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Week-end Edition - Day 2 & Day 3 - IFA International

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Market & Technology

Market & Technology Trends GFK MARKET According to the latest market intelligence from GfK, the outlook for the rest of the year is good, with a strong recovery expected driven mainly by innovative growth segments like HDTV, 3D and internet-capable TVs, Blu-ray players, HD camcorders, home audio systems with MP3 docking stations, and portable navigation devices with five-inch displays and Internet access. “Overall GfK Retail And Technology is expecting a perceptible recovery for the industry,” Jurgen Boyny said. “Customers in Europe are paying on average 7% less for h-fi and home entertainment systems than they were in the first half of 2010. In comparison with other European countries, Germany stands apart in that it recorded a sales increase of 4.6% in these segments in the first half of the year, whereas most other territories recorded negative performances.” The sales share of TV sets within the Western European CE sector is continuing to rise and currently stands at a little over 73% although prices are still declining. “Innovations such as HDTV, 3D and internet-capable TVs are not stopping this, but customers are prepared to dig deeper and spend more in order to buy these products,” he said. “3-inch TVs remain the most popular category but there is a clear trend in LCD sets for bigger screens where sets of 40 inches and above makeup nearly 50% of the market.” 3D Or Not 3D? Technological advances are making consumers want to be ‘future-proof’ Interview by Richard Barnes Having seen Avatar in the cinema, a lot of people are at the very least investing in bigger screens and home cinemas, and in turn, that is feeding into the 3D business. At the same time we have to be aware that a lack of 3D content remains an issue for consumers. Despite that, consumers are buying 3D sets simply because they want to have the latest technology, it is a form of having a ‘futureproof’ TV set, and most people now realise that even if there is not much content in 2011, by 2012 they will be able to benefit much more from 3D. According to the latest figures, around 20 million 3D sets will be sold worldwide throughout 2011, and in 2012 that figure will climb to 50 million, which means that 20% of the global flat screen market will be 3D TVs, and takes into account both the active and the passive 3D models. Who are the main 3D TV players in plasma, LCD and the other technological options? In plasma 3D there is only really one manufacturer of any significance, which is of course Panasonic. In terms of LCD, and even LED sets, we are seeing an ever greater variety of models and an increasingly wide range of options. In terms of position in the market, it is going to be the same companies that are advanced in the deployment of LCD and LED technologies generally who will have a strong position in the 3D market. “3D really has to be demonstrated for people to understand the benefits” According to Jürgen Boyny, Global Director Consumer Electronics, GfK Europe, the 3D market is being driven as much by consumer desire as it is by the TV manufacturers … Jürgen Boyny Global Director Consumer Electronics, GfK Europe What about the popularity of the two different technologies, active shutter and passive screens? There is strong support for the development of passive 3D because the glasses are easier and cheaper, so there is a much lower investment by the consumer. What we are seeing is that 3D at home is a communal thing with people tending to watch the film or the show in a family group or inviting friends round, and then you need four, five or six pairs of glasses, and at that point passive 3D becomes a very attractive proposition. Passive technology is being picked up by companies like Philips and LG, so do you see it as becoming more widespread as the years go on? We expect that in the future passive 3D will have a much stronger share than the active version but we have not done a formal study. What other factors are driving the 3D market? The underlying reality is that 3D really has to be demonstrated for people to understand the benefits, and when you are demonstrating 3D with active shutter glasses, it can be a problem because they are heavy and expensive, and there’s the security aspect too. If you lose a pair of passive glasses, it’s no big deal, but if you lose a pair of active ones, it is not the same at all. But what people are really waiting for is glasses-free 3D, and it is clear that a lot of people want to know when they’ll be able to buy a set that doesn’t need glasses for the 3D effect. We have started to see the emergence of these sets since the beginning of the year, and the technology is promising, but it’s not yet ready for the market, because the room has to be dark and the viewer cannot move very much. What I hear from people in the industry is that it will be ready in 2013. How long is it going to be before enough 3D content comes to the mass market? The issue is that currently broadcasters are under huge pressure to find the money to broadcast in HD, and then 3D is 30-50% more expensive again to produce than HD, so clearly there is a big challenge here, because there is no new business model that will make up for the budget shortfall. Broadcasting can be done can be done through Pay- TV channels, but that limits the audience. Grosser Stern VIP Room 2 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Saturday 3 rd & Sunday 4 th September 2011 13

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