May 6, 2011

3D TV Sales Could Soar Almost 500 Percent In 2011

Last year, consumers were not impressed with the new 3D TV technology, and were turned off by the high prices and lack of content.

This year, TV makers are pushing 3D to consumers harder than ever, and with lower prices and availability of content, shipments of 3D sets will most likely increase to 463%. That means 23.4 million units will be shipped this year, up from last year's 4.2 million, according to IHS iSuppli.

Projected numbers in the years ahead has shipment of 3D units climbing by 132% in 2012 with 52 million units; sales could rise by about 159.2 million screens.

In addition, TV makers will be tweaking their marketing strategy this year to increase sales. Instead of presenting 3D as a must-have feature, manufacturers are marketing it more as a desirable option, says IHS iSuppli. With this new approach, companies hope to convince customers to "future-proof" any new TVs they purchase by opting for 3D compatibility as a feature that can be used when they are ready.

"In a major recalibration effort, television brands are changing strategies this year following lukewarm response to 3D in 2010 when consumers balked at the high price of sets and the lack of 3D content," says Riddhi Patel, director for television systems and retail services at IHS.

"In 2011, however, brands are marketing 3D not as a must-have technology but as a desirable feature, similar to the approach they have taken with Internet connectivity."

And prices on 3D TVs have dropped by 9% in March from February. Over the next year, IHS iSuppli predicts that prices will continue to fall as manufacturers try to reach out to consumers of different economic backgrounds.

In regards to actual content, 3D TV services in both the U.S. and the U.K. was launched last year. This added up to approximately 80 live sources for broadcast and pay-TV 3D programming, reports CNET.

This year, it is more than likely that 3D will be available for programs such as sporting events, films, documentaries, and prime-time shows, says IHS iSupply.

Furthermore, 3D TV producers will offer a choice in 3D glasses. In the past, viewers had to endure clumsy glasses, but soon the industry will offer two choices: active shutter glasses that offer better picture quality and a new model called passive Film Patterned Retarder, which will come in smaller sizes and cost less, reports CNET.

Overtime, manufacturers' push towards 3D TV will give consumers who are reluctant to switch to the new technology even fewer choices when it comes to buying a new set in the future.

IHS iSuppli says that the share of global flat-panel TV market captured by 3D TVs will continue to grow to 11% this year and 22% next year; this up from 2% just last year. And by 2015, the new 3D TVs will dominate with 52% of flat-panel shipment.

According to CNET's FAQ about 3D TVs, "If you're buying a larger model and/or shopping at the middle to high end of TV makers' product lines...3D may be an inevitable feature. In 2011 most such TVs will be "3D-ready," meaning that they won't include active glasses but will display 3D given the right gear and content."

"More importantly, it will be difficult to find such TVs that don't do 3D, and some makers, like Vizio with its passive models, have announced 3D models at relatively low price points in their lineups."


On the Net: