NOTE: This is the second piece of our two-part analysis of technological trends in 2011. You may want to check out Part One that deals with ongoing economic uncertainty, but also analyzes the encouraging signs of recovery in 2011 across key industry segments, including mobile space, networked TVs, 3D technologies, and streaming entertainment, while explaining how carriers are taking us all for a ride with their so-called fourth-generation networks. As always, feel free to contribute to the piece with your thoughts in the comment section.
The living room is your entertainment capitol
Connected TVs and the associated peripherals will continue to move very well for the next two years delivering more than hundred million units worldwide by the end of next year. Internet–based content services will be the fair weather solution for the 15–20 percent of people who are early adopters and don't treat their entertainment as a passive activity.
While the majority of the buying public will purchase the connected TVs in 2011, they will still use Netflix and Roku time–shifting solutions rather than online search.
Time–shifting and download video services will significantly impact disc rentals and sales. By 2015 the video and movie industry will be serving only niche market segments with discs. Mobile TV and content viewing – along with all web service uses –– will be a rapidly expanding millennial user's form of entertainment.
In about two years, manufacturers will switch set production to 3D. The increase in manufacturing cost is minimal. Production switch over won't take place until 2012 when content volumes and consumer demand will reach the all important tipping point.
While 3D TV sales didn't meet most overly optimistic projections this year, the technology is far from withering. 3D TV set sales will double (about eight million units) in 2011 and surpass 80 million units by 2014 in the US. This will be stimulated not just by manufacturers and their educational marketing efforts but also by:
- double the number of sporting events in 3D
- more than 150 TV specials in 3D
- at least 10 3D series pilots by the end of the year
- VOD, streaming 3D movies to the home will be "standard" fare by the third quarter
- significant reduction of the premium pricing of 3D sets, players and peripherals (including low-cost 3D cameras and camcorders) that will easily transfer content to 3D-enabled computers and TV sets.
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