Set Sales to Surge in ’09

Oct 5, 2008  •  Post A Comment

With U.S. consumers expected to buy about 2 million 3-D-capable televisions this year, such TVs will account for about 5% of the total.
“It’s way in front of the consumer,” Bruce Leichtman, president of Leichtman Research Group, said of 3-D TV sales. “It may be like 1998 for HD.”
U.S. sales of 3-D-capable TVs will more than triple to 7.7 million units next year and will approach the 30 million mark by 2012, according to Chris Chinnock, president of consultant Insight Media.
Leading the charge is Samsung, which produced almost one out of every five sets sold in North America during the second quarter. Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Royal Philips and others plan to follow suit.
In January, Samsung unveiled two lines of 3-D-capable plasma high-definition TVs with screen sizes ranging from 42 inches to 58 inches and prices starting at about $900. More recently, Panasonic upped the ante with a home theater system that includes a 103-inch TV and a Blu-ray player.
Additionally, Philips said at last week’s 3-D Biz Expo in Los Angeles that it would use the technology for its autostereoscopic (no glasses required) 56-inch displays made for business conferences to develop similar displays for consumers within a few years.
While all of the current 3-D-capable sets require that the content be preformatted, either through a computer or a converter box, those TVs will gradually be replaced by models that can handle 3-D content from a myriad of sources without preformatting, Mr. Chinnock said.
“Everything will have to be embedded inside the display,” said Richard LaBerge, executive vice president at 3-D technology developer Sensio Technologies, speaking at the 3-D Biz conference. “You have to buy a 3-D-rated TV, so why not put everything in there?”


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