Last year across the USA, Japan and Europe, the annual demand for TV displays grew by 5% in volume terms, resulting in shipments of close to 79m units. According to projections from Understanding & Solutions, this rate of growth will continue, averaging 4% per annum between 2007 and 2011, with annual shipments exceeding 90m units by the end of the period.
Market development has been driven by the rapid uptake of flat panel displays, resulting in a groundswell of HD Ready TV ownership, with many first tier brands now looking to maintain a brand premium by increasing production of 1080p panels and upping consumer awareness of 'Full HD'.
"On the whole, this consistent growth can be attributed to the aesthetics of flat panels," said Simon Bryant, business director at Understanding & Solutions. "These screens integrate seamlessly into modern living spaces; they look fantastic and the slimline design allows consumers to own much larger TVs than previously possible.
"The fact that these panels are HD Ready is of secondary importance to the bulk of purchasers, as consumer bafflement continues to persist, with confusing and conflicting messages being communicated on the high street. However, understanding is slowly building and will start to drive demand. In addition, as both the US and European markets move towards a fully digital broadcast environment, the inclusion of digital TV tuners within sets will provide a further incentive for consumers to replace."
Moreover, analogue switch-off and its increasing media attention is allowing retailers and vendors to focus on the large number of second and third TV sets in the home, which still rely on analogue terrestrial signals. While many consumers may opt to purchase a digital converter box, Understanding & Solutions predicts an uplift in sales of small to medium sized LCD integrated digital TVs, as consumers upgrade their equipment.