TV industry tries to plug shipment gap with 3D

Expectations for global TV shipments have been cut by three percent as demand for LCD screens in developed nations drops.

DisplaySearch lowered overall unit shipments expectations to 252 million units. With many having already upgraded to flat panel sets from CRT, there’s less interest in spending the cash on upgrades.

This means that in North America, growth of four percent in 2010 will slow to just a two percent shipment increase.  In Western Europe, there will be a 1.5 percent reduction in shipments.

The most significant decline will be in Japan, where government incentive-led demand saw massive growth over the past few years.  Analaysts are now expecting a 40 percent decline, though a move to a digital-only broadcast could help.

The canny TV industry has a few tricks up its sleeves to cajole consumers in developed countries to part with their money.

Of course, we’re talking about 3D.

Despite a lack of interest from much of the public, it’s clear there will be no shortfall in attempts to foist the technology on consumers.

Whether the technology is sufficiently developed or not is irrelevant, the cashcow that is 3D will continue increasingly large shipment numbers – though, now, there is less emphasis on 3D as the sole selling point.

DisplaySearch thinks there is “some consumer confusion” about 3D. We guess it stems from why anyone should part with large wads of cash for an overly expensive set, only to wear annoying glasses to watch below-standard content.

Nevertheless, 3D sets are expected to account for about 20 million shipments this year, continuing into an expected rise of 100 million in 2015. The TV industry is making new 3D tellies the default as they all fight for market share.

This will eventually mean that around 84 percent of big TVs, 40 inches or over, will feature 3D as standard by 2015.

Of the total shipments this year 3D will account for 8 percent.

Meanwhile, LED backlights are expected to account for roughly 46 percent of LCD shipments.

Such developments are likely to keep the LCD TV prices relatively stable over 2011, though a seven percent drop year-on-year is expected.

LCD will stay well ahead in the TV market – increasing its share to 84 percent of the overall market.

Shipments will jump from 192 million last year to 210 million this year. However, this is lower than some forecasts.

While LCD TVs will continue to dominate the market, there is still some room for plasma screens, though it continues to shrink. This is largely in the higher screen sizes, with focus shifting from the 40-49 inch size to over 50 inches.

The seven percent share of the market will drop under five percent by 2015, though plasma screens will continue to account for about half of 50 inch screens up until this point.

Newcomer OLED will attempt to push its way into the 40 inch segment, but with few manufacturers involved it will remain exorbitantly priced, only growing to about two percent of that segment by 2015.

Emerging regions are expected to see strong growth as LCD screens remain popular.

China, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Middle East/Africa will average around 17 percent growth per year. Comparatively developed regions will, on average, see no growth.

This will mean that China will eventually become the world’s biggest flat panel TV market, with over 46 million units shipped this year.