The world has seen 3D television come and go a couple separate times now. During the 1980’s there were those red and blue cardboard fashion statements and then, a 3D IMAX craze that briefly came around during the late 1990’s. But now, with the recent explosion in 3D HDTVs, many are left wondering: Will the latest round of 3D viewing be accepted or will it merely become a trend like its predecessors?
With recent advances in television manufacturing this third round of 3D may just do the trick. In a recently published Video/Display Market Tracker by Databeans, television sales are forecasted to increase heavily in the next five years. The research firm forecasts a 21 percent compound annual growth rate in television revenue over the next half decade. The largest region of consumption is Asia/Pacific, where total display semiconductor revenue is expected to increase to $17 billion dollars by the end of 2012. The total revenue of this region is larger than the other three regions combined, which means that this market will have a strong influence on its acceptability. Not only is most manufacturing taking place in this region, but domestic demand is climbing significantly
The emerging interest in 3D viewing has been created by a full consumer market immersion. Today almost every movie comes out in 3D format, which can then be bought on DVD to watch on your new 3D television, as well as a new accompanying 3D videogame system (Namely the Nintendo 3DS) for the kids. By having a strong presence in numerous consumer markets it appears that 3D viewing might be here to stay. Many companies like DIRECTV and Dish Network are arriving with numerous 3D channels available and the amount of this content will only continue to increase over time. Also new advances in televisions add to consumer appeal for these products. For example, new releases from Samsung, Sony and Visio offer very large sized televisions with internet and media capabilities. This allows users to stream programming from the internet, have Skype calls and check their work email without leaving the couch. And it’s not just television; HTC just released the EVO 3D phone onto their network. It has two cameras to create retinal disparity and the 3D illusion. It’s quite advanced, but to semiconductor manufacturers, this trend probably only means double the chip sales for a phone with dual cameras.
But even so, there really is only one final hurdle to cross before this market catapults forward into mass adoption, and it is the 3D glasses. Consumers still report that glasses are the biggest drawback to 3D viewing, no matter how much they look like Ray-Ban’s. At the moment, most consumers prefer passive glasses, thanks to their much lower costs and similar image quality, and many manufacturers are going away from active battery powered glasses to support this preference. It is expected that when the technology for 3D television without glasses becomes available the market will be much more widely accepted. Passive or active, glasses or no, one thing is certain: semiconductors in video and display electronics will continue to grow quickly worldwide with the advancement of smart and 3D television applications.
Worldwide 3D Television Market Forecast