Global 3DTV Sales Forecast To Hit 91m By 2014, But 3D Content Is Key

Ryan Bozeman

It’s no secret that the television industry are pinning their hopes on 3D TV displays to persuade consumers to part with their money and upgrade their existing HDTV sets. Following the success of 3D movies like Avatar 3D, TV manufacturers took note, and have been fervently pushing 3D-ready and 3D-capable televisions over the course of last year. However, the amount of available 3D content will be a key factor in determining how popular these 3D TVs actually become.

3D content

In this early stage of 3D television taking off, many TV makers overestimated the stream of available 3D content following the release of several successful 3D movies. It actually takes time to shoot and produce videos with convincing 3D effects, which caught out many companies because the availability of 3D content lagged severely behind that of 3DTV sets. According to market research firm DisplaySearch, a total of 3.2 million 3D TVs were shipped globally in 2010, and that number is expected to grow to as many as 91 million by the year 2014.

The forecast came from DisplaySearch’s Quarterly TV Design and Features report. The report also revealed that 21% of all televisions that were shipped in 2010 had internet connectivity features built in. With all of the attention that has been placed on internet-enabled television (IETV) sets in recent months, you can expect that number to rise alongside the number of 3D-ready televisions that are shipped each year.

The report was over 200 pages long and examined the TV sector in whole, paying close attention to emerging trends in an industry that has seen unprecedented innovation in recent times. Web-connected TVs and 3D TVs are two of the biggest trends, but both will be reliant on the content that is made available. To put it simply, 3D TV sets will be largely redundant without 3D content to play on them. Internet-connected televisions might be able to survive without too much free content being delivered to them (widespread broadband availability alone should drive their growth), but it would certainly help.