I wrote last November about DisplaySearch’s third quarter flat panel shipments for 2008, in which 120 Hz models represented 16% of the total shipments. According to the company’s report for the first quarter of 2009, just over 14% of the panels were 120 Hz, with another 4% with the new 240 Hz “quadruple frame rate” feature. Projections for 2009 predict 120 Hz panels will end up with about 16% of the total, and an additional 3% for 240 Hz. This is not much of a change from the end of last year.
(Note that the press release from DisplaySearch does not specify whether the 120 Hz refresh rate panels with a 240 Hz strobing backlight are counted as 120 0r 24o Hz panels. Since they do not create the extra frames required for 240 Hz, I don’t count such models as 240 Hz.)
According to the DisplaySearch forecasts, 40″ panels will account for one out of every four 120 Hz panels to be shipped this year, with 46″ next at 18%. For the 240 Hz models, the 40″, 46″, and 52″ sizes will make up the major share.
120 Hz models do help reduce motion blur, and in a demo I saw at SID 2009, the 240 Hz technology helps reduce it even further though it does not remove all motion artifacts entirely. The faster panels still come at a premium price, however, so I don’t expect them to start increasing their market share significantly in the near term. Only when the price differential between them and the standard 60 Hz panels shrinks will most consumers be willing to pay the extra for a sharper moving picture. And those who really care will buy plasma HDTVs instead, if they can still find them.