Although consumers have started to buy 3D TVs, a number of challenges — including standardization, content availability and interoperability — must be resolved before the technology can take off, iSuppli Corp said.
Worldwide shipments of 3D TVs, which were introduced to the market in March, are expected to reach 4.2 million units by the year’s end, thanks to increasing acceptance from early adopters, the US research firm said in a report this week.
Global 3D TV shipments will triple to 12.9 million units next year and more than double to 27.4 million units in 2012, it predicted.
In 2015, 3D TV shipments are expected to reach 78.1 million units, a compound annual growth rate of 80.2 percent from this year.
“The majority of 3D TV sales this year will occur in mature television regions, such as the US, Japan and Western Europe,” the report said, adding that South Korea and Australia have rolled out 3D trials.
“Although robust growth of 3D TV sales appears to be assured during the next few years, mass consumer acceptance will not come until three critical issues are resolved. These are standardization, content availability and interoperability of the 3D glasses,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst at iSuppli.
In the case of standards, the Blu-ray standard for 3D TV establishing 1080p 3D to each eye was set last year.
However, other standards are still being worked out to ensure a successful rollout, including HDMI 1.4 for a variety of 3D formats, SMPTE for 60 frames-per-second resolution, CEA for 3D glasses and SCTE for 3D content over cable.
Content is another critical driver, iSuppli said.
Fortunately, a handful of content providers and broadcasters such as ESPN and Walt Disney Co are pooling their efforts to develop 3D content availability and service plans, it added.
Concern has also been expressed about potential health hazards from viewing 3D TV content. Samsung Electronics Co, for instance, has cautioned its Australian customers about dizziness, motion sickness and disorientation, the report said.