|LCD TV enjoyed unexpected growth in the first half of 2014, tied to enthusiastic TV viewing during the soccer World Cup, according to IHS Technology analysts.|
Globally, liquid-crystal-display TV shipments rose 3 percent during the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period a year ago.
Other factors including rising demand in US and China also played a part in the surprise lift, say analysts.
Len Wallis, owner of Sydney-based Len Wallis Audio says LCD's now account for 100% of TV sales, as rival technologies like Plasma flounder.
There's been a rise in box sales although the dollar value has fallen as prices deflate radically compared to 5 years ago. TV buyers are replacing older sets, upgrading to smart TVs and faster processors, says Wallis.
"There's a lot of emphasis on the high end LCD TV's as they're now so affordable. People want the best that's out there, and are prepared to pay for it."
Ricky Park, IHS display analyst, said the increase was "surprising", as the television industry doubted shipments could increase.
The World Cup which kicked off in June, drove up demand for televisions, especially in Europe and South America. Sports extravaganzas long have been reliable drivers of television sales, says Park.
But other factors also kicked in, included signs of a continuing economic recovery in North America, one of the world's two largest markets for LCD TVs alongside China; and a subsidy program initiated by the Mexican government.
But strong LCD demand is being blunted by production problems, analysts warn.
Despite the stronger-than-expected demand in H1, a drop in yields and a loss in capacity due to production line modifications caused a shortage of supply of LCDs.
The effects were felt especially in the ultra-high-definition (UHD) TV's.
Issues related to quality have cropped up, in the production of so-called PenTile RGBW UHD panels, which are aimed at the 40-inch UHD space.