Oct 05 2009
While 3DTV has its skeptics, the giants in the consumer electronics industry see huge potential, according to a new report from GigaOM Pro. As HDTV manufacturers face shrinking margins and a maturing market, big players like Sony and Panasonic see 3DTV as the way to rejuvenate their TV business. While the market is only in its infancy today, by 2013 up to 46 million 3DTV capable flat-panel HDTVs will head to consumer homes.
“While the initial shipments of flat-panel 3DTVs will be small in 2010 due to premium pricing strategies by the large TV manufacturers, volumes are likely to grow quickly in just a few short years as manufacturers begin to implement 3-D as a standard feature across their HD flat-panel product lines,” said Alfred Poor, author of the report and publisher of the HDTV Almanac.
As 3-D becomes a standard feature with just a slight cost premium in coming years — just as 120 Hz is today — many consumers will opt for 3D-capable TVs even if the majority of the content they watch will be 2-D. However, as content owners and pay-TV operators convert large portions of their back-catalogs of content to 3-D, it’s likely many consumers will watch more and more of their favorite shows and movies in 3-D.
“Just as many consumers are voting with their wallets today for the 3-D version of their favorite movies in the theater, we expect over time that many will choose 3-D for their favorite shows and movies at home as well,” said Poor. “The latest movies and shows will become available in 3-D on Blu-ray, Pay-TV channels and even streaming online, which will help drive consumer adoption of 3D-capable TVs as prices drop in coming years.”
Another significant factor will be the widespread availability of lower-cost active glasses for 3-D viewing. To date, the low number of glasses hasn’t yet resulted in necessary scale in manufacturing to lower their average selling price. In the future, however, high-volumes of 3DTVs will result in the need for millions of glasses, driving down the cost of glasses for the home.