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Shipments of 3D LCD TV Panels Jump 104 Percent in Q1

Worldwide shipments of LCD 3DTV panels increased to 1.9 million units in the first quarter of 2011, representing 104 percent growth over the previous quarter, according to DisplaySearch. This growth represents a 3.9 percent penetration among all LCD TV panels shipped.

Panel manufacturers are hoping to quadruple the penetration rate to 16.8 percent by the fourth quarter of 2011 and 12.3 percent overall for the year. LCD panel makers have aggressive plans to expand LCD 3DTVs this year as they believe that 2011 will be a breakout year for the format. In the first quarter of this year, shutter glass type 3DTV panel shipments reached more than 1 million units, while pattern retarder type LCD 3DTV panel shipments were approximately 880,000.

The statistics are part of DisplaySearch’s Quarterly Large Area TFT LCD Shipment Report, which also notes that panel makers have recently guided 3D panel price premiums downward. The 3D premium in 240 Hz panels for use with shutter glasses has been reduced from over $50 in 2010 to $25 this year. Pattern retarder technology—which reduces flicker— is considered to have a higher cost premium than high frame rate panels due to difficulties in producing 3D polarizing films. As a result, some panel makers have introduced pattern retarder 3D panels with CCFL backlights, trading the LED backlight premium for the 3D premium, an approach that has had some success in the China market.

“LCD TV panel makers are leveraging 3D as an important feature to rejuvenate TV market demand, in the hope that 3D provides a new viewing experience for consumers,” noted David Hsieh, Vice President of the Greater China Market for DisplaySearch. “The addition of 3D is attractive to panel makers because the price premium can help them increase average selling prices. Of course, there are many challenges for the industry in promoting 3D LCD TVs to end users, such as inadequate 3D content, the presence of flicker or crosstalk that can cause dizziness, price, uncomfortable glasses, and confusion about different 3D technologies.”

Acknowledging that the majority of content viewed on 3DTV sets will continue to be in 2D, DisplaySearch said that some panel makers have developed high aperture pixel technology to improve vivid full HD picture quality, as well as high contrast panel technology for real blacks, even in low gray scales.

The report can be purchased here.