The global video wall industry is experiencing renewed growth, with the market on track to reach 380,000 unit sales in 2012, equating to year-on-year growth of 60%, according to a new industry report from Futuresource Consulting.
"Recent innovations have breathed new life into this comparatively mature industry," said Parmjit Bhangal, Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. "Since 2009, LED backlight solutions have been integrated into rear projection displays, negating the costs of bulb replacement and maintenance. However, LCD super narrow bezel displays - SNBs - have been the real game-changer, finally offering a viable alternative to rear projection devices and plasma screens, allowing vendors to drive new revenue streams from new markets, most notably retail and public display, as well as defending their positions in video-based verticals.”
"These technological advancements have created a huge amount of industry buzz, dominating trade show floors and commanding the interest of industry press, and now we're seeing all this potential start to convert into real sustainable revenues. Last year, the SNB category posted year-on-year sales growth in excess of 100% and accounted for over 80% of the total video wall market."
Yet despite the competition from SNB displays, the rear projection category continues to exhibit steady growth, with Futuresource forecasts showing that growth will continue out to 2015 and beyond. The introduction of solid state technology has been key, with LED accounting for nearly 40% of sales in 2011, though this figure would be far higher if China - a huge lamp-based market - was excluded from the analysis, said Futuresource.
Futuresource believes that there are four key markets for video walls: control room; retail and public display; corporate and exhibition; and broadcast.
* Control room is a key market for rear projection displays, accounting for more than 85% of global sales last year and also seeing growing demand for SNB. The choice of technology depends upon the sub-vertical, with mission-critical applications - like utilities and command and control - tending to favour rear projection, whereas the more video-based applications of surveillance and traffic management favour SNB.
* Retail and public display are both dominated by SNB and accounted for the majority of SNB sales last year. Digital signage is a key driver for growth in this category as network owners look to create high impact displays to inform, communicate and advertise to customers. Retail and Transport sub-verticals are both key adoption areas.
* Corporate and exhibition verticals both provide growth for rear projection, though SNB is clearly the dominant technology. Reception areas, lobbies, boardrooms, exhibition and equipment rental are all important drivers.
* The broadcast space still demands both rear projection and SNB products. Rear projection is heavily skewed towards the Asia Pacific region, though still has relevance in developed markets.
"Market dynamics differ significantly from country to country, with investment in infrastructure often a key driver for both display technologies," said Bhangal. "Moving forward, we're going to see strong double digit growth over the next three years, reaching sales of close to one million units in 2015. However, as major CE and pro AV display heavyweights enter the market and focus on volume business, value will be driven out of SNB displays putting pressure on the entire video wall category.”