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100 Million 3D HDTVs Sold by 2014

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DisplaySearch has released some interesting findings and predictions in their latest quarterly report.

First, plasma televisions have gone through a serious turnaround in sales.  In 2009, they had a year over year growth rate of negative 1.5%.  In 2010, that figure jumped to a positive 30% growth in sales.  While DisplaySearch is predicting the popularity of Plasma HDTVs to diminish by the second half of 2011 in favor of LCD panels, it's unclear what this is based on.  For example, in 2010, the Panasonic Viera 3D HDTVs were consistently rated as the best 2D HDTVs because of their dark blacks and diverse color gamut.  Whether or not 3D is a factor, plasma may have competitive advantages that LCD can't yet duplicate.  We will have to wait and see.

DisplaySearch also spotted a second trend.  3D is definitely going to be a standard feature in more and more upcoming sets.  So while 3D accounted for just 10% of Q4’10 global TV revenues, and over 2M units, it is expected to rise to more than 50% of revenues and 100M units worldwide by 2014.  Does this mean more sets will be sold because of 3D?  Not necessarily, especially if the televisions are being marketed for their 2D advantages.  However, this could be a major boon for 3D content makers like game developers and movie makers as customers discover the benefits of 3D - even if 3D wasn't researched in advance of purchase.

We can also kiss the 3D limitation to premium grade HDTVs goodbye.  Initially, DisplaySearch expects the penetration of 3D to be highest among full-featured sets that account for 30% of 120Hz+ LCD TVs.  However, 3D is also getting introduced to more basic and introductory HDTV models (e.g. 720P units).

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