The worldwide economic downturn put a damper on consumer demand for televisions, according to NPD DisplaySearch’s Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report. High inventory levels meant that shipments for 2011 are exepected to be flat compared with 2010. The good news is that there are signs of improvement, and the forecast is for a modest increase of 2% in 2012, reaching 254 million units.
[Source: NPD DisplaySearch Advanced Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report]
The report cites a number of interesting findings. As the price gap between LCD and plasma shrinks, consumers favor the LCD choices. As a result, the forecast is for plasma unit shipments to decline much more rapidly over the next few years than had been predicted recently. As the price for 50″ sets fall below $1,000, demand for the larger sizes will increase rapidly.
Perhaps the most interesting finding, however, is the growing popularity of LED backlights for LCD HDTVs. Their share of the LCD shipments is expected to be about 46% for 2011, but will jump to nearly 68% for 2012. This is probably driven by a combination of factors, including dropping prices for the individual LEDs, increased power efficiency, and more attractive form factors that result in a thinner and lighter TV set. By 2014, DisplaySearch predicts that fluorescent backlights for LCDs will be less than 10% of the LCD HDTV market.
So if you’re going to be in the market for a new flatscreen television this year, chances are excellent that you’ll end up with an LCD HDTV that has an LED backlight.