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Consumer Interest in 3DTV Remains Stagnant: Study

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November 03, 2011

Consumer Interest in 3DTV Remains Stagnant: Study

By Beecher Tuttle
TMCnet Contributor


Just last year, industry leaders like Sony, Panasonic (News - Alert) and Samsung were positioning 3DTV as the next big thing in the consumer space. Well wouldn't you know it? We consumers decided to not live up to our end of the bargain and run out and buy a 3D television for every room in the house.

Hopes that this holiday shopping season will be different may soon be dashed, at least according to a new survey from consumer electronics reviewer Retrevo. After talking with more than 1,000 consumers who are planning on buying an HDTV in the coming year, the site found that more than 55 percent have no interest in upgrading to a 3DTV.

What is more, about half of those who would at least consider buying a 3DTV would only do so if the price increase over an HDTV set is minimal (the difference right now is still several hundred dollars).

The biggest problem that manufacturers are having is that price is not the only contributing factor in consumers not embracing 3D technology. In previous studies, Retrevo found that 30 percent of respondents point to the cumbersome 3D glasses as the problem while another 40 percent cite the lack of 3D programming.

Poor 3DTV sales have at least partially contributed toward difficult years for major players like Sony and Panasonic, which expects to incur a net loss of around $5.5 billion this year, according to Retrevo. Sony, meanwhile, has announced plans to restructure its TV business to get things moving in a positive direction.

Retrevo's study backs the findings of a previous report from Informa (News - Alert) Telecoms and Media, which found that 3DTV is no longer being considered the natural successor to HDTV. Instead, it is being positioned as a “default” technology that will be embedded into future sets as a supplementary feature.

“3D is now often marketed as just one of the set’s benefits you say– along with features such as Internet-connection capability and LED backlighting,” Adam Thomas, Senior Analyst and author of Global 3DTV Forecasts, noted in a statement.

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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