Santa Clara, Calif. -
released a study of 3D TV sales Wednesday showing consumer uptake has been limited by high prices and lack of content.
The market research firm added, however, that expectations for falling prices, increased content availability, and improvements in technology should lead to "tremendous growth in 3D TV shipments over the next few years."
DisplaySearch forecast 3.2 million 3D TVs will be shipped in 2010, growing to more than 90 million in 2014.
The category is expected to grow from 2 percent of all flat-panel TVs shipped in 2010, to 41 percent in 2014, the firm said.
The 3D TV study is listed as part of the latest issue of the DisplaySearch Q3 '10 Quarterly TV Design and Features Report.
"While TV manufacturers have bold plans and a lot of new products, consumers remain cautious," stated Paul Gray, TV electronics research director. "Consumers have been told that 3D TV is the future, but there still remains a huge price jump and little 3D content to watch."
"North American consumers in particular appear to be playing a waiting game," noted Paul Gagnon, North American TV research director. "Set makers have trained consumers to expect rapid price falls for new technology, and consumers seem happy to wait a little."
DisplaySearch forecasts that 3D shipments in North America will total less than 1.6 million this year.
Sales of 3D glasses also remain low in most of the world, with most countries failing to achieve 1:1 sales of glasses to sets, DisplaySearch said.
"This is particularly disappointing," noted Gray, "A healthy level would be closer to two pairs of 3D glasses per TV, so it's clear that these sets at best are being chosen for future-proofing, and at worst it's an indication that consumers cannot buy a premium set without 3D."
DisplaySearch said 3D is a feature that set makers are determined to develop, as illustrated by rapidly expanding product launch plans.
DisplaySearch said it has increased its forecast for 3D in later years, with an anticipated 90 million sets being shipped in 2014.
"TV manufacturers strongly believe in 3D and are driving its cost downward, but its value to consumers relies strongly on the availability of quality material to watch," Gray concluded.