Published: 09.16 Europe/London, June 3, 2011

3D LCD TV panel shipments increased to 1.9 million units in Q1 2011, jumping 104% Q/Q, according to research by Display Search. This growth represents a 3.9% penetration among all LCD TV panels shipped. In addition, panel manufacturers are aggressively working to further increase 3D TV panel penetration in 2011, targeting 16.8% penetration in Q4 2011, and 12.3% for 2011.

“LCD TV panel makers are leveraging 3D as an important feature to rejuvenate TV market demand, in the hope that 3D provides a new viewing experience for consumers,” noted David Hsieh, VP of the greater China market for DisplaySearch, in a statement. “The addition of 3D is attractive to panel makers because the price premium can help them increase average selling prices. Of course, there are many challenges for the industry in promoting 3D LCD TVs to end users, such as inadequate 3D content, the presence of flicker or crosstalk that can cause dizziness, price, uncomfortable glasses, and confusion about different 3D technologies.”

LCD panel makers have aggressive plans to expand 3D LCD TV panel shipments this year, as they believe 2011 will be the year that is 3DTVs potential is realised. In Q1 2011, shutter glass type 3D TV panel shipments reached more than 1 million units, while pattern retarder type 3D TV panels followed closely behind with approximately 880,000 units shipped.

For the past several months, panel makers have continuously guided 3D panel price premiums downward. The 3D premium in 240 Hz panels for use with shutter glasses has been reduced from over $50 (€35) last year to $25 this year. On the other hand, pattern retarder technology is considered to have higher cost premiums than high frame rate panels due to the difficulties in producing 3D polarizing films. Because of this, some panel makers have introduced pattern retarder 3D panels with CCFL backlights, trading the LED backlight premium for the 3D premium. This approach has had some success in the China market.