Tuesday, 06 June 2006 19:29

Flat TV shipments need HD content

By
IDC's latest Digital Home research, "Australia Plasma and LCD TV 2006-2010 Forecast and Analysis: The New Warzone in Consumerland" has found the LCD TV market is expected to experience a higher growth rate than the plasma market over the 2006-2010 forecast period. IDC believes LCD TV shipments will surpass plasma shipments as early as this year.  As LCD TV screen sizes increase, along with falling prices throughout the forecast period, LCD TVs will also rival the plasma form factor's traditionally dominated 42inch space.


IDC expects the combined plasma and LCD TV market to experience a five-fold increase, from 392,000 units shipped in 2005 to 1,768,000 units in 2010, cannibalising CRT and rear projection TV shipments. This growth will be driven largely by consumers increasing desire for flat displays and falling prices.

High quality content is also a major driver. Advancements in services such as HDTV broadcast and the ensuing higher adoption rates will be a strong motivator for consumers to move towards widescreen plasma and LCD TVs with HD resolutions. The emergence of next generation DVD content will, however only have a minimal impact on flat TV adoption (until the later part of the 2006-2010 forecast period), as the battle between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will leave many confused consumers to adopt a wait and see attitude. 

Going forward, given that telcos will enter the increasingly complex digital home market with triple play services, the intertwined digital services/applications and digital devices will further establish the TV as the central platform for communication in addition to home entertainment.  IDC believes this trend will drive the demand for premium TVs, such as plasma and LCD, as the TV will become an important platform and the centre point where all family members interact.

"IPTV will mark the beginning of telco-CE convergence, whereby the telco-delivered "intelligent" set-top box can become the single point of entry for entertainment and communication services.  This will encourage the TV to become an interactive platform for both entertainment and communications via IP," said Ms Sophie Lo, IDC Analyst for Consumer Digital Markets.

In 2005, the primary theme of the flat TV market was one of plummeting prices, driven by new entrants, as well as legacy consumer electronic vendors. As competition continues to heat up among flat TV vendors, it will become necessary for vendors to offer more innovative products with compelling differentiators and provide a more complete solution to the consumer.

"As opposed to traditional bundled solutions that incorporate high definition set-top boxes, DVD players, or freestanding speakers, vendors should strengthen the link between their device and available content. For example, vendors may work with pay-TV operators (especially since Foxtel have shown intentions to launch two HD TV channels by 2008) and in the future IPTV operators to offer bundled packages for a more holistic TV viewing experience," added Ms Lo.

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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