness, motion sickness and disorientation.

Likewise, a research group at the University of California in Berkeley has confirmed the phenomenon of vergence-accommodation conflict, which can lead to fatigue, eye strain and headache. The issue results from the disparity between where the viewers' eyes focus on the screen and where in the 3D image the viewers believe they are looking.

Overall, standards will play a key role in promoting increased adoption of 3D TV in the consumer space, iSuppli believes. Because the 3D value chain from content creation to content consumption is a complex and multilayered system, standards are needed to ensure interoperability, reduce risks in product planning and foster innovation. A lack of standards, on the other hand, will create substantial uncertainty throughout the value chain, hinder 3D product development and discourage consumer adoption.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

allargon posts on June 14, 2010 12:35
Clint DeBoer, post: 725025
Yes, this is again an example of correlation doesn't equal causation. Since most new top-end TVs are going to include 3-D support, and eventually that will trickle down to even the most basic TVs, it's a good bet that the TVs will eventually permeate the market.

True Dat, Clint. They claimed to ship 2 million 3D TV's last year. However, they didn't really mention that those were Mitsubishi RPTV's that already were 3D Ready.

What I want to see is the # of 3D glasses actually sold. I bet that number was a lot lower than 2million. I bet that that # will be a lot less than 4.2 million, as well.
cwall99 posts on June 14, 2010 12:06
AccessGuy, post: 724917
I will probably be among the 78 million getting a 3D TV in 2015, if only because by that time probably every set will be 3D and the prices should have fallen quite a bit and the market will have sorted out which 3D technology is really the most cost effective. This year I will most likely update my current Sony rear-projection 1080i set (that damned bulb is still going strong after almost five years of daily use!!) to a 55 incher from either Samsung or Toshiba for around $1599, selling it in five years for around $500 and then getting one of the new sets. My next A/V receiver, however, will be 1.4a, so I won't have to upgrade that in 2015.

I'm in a similar boat. I have a 57-inch Sony RPTV that gets me 1080i. I've had it almost 8 years, and the convergence on the set is finally going. While I'm sure it's running up our electric bill and killing off a few of the remaining hours left on the set's bulbs, there are times when it takes a couple of hours for the convergence to click in after the set's been turned off, so we rarely shut down the display - we're holding out for as long as we can, though. I've gotten estimates that getting the convergence repaired will cost between $500 and $900, and that hardly seems worth it to me seeing as the bulb is also long in the tooth.

I'm thinking a Panasonic Viera 54-inch (TC-P54G20) from Best Buy (Best Buy mainly because they'll haul away my 250 pound RPTV for me for free).

My AVR has HDMI 1.2, though, so I'm thinking I'll use the analog outs on my BDP (when I get one; I'm thinking Oppo BDP-80) to feed audio into my AVR and then output video directly to the display.
AccessGuy posts on June 14, 2010 11:38
Drop by if you're ever in Bloomington

Seth=L, post: 725039
Alright, another Hoosier!

Come on over after I update my HT - sometime in late summer/early autumn.
Seth=L posts on June 11, 2010 23:09
AccessGuy, post: 724917
I will probably be among the 78 million getting a 3D TV in 2015, if only because by that time probably every set will be 3D and the prices should have fallen quite a bit and the market will have sorted out which 3D technology is really the most cost effective. This year I will most likely update my current Sony rear-projection 1080i set (that damned bulb is still going strong after almost five years of daily use!!) to a 55 incher from either Samsung or Toshiba for around $1599, selling it in five years for around $500 and then getting one of the new sets. My next A/V receiver, however, will be 1.4a, so I won't have to upgrade that in 2015.
Alright, another Hoosier!
Clint DeBoer posts on June 11, 2010 22:02
Yes, this is again an example of correlation doesn't equal causation. Since most new top-end TVs are going to include 3-D support, and eventually that will trickle down to even the most basic TVs, it's a good bet that the TVs will eventually permeate the market.
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