The worldwide projector market topped two million units for Q1 2014, according to research published by market information specialist, PMA Research. The figure represents an increase of almost a quarter-of-a-million units from the same period last year.
Digital cinema projector sales amounted to 6% of the 2014 total, with sales driven predominantly by China and Latin America, areas which are continuing to outperform the rest of the market thanks in large part to more economical models helping exhibitors in these countries make the digital transition.
In the US market, sales of interactive projectors and short-throw projectors registered double-digit gains over last year’s Q1.
“Short-throw and interactive projectors are increasingly penetrating the K-12 [primary and secondary school] market,” said Linda Norton, VP of PMA Research. “And despite the focus on tablets in education, the strong performance in the first quarter for these types of projectors indicates some recovery in K-12 and confirms the findings from PMA’s recent survey of the K-12 market.”
In Europe, widescreen resolutions climbed to another high in share during Q1, and represented 40% of the volume mix within the mainstream and high-end segments.
Although widescreen penetration is much lower in Asia, the overall projector market there improved again on a year on year basis. In the mainstream and high-end segments, China registered a third straight quarter of double-digit gains. However, more buoyant growth in China has recently shifted from short-throw projectors to value-priced SVGA and XGA standard-throw projectors.
Elsewhere in Asia, the troubled economy in India continued to negatively impact the projector market while sales in Japan registered their sharpest year/year increase in many quarters ahead of April’s higher value-added tax. The consumer home entertainment market also continued to grow solidly in China as it did on a worldwide basis. Reflecting the general uptick in worldwide industry performance during the quarter, the high-end home theater market also performed well as sales of 4K and 1080p projectors selling for $5,000 and higher nearly doubled from last year’s first quarter.
In the digital cinema market, Q1 sales pushed cumulative worldwide shipments over 120,000. High digitisation rates continue to impact sales in advanced countries. In the rest of the high-end market, virtually all sub-regions of the world and all brightness ranges experienced growth. As the large venue projector market is generally immune from the threat of sub-$1,000 (€700) flat panel displays, the improved worldwide economic performance translated into significantly higher year/year spending on projectors used in university auditoriums, public venue entertainment, and rental and staging. Adding to the dynamic high-end projector market is the forthcoming launch of more laser-based models.