What Does The Growth in 3D TV Sales Mean?

NPD's DisplaySearch says that more 3D TVs are on the way.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday were filled with a lot of HDTV sales — and yes, a lot of those HDTVs were also 3D TVs. However, people aren’t just looking for 3D during the holidays. NPD DisplaySearch says that more 3D TVs are filling the market than ever before.

The company’s new report titled, “NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report – Advanced LED + 3D,” says that 6.6 million 3D LCD TVs shipped in the third quarter of 2011. This is a 27 percent increase over the last quarter. That number is expected to rise again in the fourth quarter, with NPD saying that a total of 21.5 million 3D TVs will ship in 2011.

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Of course, that’s probably because the cost of the 3D premium has really dropped a lot over the past year.

“The TFT LCD industry has been in oversupply for six consecutive quarters, which has influenced the price premium for 3D panels,” says David Hsieh, VP of the Greater China market for NPD DisplaySearch. “While there are still many questions about the lack of 3D content and services, as well as end-users’ needs, LCD TV panel makers have been strongly promoting 3D through lower prices and the introduction of new, cost-effective technologies.”

As Big Picture Big Sound recently noted, the price gap between 3D and non-3D sets has narrowed down to as little as $10. So why not go for the extra features? That said, as CNET points out, that added functionality doesn’t necessarily translate into people clamoring for 3D or even using the features once they have them. That could change, though, if more 3D content becomes available.

NPD says that further 3D adoption could actually lead to more 3D content for the mainstream, adding that manufacturers are hoping that new low-cost 3D solutions will help 3D take 20 percent of the LCD TV market by this time next year.

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