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Largest market will be mobile phone displays

CES is here and one of the most interesting technologies to be seen at the show this year will be 3D-ready TVs and other gear. The home theater market is set to boom with a glut of new 3D devices coming soon that will usher 3D movies and broadcast programming into homes.

DisplaySearch has released its latest statistics that forecasts the revenue from 3D-ready displays to reach a staggering $22 billion by 2018. 3D-ready TV shipments are predicted to hit 64 million units in the same time frame. In 2008, the market for 3D stereoscopic displays was 700,000 units and the revenue for the market was only $902 million. The predicted growth shows a compound annual growth rate of 38% for revenue and 75% for units shipped.

DisplaySearch breaks the numbers down by product group as well. The research firm predicts that 3D-ready monitors will grow from 40,000 units shipped in 2009 to 10 million units shipped in 2018. 3D notebooks will also grow significantly from 66,000 units in 2009 to 17.7 million in 2018. It's hard to imagine 3D on mobile phones today, but DisplaySearch predicts that 71 million mobile phones with 3D capability will ship by 2018. If the prediction comes true, mobile phones will be the largest category in the 3D market.

The huge number of 3D mobile phone shipments will make the 1 to 4+ inch screen size the largest market with the second largest screen size group ranging from 40-49" for TVs. LCD technology will be the predominant technology used in 3D screens and eyewear is predicted to be needed in most applications. Over 7,000 new 3D cinema screens are expected to be installed in 2010 and an additional 9,000 screens will be installed in 2011. DisplaySearch predicted late in December that the LCD TV market would return to growth in 2010 mainly on the back of new technologies like 3D.

"3D displays are taking off with consumers due to increasing availability of 3D content. In addition, 3D standardization has also been addressed or is being evaluated in several 3D organizations," noted Jennifer Colegrove, Director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch. "A number of manufacturers of consumer electronics devices, including TVs, monitors, notebooks, Blu-ray disc players, and digital cameras/camcorders/photo frames have aggressively promoted 3D in the home. In addition to consumer use of 3D displays, the technology has also been used for many professional applications and advertisement/public displays."

One key ingredient needed for 3D TVs to penetrate the market is 3D programming. 3D Blu-ray is one of the big technologies being displayed at CES later this week. The satellite that DirecTV recently launched will also have a dedicated channel that broadcasts in 3D. In addition to a single 3D channel, the satellite will also enable over 200 national HD channels to be broadcast to the entire country including Alaska and Hawaii. Some of the new HD channels will broadcast in full 1080p resolution as well. DirecTV has no plans for additional satellites at this time.

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RE: Non-starter
By SavagePotato on 1/4/2010 10:59:27 AM , Rating: 1
Having just viewed avatar in 3d, I found the effect distracting more than anything.

I wouldn't go out of my way to watch something at home or play a game in 3d.

RE: Non-starter
By Aloonatic on 1/4/2010 11:33:18 AM , Rating: 5
I think the main problem that you have at the moment is that directors and writers have not learnt how to best use the idea of 3D as a way of telling a story, setting the scnen etc.

At the moment all that seems to happen is that (in order to make the 3D "worth while") they crow bar a scene where something flies towards the screen or something. That's just silly of course, it's like making a film in colour for the first time but making everything flash and change colour just because it's available as an "effect".

Eventually, someone new will come along, who has not been working in 2D all their life, and make 3D work. Until then, it's a waste of time it seems.

Gaming could be good though.

RE: Non-starter
By Mitch101 on 1/4/2010 3:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well said. I feel the same in that most directors say were going to release this in 3d we need some things to fly into the audiences face to remind them. Putting the emphasis of 3d on the props. Most 3d movies are like this. Having seen Avatar I dont feel the movie tried to do that but tried to emphasize the 3d on the environment instead of the props immersing you into the environment. I see 3D as an immersion tool to make you feel like your there witnessing the event.

Now 3D in the home has some problems and part of the problem lies in people at home buying the next size up from their previous TV sitting 15' away with a surround sound system calling it a home theater. That's home television with good sound. Don't get me wrong its enjoyable but to get the full effect you need to have the screen take up a large portion of your visual space.

I would love a half sphere movie theater.

RE: Non-starter
By TypQxQ on 1/4/2010 11:49:11 AM , Rating: 3
I don't know about you but Avatar was the first 3D I've seen except for those IMAX short movies and I was BLOWN AWAY...
I really consider watching all upcoming movies in 3D. It's not revolutionary but enough a difference.
It's like surround sound, you don't miss it, but it adds to the experience.
I prefer viewing a movie in 3D like I prefer THX class surround over Stereo or 1080p over 720p.

RE: Non-starter
By SavagePotato on 1/4/2010 1:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it was better in imax, this was just digital 3d, the imax shows were sold out for the night by the time we arrived.

There were the few odd times it was neat when something came flying toward the screen and involuntarily cause me to move my head to the side. But overall it was distracting and seemed to cause focus issues.

Maybe it was where I was seated or the quality of the theater.

RE: Non-starter
By rudy on 1/5/2010 12:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
Same here I did not like focusing and had trouble keeping my eyes from fatigue something just wasnt right. This cannot be the 3d that takes over.

RE: Non-starter
By Oregonian2 on 1/4/2010 1:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, 3D is something that's absolutely great when it's NOT being used as a gimmick and stuff being thrown at the audience.

3D is part of normal vision. People see color, people see 3D in real life. Having movies which are supposed to give viewers 'alternate realities' for a couple hours needs to be 3D to "do it right". Yes, there still are B&W movies, and in the same way there still will be 2D movies.

But I'll say that when I snap photographs, I do it in 3D and have for about 30 years.

It's simple: my eyes work in 3D, I like them to continue doing so when in the movies or looking at photographs.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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