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3D LCD TV Q2 Panel Shipments Increase 124%

30 Aug, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Surge underscores targeted 53% growth in 3D LCD TV shipments in the third quarter fueled by declining costs for related 3D technologies, including active shutter eyewear

Shipments of 3D-capable LCD panel screens jumped 124% in the second quarter to 5.2 million units, of which 4.9 million units were earmarked for LCD televisions, according to a new report. 3D penetration in LCD TVs increased 9.3% in the second quarter from 4.5% in Q1.

The data from DisplaySearch’s Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report underscores a growing, albeit slowly, market for 3DTV, which has been hamstrung by high unit prices, pricy eyewear, safety concerns, a dearth of 3D Blu-ray content and the lingering recession.

For LCD TVs, larger panel sizes are seeing faster penetration of 3D, as the benefits are clearer. In 40-inch and larger LCD TV panel shipments, 3D penetration increased from 12.7% in Q1 to 21.7% in Q2. TV panel makers are aiming to reach 28.2% in the third quarter.

In terms of 3D LCD TV technologies, shutter glass still is dominating the market, with 61% in Q2. However, pattern retarder panels are growing rapidly, with 271% year-over-year growth rate in Q2, compared with 74% growth of shutter glass-type panels. According to panel makers’ production plans, pattern retarder panel shipments will reach those of shutter glass panels in Q3.

Film-type patterned retarder technology shows left and right images via different patterns on special film stock. As a result, 3D glasses don’t require batteries, are lighter and less expensive than active-shutter models.

Active-shutter glasses display images alternately for the left and right eye by blocking the signal sequentially on each eye. This flickering, combined with the heavier glasses and increased cost, has been linked to eye health concerns and sluggish home adoption of 3D.

“Although there are still doubts about whether the market is ready for 3D, 3D penetration is increasing due to falling prices and the ability to produce panels,” said David Hsieh, VP of greater China market with DisplaySearch. “3D is not only for high-end products; we are starting to see panel makers develop cost-effective 3D, such as 60 Hz refresh rate with signal simulation or lower frequency with blinking backlight units, which are targeted at affordability and will be critical in encouraging 3D adoption.”


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