3-D TV set shipments to reach 91 million in 2014, DisplaySearch says

If consumers are to find value in owning a 3-D TV set, they will do so based on the availability of 3-D content, something in short supply and an impediment to adoption, according to research firm DisplaySearch.

According to DisplaySearch’s “Quarterly TV Design and Features Report,” total 3-D set shipments worldwide were expected to reach 3.2 million, a figure that is a bit disappointing despite reflecting some progress.

“TV manufacturers really got ahead of themselves in 2010, and they forgot that a TV is a tool to watch content,” said Paul Gray, director of TV electronics research at DisplaySearch. “People will only buy a 3-D TV if there is enough content to watch, and in 2010, there simply was not enough 3-D content available. As a result, only 4 percent of TVs 40in and larger had 3-D capabilities.”

For example, according to DisplaySearch, only 40 3-D Blu-ray titles across all genres were available as of the end of 2010.

However, despite limited 3-D content availability, display manufacturers are feeling competitive pressure to make 3-D a compulsory feature; as a result, shipments are expected to climb. DisplaySearch forecasts that about 18 million 3-D TV sets will be shipped this year, and by 2013, more than 91 million will ship. In the view of Gray, the makers of TV sets expect their strong commitment to 3-D to encourage the creation of more 3-D content.