Just when one might think that high-definition television is finally here and will stay for long, consumer electronics companies believe that already in less than four years up to a half of HDTVs sold will also support stereoscopic 3D technology and so will do TV-channels and movies.
Hiroshi Yoshioka, executive deputy president of Sony and head of the unit that includes its TV business, said in an interview with IDG news service that that the company expected 3D televisions to make up between 30% and 50% of all TV-sets the company planned to sell in the financial year that begins in April 2012. The claim seems to be too optimistic for a technology that has not even started to emerge on the market as of late 2009.
In order to enable stereoscopic 3D experience using shutter glasses-based technology, Sony will need to equip its HDTVs with panels that have refresh rate of 120Hz or higher. Some high-end models already feature 120Hz or even 200Hz panels, however, they are rather scarce. In case Sony simply calls such TVs as 3D-enabled, then the share of such TVs may well reach 30% - 50% by 2013. In fact, Mr. Yoshioka claims that Sony considers selling shutter glasses separately in order to keep the costs of its HDTVs down. As a result, it is not clear what will be the difference between next-generation 3D and non-3D televisions; most likely, there will be no difference.
For Sony, it is tremendously important to increase its market share and improve profitability of its TV business. In fact, for several years Sony’s TV unit has been unprofitable.