August 10, 2010
| by Robert Archer
Based on the numbers just released by Pacific Media Associates (PMA), the influx of 3D video equipment into the world of consumer electronics will be more than just a fad.
The Menio Park, Calif.-based research company says that its just completed study on the 3D market concludes that there will be more than 5.4 million 3D-ready projectors on the market by 2014.
Taking a closer look at some of the trends that may develop as part of this increase in product sales, PMA says that most of the 5.4 million projectors will employ Texas Instruments’ (TI) Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology because of the technology’s compatibility with the 3D video reproduction process. “PMA forecast that the lion’s share of annual shipments will be those models incorporating TI’s DLP technology because it takes very little additional effort or cost to make those models 3D-ready,” says Dr. William Coggshall, president of PMA.
“Being 3D-ready does not mean that a projector will actually be used in a 3D mode. Initial expectations by projector industry participants centered on the education market because of its overall importance. And certainly 3D can offer big gains in both comprehension for certain subjects and student attention capturing. Education budgets are however, always under pressure and the cost of the total solution, which can include relatively expensive glasses and content can be high.”
Coggshall adds that because of the associated costs of building a complete 3D video system, many of the 3D-ready projectors sold into the market will be used to display traditional 2D content and it may be consumer activities that drive the adoption of the format. “In the immediate future it appears to us at PMA that consumer-oriented markets for gaming, TV [sports] and movies will get more attention than education,” he suggests.
“The demand for 3D digital cinema currently outstrips supply, so if projector makers can leverage that to boost sales of home theater models, the projector business will benefit. Moreover, the high price of 3D-enabled flat-panel TVs compared with front projectors means that ardent gamers could choose projectors.”
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.