For years widescreen computer displays have used 16:10 panels, whereas consumer electronics utilized 16:9 panels. However, DisplaySearch market research firm predicts that personal computers will also utilize 16:9 panels eventually as 16:10 panels will vanish into thin air.
“In the near future, panel makers will take necessary phase-out tactics on the existing 16:10 LCD panels in order to drive the market to 16:9 panels. Panel makers did it for square panels, and they know how to do it again. Notebook PC and LCD monitor product planners and marketers must plan for the transition now to assure a smooth roll-out of products over the next four years and sufficient panel availability,” said DisplaySearch’s David Hsieh, Vice President, Greater China Market.
The transition may confuse individual consumers and leave IT managers distinctly unenthusiastic, since they will be faced with a 16:9 transition shortly after managing the transition to 16:10 widescreen. When the 16:9 panels become available there will be an overwhelming number of different types of panels in production: over 50 notebook panels and over 45 LCD monitor panels. Legacy video processors will complicate the transition further.
Nevertheless, none of this will stop the transition from happening. DisplaySearch projects that by 2012, 16:9 penetration will reach 90% of notebook PC panels and 67% of LCD monitor panels.
Forecast of 16:9 panel penetration in the notebook PC (left) and LCD monitor markets (right)
According to DisplaySearch, there are several driving forces behind the fact that 16:9 panels become more popular eventually:
- 16:9 provides better economic cut (panelization) in existing TFT LCD fabs.
- 16:9 products provide higher resolution and wider aspect ratio.
- The widespread adoption of high definition in the consumer entertainment sector will help end users readily adopt the new products with the wider aspect ratio.
- The new 16:9 panels provide an opportunity for PC brands to further diversify their products.