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TV Research: Latest on Projectors, Plasmas, LCD/LED TVs

Quixel Research: value-priced 720p products lead front-projector category; big screens get bigger; plasma isn't dead yet.


Quixel’s latest research in consumer TVs: front projectors, LCD/LED, plasma

Quixel Research has produced several reports this year on the state of consumer audio and video. Here are some highlights on front projectors, LCD/LED big screens and plasma TVs. Yes, plasma is still relevant.

Low-resolution Video Projectors Drive the Category

Report: Q4 2012 Home Theater and Home Entertainment (HT-HE) Front Projection Market Review

Front projectors enjoyed some decent growth in 2012, with unit sales up nearly 160,000 compared to 2011. Sadly, across the entire front projector category, revenues decreased 8% over year-over-year for a total of about $300 million for 2012.

There are a couple of bright spots, though. On a quarterly basis, the category rose 24% in units from Q3 to Q4 2012, and was up 30% in revenues during that period.

Interestingly, the bright spot in revenues comes from value-priced 720p projectors. These projectors gained in both unit share and revenue share in the overall front-projector market -– 8% and 2%, respectively.

“Front projection manufacturers have remained nimble and offered new value priced HD 720p models for the enthusiast who wants an immersive experience,” says Quixel principal Tamaryn Pratt. “There are a wide variety of offerings now that span from $500 to $50,000+ cinema-style projectors. Consumers can get a lot for their money with the average selling price of a residential front projector falling below $2,000 for the first time.”

Research: Front projector sales

LCD/LED displays over 50 inches fuel big-screen category

Report: Q4 2012 LCDTV Market Review report

LCD/LED TV unit sales were up a modest 2% in 2012 versus the previous year, but the fourth quarter was up a whopping 29% versus the previous quarter, portending a strong growth trajectory for 2013.

Likewise, while revenues for the year declined in 2012 by 3% compared to 2011, the category surged 34% in the final quarter of 2012 to $5.5 billion.

The bright spot is in really-big-screen TVs over 50 inches.

Unit share of TVs larger than 50 inches grew from 11% to 24% from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012. The overall top-selling LCDTV for Q4 2012 was a 60-inch model – a first, according to Quixel.

By 2016, Quixel estimates, TVs larger than 50 inches will capture 60% of the LCD/LED TV category. The overall LCD/LED category is forecast to post low single-digit growth for the next four years.

“Many households are starting to replace their first flat-screen TV and now have options that are dramatically different,” Pratt says. “In some cases consumers can buy a TV almost 20 inches larger at a third of the price.”

She notes that over the 2012 holiday season, name-brand 60-inch TV prices fell below $700 and on average were $1,000.

Back in 2005, a 42-inch flat screen cost more than $3,000.

The considerable drop in pricing “gives consumers plenty of incentive to size up,” Pratt says.

Plasmas Still Alive

Q4 2012 Large Area Display Report (LAD) Market Review

While LED screens clearly have the edge, don’t count out plasma TVs just yet.

For TVs bigger than 60 inches, the plasma segment grew nearly 70% in unit sales in 2012 compared to 2011. Revenues increased 53% in 2012 to a total of almost $800 million for the year.

In Q4 2012 alone, some 1 million plasma TVs of all sizes were sold—more than were sold in Q3. But unit sales for the year were down 17% compared to 2011.

“There is no question that the plasma TV category is challenged by the LCD/LED category,” says Pratt, “but the reality is that the plasma TV category is still very much alive and staying in the game with well-priced 60-inch and 50-inch 1080p models.”

Even so, 2012 represents the first year that plasma sales declined, and we are sure to see the category phasing out at some point, giving way to LCD/LEDs and newer technologies.

Pratt wonders, “Will plasma TV represent a niche in the HDTV market moving forward or will manufacturers just close up shop?”

While the category is fading, 2013 “certainly is not the last year we will see plasma TVs in the marketplace,” Pratt says. “There is a consumer plasma TV following.”

While Sony dropped plasma more than five years ago, CES 2013 saw both Samsung and Panasonic investing in the category.

Samsung introduced the higher-end F8500 series in sizes up to 64 inches, featuring “Real Black Pro” that gives the display its “deepest blacks,” according to the company. The product has generally received positive reviews in advance of its release.

Industry leader Panasonic, the first to market with a 100-inch plasma, continues to invest in the format more than any other supplier.

At CES 2013, the company introduced five new plasma series and more than a dozen new models.

Research: Plasma TV sales over 40 inches, 2008-2012
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Article Topics

News · Product News · Research · Displays · Audio · TVs · Projectors and Screens · Quixel Research · Soundbar · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]


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