LFD sales to rise 32% by 2018
Research from Futuresource Consulting carried out for Sony has predicted that European shipments of Large Format Displays (LFDs) over 60-in will rise to 192,000 units by 2018, a 32% increase on 2015.
The demand for large screen sizes in professional environments is being fuelled by the desire for big screen experiences in digital signage applications, and the replacement of projectors with flat panels.
The research found that last year, European sales of commercial LFDs reached 748,000 units, a year-on-year volume growth of 19%. And while the overall B2B projector market has seen significant decline over the last few years, sales of installation projectors (5000+ lumens), excluding digital cinema, continue to perform well. From 2014 – 2015, shipments to the European market grew 1% year-on-year. Where once lamp-based projectors weren’t cost effective for industries that required high usage, such as theme parks or higher education auditoriums, innovations like Solid-state lighting (SSL) are changing that.
"The European professional AV market is continuing to see healthy growth, and the research shows it’s being spurred on by a mix of changing needs from different industries and new technologies that are making AV solutions more attractive," said Thomas Issa, Product Manager for B2B Displays at Sony Professional Solutions Europe. "Because of this there’s been a clear shift in the solutions being developed, particularly in the B2B flat panel market, with vendors looking to develop solutions that directly meet the needs of particular verticals. Whether it’s interactive displays developed for education to support effective learning, or Solid State Light Sources (SSL) projectors that require minimal maintenance in busy retail environments, tailored solutions are fuelling AV market expansion."
The adoption of 4K technology in both flat panel and projectors is accelerating rapidly as the price premium for 4K resolutions declines and the availability of 4K content grows. The commercial flat panel market is expected to follow a similar trend, with luxury retail and product design environments choosing to replace tiled solutions (used to generate pixel counts above 1080P) with large screen 4K products.
As well as the changing needs of key industries the demands of SMEs are also impacting the market. SMEs are increasingly looking to replace projectors with flat panel displays for corporate meeting rooms, and they have embraced digital signage. But they want this equipment at a significantly reduced cost. Subsequently vendors are turning to prosumer solutions to offer daily operation at half the price of commercial products. Meaning volumes of prosumer products have risen in excess of 40% annually since 2012 with the category now accounting for over 30% of large format display sales.
"End users are demanding visually spectacular imagery, effortless interaction and the ability to easily share impactful content," concluded Thomas Issa from Sony. "Because of this we’re seeing an inevitable increase in flat panel displays and solid-state projectors across the board. And with developments in these areas a wide range of markets can now take advantage of simplified integration and cost savings, in addition to applications that are aligned to their specific environment and usage."