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LED inside: Five Major Trends in Backlit-LED TV Market

The LED package market value reached US $13 billion in 2013, in which LEDs for TV backlight amounted to 20 percent, according to LEDinside’s latest “LED Residential Lighting and Backlight Market Trend” report. LED backlighting have almost completely replaced all CCFL light sources in TV backlight, however, with market penetration rates reaching a pinnacle the market faces threats of market saturation. Below are five major trends in the LED backlighting market:

Trend  one: direct-type LED TV goes mainstream

Direct-type LED TV has a market share of 60 percent in 2014, according to LEDinside survey. The TV type offers better C/P ratio for panel and TV manufacturers that have continued trends of lowering prices. LED backlighting costs have further dropped, since direct-type LED technology can reduce LED usage volume, but the TV’s has a flaw of being thicker. The main TV models shipped feature Optical Distance (OD) of 25-35 mm. Direct-type LED TV costs can be further lowered in the future, as the TV type uses higher wattage LEDs.

Trend two: edge-type LED TV technology will still be around in future thin TVs

Despite direct-type LED TV’s lower costs, there has been few advancements in making the chubby TV thinner. In general, most LED manufacturers face production shortages for optical lenses with wider beam angles. Slimming direct-type LED TVs with these lenses could raise productions costs, and cause the TV to lose cost advantages. LEDinside found manufacturers have been unable to lower costs for OD 15 LED TV, with some direct-type LED TV costs even higher than edge-type LED TV. LED manufacturers might be raising edge-type LED light bar shipments in 2015. In 2014, edge-type LED TV on average had a luminous efficacy of 110 lm/W, and has better cost competiveness when employed in thin high-end TVs.

Trend three: rise of 4K2K TV to spur LED usage in TV backlight market

LEDinside estimates the 4K2K TV penetration rate in 2014 is 5~6%. TV sales have not reached estimations due to the higher price tag, for instance a 55 inch 4K2K panel usually costs 1.6-1.7 times the price of a same sized Full HD panel. Further sales growth is only likely if 4K2K TV prices can be lowered to 1.3 times the price of a Full HD panel.

Trend four: The rise of Chinese package manufacturers

Whether it is TV brand image or market share, Chinese TV manufacturers have started to make their mark on the market. Based on global TV shipment estimations, leading six Chinese TV vendors have already made it into the top 15 rankings. Among these TCL and Hisense have 137 million sets and 115 million sets respectively, both surpassed Japanese TV vendor Panasonic to take 5th and the 6th place respectively. Chinese manufacturers Skyworth and Konka also ranked in 8th and 10th place.

The emergence of Chinese panel and TV manufacturers led to Chinese packagers maturing technologies and price competitiveness. These have caused changes in the supply chain, and allowed Refond, MTC and Dongshan Precision Manufacturing (DSBJ) to enter the TV backlight supply chain.

Trend five: Chinese manufacturers follow Xiaomi’s lead in the smart TV market

Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Xiaomi is about to release its second generation TVs, which will be mass produced in 2Q14. The TV size has been expanded from 47-inch to 49-inch and 55-inch TVs. The main resolution for narrow bezel 3D LCD panels has been 1,920x 1,080 pixels and sold at RMB 2,999 (US $ 488.38). Within a few months, Xiaomi has quickly distributed the second generation TVs. To claim smart TV market shares in China, the company’s strategy has been offering high quality products at low prices. Xiaomi has been using a total of 128 PCS 7020 LEDs in smart TVs, while U.S. and Taiwanese TV brands have only been using two light bars. It is believed other Chinese TV manufacturers will also follow Xiaomi in launching their own smart TV products.

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