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3DTV Sales: Insight Media’s Global View

The research firm sees the success of the format depending on global demand

March 8, 2010 By Nancy Klosek
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The success of 3D as a consumer television format will be dependent not just on what happens in the U.S. market but also on global adoption fueled by the quantity and quality of content production. 

That was one conclusion reached by the emerging display technology market research company Insight Media, whose most recently issued 3DTV forecast report projected that 50 million 3DTVs will be sold worldwide in 2015.

“Every element in the 3D adoption chain is coming into place now,” said Insight Media president Chris Chinnock. In the near term, meaning the 2010 calendar year – for which his firm projects 3.3 million 3DTV worldwide sales – there will be limited content.  “There’s a big pipeline to fill,” he said, adding that production of quality 3D content “won’t happen that quickly. It requires a different production flow and also, the artistic form is different.”   

Worldwide 3DTV yearly sales projections leading up to 2015, Insight Media’s research shows, are as follows: for 2011, 9.9 million sets; for 2012, 17.2 million sets; for 2013, 25.3 million sets; and for 2014, 36 million sets.

Chinnock said his figures show that roughly a fifth of all worldwide 3DTV sales in 2015 – 11.7 million – will be to U.S. consumers, and that by that year, Europe (including Eastern Europe) will have the largest sales share.  He added that LCD will dominate among 3DTV format choices over the next five years, but that the technology will help the plasma format to maintain market viability.

A good jumpstart for the 3D, said Chinnock, would be the low pricing premium for 3D sets, with ticket differences between 3D and non-3D sets “manageable.” The firm further estimated that within 2010, worldwide content availability beyond physical media could include more than 15 VOD channels, 12 to 15 Internet channels, eight to 12 cable/satellite channels and one or two terrestrial broadcast channels.

As to when 3D will transition from industrywide “push” mode to consumer “pull” mode, Chinnock said based on his firm’s research, that could happen “maybe within the 2012 timeframe.”   What will move that transition along, he added, would be if the various hardware, broadcast and content producers involved in consumer 3D would be able to “create a good experience with no eye strain or discomfort.”

 

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