3D TV declines in North America, gains elsewhere


In its Quarterly TV Design and Features Report for Q4, NPD DisplaySearch found widely diverging TV product ranges across the world. For 3D sets, the most robust sales were fund to be Western Europe and China, sales of 3D in North America actually declined.

“We were surprised to find that 3D appears to be a far more popular feature in China than North America, and the penetration rate was two times higher in the last quarter,” Paul Gray, Director of TV Electronics Research, NPD DisplaySearch said. “Our report also indicates that North American and Japanese 3D penetration is lower than the Middle East.”

It could be reflective of the economy here in the states: The report finds consumers in the North American market favor large, inexpensive TV sets with fewer features, unlike other regions. Meanwhile, increasingly wealthy Chinese consumers are enthusiastic about richly-featured sets with 3D, LED backlighting and smart TV capabilities.

3D Penetration as a Percentage of TVs Shipped

Smart TV
The growth of smart TV in different regions and reveals several emerging markets where fixed broadband appears to be leapfrogged by consumers. In Saudi Arabia, Poland, the Philippines and Indonesia, there are 10 to 15 times as many 3G subscribers as broadband. These consumers still want to view internet video on their TVs, but the usage is totally different in developed markets where the TV is connected directly to a wired broadband line.

Global DTV rollout
Developed countries have introduced digital terrestrial and completed their analog switch-off and now a second generation of digital broadcast (DVB-T2) is now being adopted in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The study found that a critical mass of countries have now adopted or committed to DVB-T2 with shipments of appropriately enabled sets expected to grow from 3.4 million in 2011 to 64.7 million units by 2015. The report finds the new digital transmission technology is not only being introduced in mature markets like the UK and Sweden, but also in Nigeria and Kenya.

”By 2015 the number of DVB-T and DVB-T2 sets shipped will be equal,” added Gray. “The decision by the Russian and Indian governments to move to T2 has given the industry a huge boost in confidence, and it will kick-start a virtuous cycle of rapid adoption and cost reduction.”

TV Shipment Forecast by Digital Decoding Types

3D Standardization
As we have reported, getting a 3D standard rolled out is still in the works. However, in October, the global DVB Steering Board approved the commercial requirements for a second 3D TV delivery system, the so called ‘Service Compatible’ solution, termed DVB-3DTV ‘Phase 2a, which is required by content deliverers so that both 2D and 3D versions of a program can be broadcast within the same video signal. The net result will be that new 3D TVs and next-generation STBs can receive 3D programs, while consumers with existing 2D HDTV receivers and set-top boxes can watch the 2D version. This is a great start and when it gets incorporated into new sets and rolled out into the marketplace, it should accelerate adoption—especially if it drives down the price points.