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Flat panels gaining ground in meeting room market, says report

Market researcher Pacific Media Associates sees growth in the projector market this year - but projection's share of the meeting room market is in decline.

Research undertaken by market information company Pacific Media Associates (PMA) indicates that flat panel displays are starting to compete more aggressively in applications where projectors once dominated.

A survey of 1,000 end users in the USA found that projectors are still the solution of choice, and end users expect that to continue to be the case during the coming year. However, an increasing number of two-display configurations with projectors and flat panels as well as flat-panel-only configurations are appearing in certain types of meeting rooms.

“As flat panel displays have gotten bigger, better, and cheaper, they have increasingly competed with projectors for use in meeting rooms. We learned from our survey respondents why they are attractive, though projector makers may wince at some of the answers,” said Dr. William Coggshall, President of PMA (pictured). “We found that flat panel displays large enough to serve “small” meeting rooms (which we define as those holding 10 or fewer people) are now cheap enough to compete with projectors. And that considerable numbers of flat panel displays are chosen either because of ambient light considerations or because they are to be used in a video-conferencing system.”

Eralier, PMA had predicted a 31% increase in projector shipments to 12.4 million units in 2012, forecasting a brighter outlook for projection after the slow growth seen in 2012. PMA expects the mainstream market to continue to suffer from the overall economic situation, but double digit growth is expected in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries and other developing markets. Growth overall is expected to be around 8%, with education remaining a key driver. High end projector shipments are expected to grow by 18%. ‘New Era’ (sub-500 lumen) projectors such as piuco projectors and projectors embedded in other devices such as cameras and phones are expected to experience triple digital growth.

“We can expect the second half of 2013 to mark the beginning of a more resilient projector demand,” said Michael Abramson, PMA’s VP of Projector Research, “as we expect recessionary pressures to continue to plague Europe in 2012 and the recovery in the U.S will also remain tempered for the coming year.”