Pacific Media Associates, a research firm that follows large displays, said it is nearing completion of its annual North American Dealer Survey, and expects to reveal that front projection remains the preferred display for home theater installations.
“Just over 50 percent of dealers indicated that consumers believe front projection is primarily good for a true home theater experience while rear projection and flat panel TVs are more appropriate for mainstream TV programs,” said the firm.
Pacific Media also disclosed what it said were some “surprising results” that debunk “some commonly held myths about front projection in the home.” For example, it reported that only five percent of dealers surveyed said ambient light issues make front projection a hard sell, and that only 15 percent said challenges of installation and room décor make front projection a hard sell. Pacific said some dealers are addressing these issues by opening up concept stores and committing more showroom space to the category.
“Along with the impending rollout of native 1080p and 720p projectors to suit all design tastes and budgets, we expect 2006 will mark a watershed year in consumer front projection,” said the firm.
Meanwhile, Pacific reported that in July, average street prices for LCD fell below those of plasma in the 40-to-44-inch HDTV category for the first time. It also found that LCD now enjoys a 57 percent unit market share in flat panels 30 inches and larger, and a 46 percent unit market share in flat panels from 40 to 44 inches.
“We’ve seen this repeatedly in the past,” said Vice President Rosemary Abowd. “When the price of LCDs match or drop below the prices for plasma HDTVs of the same size, LCDs win. We expect that LCDs will account for the majority of unit sales in the 40-to-44-inch range soon.”
Although unit sales for flat panels were down 10 percent in July over June, they were still up 67 percent over July 2005.