"There are around 10 million televisions being sold each year in the UK - and that's in a country that has just 25 million households," said Jim Bottoms, Director and Co-Founder of Futuresource Consulting, in his opening presentation at the 2011 Futuresource Entertainment Summit on 16 June. "That means that every home is going out and buying a TV every two and a half years."
With such elevated levels of consumption - albeit the figure includes purchases of additional secondary televisions as well as main set replacement activity - CE manufacturers introducing new technologies and features into the marketplace can expect fairly rapid uptake and adoption, with 3D and connectivity driving the next period of change.
And although flat panels have been around for the best part of a decade, it is only in the last three years or so that screens measuring 42 inches and above have become affordable for the average household. This has attracted a groundswell of consumer demand for larger sized panels, where the sheer bulk of a similar sized cathode ray tube set would have been a near impossibility for many European homes.
Demand for larger screen sizes is expected to continue to grow, as prices for televisions of 40 inches and above have now reached the level of mass market appeal. Additionally, early adopters of flat panel TVs are looking to replace their original set with a larger more feature-rich model, opting for value-add features like ultra-thin bezels, connectivity, energy saving and 3D capability. These new technologies will ensure that future replacement rates will stay similar to today's levels.
"Nearly 40% of homes in Western Europe will own a 3D TV by 2015," said Bottoms,"which equates to an installed base of nearly 65 million. Whether consumers use the feature or not, they will be buying it by default, as the technology will increasingly be incorporated in many of the sets in manufacturers' product ranges. And where previously there was little 3D content available, the growth and acceptance of 3D is now being driven by the broadcasters. Going forward, the increased availability of 3D content will encourage viewers to engage with and evaluate 3D offerings."
Since last year's Futuresource Entertainment Summit in June 2010, the number of broadcasters across the planet that are planning 3D content has grown almost threefold.
"3D Blu-ray players are also beginning to gain traction in the market and close to 50% of homes in Western Europe will own such a device by 2015. Although there was little 3D content available on Blu-ray last year, this is definitely being addressed this year, with 43 BD titles now available in the US, 37 in the UK and 30 in Germany. And it isn't just about Hollywood content either, with nature and special interest titles being released - in the US, 33% of titles released so far are non-Hollywood content, which is adding to the diversity, generating interest and encouraging consumer engagement."
About Futuresource Consulting
Futuresource Consulting (futuresource-consulting.com) is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments.
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