According to the new Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report from DisplaySearch, the global shipments of 3D-capable panels for use in HDTVs grew to 4.9 million units in the second quarter of 2011, which is a 118% increase over the first quarter of the year.
As the DisplaySearch analysis points out, “the LCD TV panel industry has been in oversupply for more than a year.” 3D support is one way to build more value into a panel, in hopes of getting more revenue from its sale. The fact is, however, that prices continue to fall, and 3D support is becoming more commonplace among HDTV models. The penetration of 3D support in panels 40″ and larger increased from 12.7% in the first quarter to 21.7% in the second quarter, according to DisplaySearch. For 55″ panels, nearly one out of every two panels shipped had 3D support.
The take-away here is that if you’re planning to buy a new HDTV this fall — especially if it will be 40″ or larger — now is the time to start thinking about getting a 3D model. It will still work fine with 2D content, and the plummeting premium for 3D support means that you can add it for just dollars a month if you consider the set’s estimated 10-year life span. I’ve already decided that our next set will have 3D.