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Analyst increases 3D Shipment Projections

As the initial round of 3D-capable HDTV units begin reaching retailers this month — and ambitious rollout plans already announced by several other makers — DisplaySearch says it will increase its 2010 forecast for 3D shipments.

According to its new "Quarterly TV Design and Features Report," the industry analyst said the market is now forecast to grow from 2.5 million 3D-capable TVs shipped this calendar year to 27 million units in 2013.

"Now we are seeing the hype turning into real products," said DisplaySearch, and "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."

North American shipments will dominant the early rollout of 3D units (much as it did for digital HD) and account for more than half of all 3D-capable shipments in 2010. According to the analyst, "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."

Still, some stumbling blocks remain, mostly on price points. DisplaySearch points out that video processing and extra display performance inherently required for 3D remain relatively costly at the production level. Thus, 3D will be 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 still only about one-quarter of larger sets (40 inches or more) shipped in 2013 will be 3D-capable.