Display size has become an integral part of the TV-viewing experience, with the discerning consumers buying sets with screens that are larger than 55-inch.

Big screen TVs, 50-inch and larger, are becoming a major trend among consumers worldwide. A quarter of TVs sold in the global market last year were in this category, making up more than half of the total sales in revenue. Indeed, the big buck is going toward big screen TVs.

Big screen TVs are more appealing and accessible to consumers than ever before, thus accelerating adoption. These TVs offer slim design and lighter weight, which makes it easy to install either as a stand type or wall-mount type and consume less space. They also offer more pixels and better image quality – wide color gamut and more frames per second.

The trend is more visible in North America and China. Also, developing economies such as India are displaying swift adoption of large-screen TVs, further boosting revenue generation.

Manufacturers Moving up the Size Brackets

There is a lot of competition among brands for higher end or larger TV panels. Panel makers have shifted toward larger sizes for the TV market because of two major factors. Firstly, the market supply of 

55-inch TV panels is plentiful. Secondly, high panel prices are squeezing margins of TV sets. TV brands therefore have switched to promoting larger and high-end models such as, 65- and 75-inch TV sets that can generate more profits. TV panels sized larger than 60-inch are projected to account for 5.2 percent of the total TV panel sales for 2017, an increase from last year’s share of 3.6 percent. 75-inch TV panels will reach 1.5 million units in 2017, more than doubling last year’s volume of 0.7 million units with the annual growth rate reaching 114 percent. Moreover, the average size of TV panels will expand by 2-inch this year to 45.5-inch. 

Currently, there are just four suppliers of 75-inch panels from South Korea and Taiwan. Major South Korean panel makers having the advantage of being supported by their respective group companies are expected to take more than 70 percent of the global sales share this year. Taiwanese panel industry is trying to catch up in the production of 75-inch panels but its share in the total sales is projected to be lesser than 30 percent.

South Korean and Taiwanese panel makers are also increasing the share of the 65-inch segment in their product mix due to the general upswing in prices. Total sales of 65-inch TV panels for this first quarter will enjoy a leaping year-on-year growth rate of 104 percent, from 1.1 million to 2.2 million units. The panel industry is expected to take on additional production capacity for the 65-inch segment, and annual sales are projected to reach 11 million units, up 45 percent from last year’s total of 7.6 million units. Chinese panel companies will not begin to significantly raise their 65-inch panel production and catch up with South Korean and Taiwanese competitors until 2018, when their Gen-10.5 fabs are ready to operate.

Outlook

TV screen size will be the biggest driver of growth from 2016 to 2021. There is an industry-wide surge toward G10+ investments, which are aimed at capturing a large-size TV market. Additional G10.5/G11 fab investments are anticipated. Hence, worldwide average TV screen size will continue to move up as demand for large-size TV grows.