Home Entertainment Forecast Report Released

All Big-Screen Technologies are Forecast to Grow, but MD-RPTV May Gain Larger Share than Most Expect

McLaughlin Consulting Group (MCG), a long -time partner of Insight Media, has released a new report called "Home Entertainment: Opportunity Analyst and Forecast 2004." The report breaks new ground by segmenting and analyzing the home entertainment market as a series of "screen size battlegrounds", within which, different display technologies will compete. The report finds that microdisplay rear -projection TVs (MD -RPTVs) could soar from 1M units in 2003 to a whopping 22M units by 2008 - under the most favorable of conditions. A more conservative estimate puts 2008 MD -RPTV sales at 11M. Even this level is way ahead of what other forecasters are predicting.

The home entertainment study analyzes the overall market demand for greater than 30" TVs for all technologies - - LCD, PDP, CRT, CRT -RPTV, MD -RPTV and front projection. The study drills down into demand for microdisplays by technology (LCOS, HTPS and DMD) and definition. By breaking down the analysis into specific screen size segment and be re -examining previous growth trend assumptions, the data shows that significant growth is indeed possible. Two separate scenarios are comprehensively evaluated - - an Optimistic Case where "bigger is better" leads to 22M units of MD RPTV sales in 2008, and a Conservative Case where "flatter is better" results in 11M units.

The new report provides a detailed and insightful analysis on five screen size segments including the competitive free -for -all of the 36 -46 inch segment as well as the larger screen size segments (greater than 46 inches) where CRT -RPTV has dominated. Key performance and price hurdles for MD -RPTV as well as costs, and retail and manufacturer margins are evaluated. LCOS, HTPS and DMD technologies are analyzed for their competitive strengths and weaknesses and relative positioning in MD -RPTV product lines. Also included in the report are profiles of all US branders of big screen TVs. Individually the profiles show the increasing importance of RPTV for the major branders and collectively they show the growing momentum.

To support this forecast, lead analyst Steve Marsland argues that MD -RPTVs have distinct competitive advantages in these specific battleground segments. By leveraging these competitive advantages, MD -RPTV makers can achieve significant gains in market share by not only displacing CRT -RPTV, but by convincing consumers that, "Bigger is better than flatter."

"Both consumer demand and supply side push are at work here," reports Marsland. "We see the growth of MD RPTV to 11M systems in 2008 as a cinch. The real surprise of our analysis is the likelihood that sales could be twice that level if consumer preferences continue to shift toward larger TVs and sustain the patterns of the recent past. Further, major branders are jumping on the MD -RPTV bandwagon, supported by aggressive marketing up and down the supply chain." The key technology force driving this phenomenon is the sustained performance improvements and price reduction of microdisplays and related components used to make MD -RPTVs.

"We have been tracking microdisplay sales for nearly a decade and we are certainly at an inflection point in the market," says Chuck McLaughlin of MCG, editor of the report. "The two dominant microdisplay suppliers, Texas Instruments and Seiko Epson, are both in high gear to support the market with their DLP and 3LCD solutions. And despite recent announcements by Intel and Philips, we still see a role for LCOS here at the high performance end of the market. Just look at what JVC and Sony are up to."

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