Between the Lines at NAB and Beyond

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By David Keene

As we head to NAB, 3D is going to once again be all over the media. Is it all consumer-market hype? There are a couple of things to watch: One, don’t discount hot technologies from the consumer side hugely impacting the professional display industry and protocols for the delivery of content (i.e. the mobile content and smartphone revolution). Second: 3D on flat panels will be the buzz at NAB, but remember that there is a big price premium at this point on 3D capable flat panel systems, while doing 3D on a single DLP video projector involves a negligible price premium– you probably won't here that news or analysis from NAB, but it's important, and as a firm believer in the role of projection for digital signage, it will be a big factor.

Back to the consumer trend….. just released from DisplaySearch today:

“With the first round of 3D-capable TVs now reaching retail floors and plans for the top TV manufacturers to bring more products to market soon, DisplaySearch has increased its 2010 forecast for 3D-capable TV shipments. According to the latest Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, the market is forecast to grow from 2.5 million 3D-capable TVs shipped in 2010 to 27 million sets in 2013.

“In 2009, we saw the first 3D-capable TVs, with the market greatly accelerating at CES 2010. Now we are seeing the hype turning into real products,” said Paul Gray, Director of TV Electronics Research. “The key issue will be how consumers react to the initial product launch, and what the industry will learn from the feedback of early adopters. Complications in the TV supply chain—especially 3D content shortages—remain the biggest hurdles to overcome.”

The 3D-capable TV market will be dominated in its early years by developed regions, with North American shipments accounting for more than half of shipments in 2010. “3D makes the most sense with the largest screen sizes, combined with a more developed Blu-ray Disc market and 3D broadcast services. For this reason, we expect North America to be the most favorable region for initial 3D development,” noted Gray.

The video processing and extra display performance required for 3D remain relatively costly compared to entry-level models. As a result, 3D is constrained by the penetration of double or quadruple frame rate sets in the market. While 3D is forecast to show rapid growth, DisplaySearch research indicates that only 27% of 40” or larger sets shipped in 2013 will be 3D-capable. Furthermore, Blu-ray Disc and HD broadcast have low penetration in Western Europe, and as a result there remains a content gap that needs to be filled before 3D can flourish.

The DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report is a quarterly update of the issues and fast-moving feature development in TV sets. The 200+ page report examines and forecasts video processor and signal processing IC market development, including 100/120 and 200/240 Hz frame rates and market shares for major IC vendors. In addition, the report features forecasting for MPEG-4 decoding and the digital broadcast environment around the world; TV connectivity, such as wired and wireless networked TVs; LED backlighting; 3D capability and implementation; remote controls and chassis design; and power consumption. In Q1’10 the report also includes details of key featuring of new models launched by leading set makers. The Quarterly TV Design and Features Report is the only report to combine all these aspects of a fast-moving market and to examine how they interact, and it is complete with a database of TV set features for over 200 models in low, mid and high positions in major regional markets.

Learn more about the 3D TV market during at the SID DisplaySearch Business Conference on May 24 during SID Display Week in Seattle, Washington. For more information, visit www.displaysearch.com/events.


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