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DisplaySearch: Price, Content Hinder 3D TV

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.”

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.”

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.