CEA Cuts 3DTV Forecast for ’10


The Consumer Electronics Association
— which last month projected more
than 4 million 3DTV sets would ship this
year — is now putting the number at 1.05
million units, after narrowing the definition
of what it considers a 3D television set.

In December, the CEA had estimated 2.2
million 3DTVs would ship in 2010. Th en last
month, as part of announcing its 2010 sales
forecast at the International Consumer Electronics
Show in Las Vegas, the trade group
raised projections to more than 4 million
3DTV sets for the year.

Now the CEA is forecasting 1.05 million
units will ship to dealers, representing $2.05
billion in revenue. That implies an average
price of $1,952 per unit for 3DTVs.

CEA spokesman Steve Kidera said the
previous figures were based on a broader
definition for 3D television sets. “The new
definition clearly describes the different
display approaches inherent in today’s
3DTV sets, and the new forecast
better captures the market opportunity,”
Kidera said.

Previously, the trade group loosely
defined the 3D television category by
minimum screen-refresh rate (to be
capable of rendering left- and righteye
images), and the prior projections
encompassed HDTVs that had
refresh rates of 120 Hz or higher.

According to the CEA’s new definition,
a 3DTV is a digital television
that has HDMI 1.4 support for
a 3D video source using at least one
industry-standard format aside from anaglyph
(the old-fashioned red-and-blue stereoscopic
technique). Version 1.4 of the
HDMI spec, which became publicly available
Feb. 3, essentially adds a way for a
3DTV set to indicate its capabilities to a settop
box or DVD player.

Furthermore, a 3DTV for the CEA’s forecasting
purposes must include support for
at least one of the following 3D display approaches:
active shutter glasses through a built-in emitter, or a jack for
an accessory emitter, with
matching active shut ter
glasses available with the
product or sold separately
as an accessory; polarized
glasses through a polarized
display filter with matching
polarized glasses available
with the product or
separately as an accessory;
or an autostereoscopic
display — i.e., one that requires
no glasses — such
as those using lenticular lens
or parallax barrier technologies.

The revised CEA forecast is in line with
projections from research firm Display-
Search, a subsidiary of NPD Group, which
put 3DTV unit shipments at 1 million for
2010 and increasing to 9 million by 2012.

At CES, 3DTV was a major focus, with Panasonic,
Sony, LG Electronics, Toshiba and
Vizio announcing new 3D televisions and
Blu-ray Disc players, while programmers,
including Discovery Communications and
ESPN, touted plans for new 3D content.

ESPN is gearing up to debut a limited 3DTV
channel with
the June 11
broadcast of
the first match
of the FIFA
World Cup,
and DirecTV is
readying three
dedicated 3D
channels for
June. Discovery,
announced a
joint venture with Sony and IMAX to launch a
24-hour linear 3D service in 2011 with movies,
documentaries and children’s programming.

Some programmers are expecting the
adoption curve of 3DTV to mimic that of highdefinition. Discovery founder and chairman
John Hendricks predicted that about 5 million
households would be “early adopters”
that purchase a 3DTV set within the next 24
to 36 months, with another approximately 20
million affluent households that would subsequently
adopt the technology.