3DTV still failing to excite buyers

While Hollywood remains determined to enhance – or ruin – as many movies as it possibly can with 3D versions on the big screen, 3DTV has yet to make a big impact in the home. A new survey suggests that that’s unlikely to change for some time, with few consumers indicating that they definitely plan to purchase a new 3D-ready set.

Around one third of the 1000 US consumers surveyed confirmed plans to buy a new HDTV within the next twelve months:

Of those intending to buy a new TV, just 22% answered with a certain ‘yes’ when asked if they intended to make their next purchase a 3DTV set. A further 23% indicated that they would consider a 3DTV only if the premium over a non-3D HDTV was sufficiently small. 55% stated no desire at all to buy a 3D-enabled television:

Assuming these figures are representative of the US market as a whole, it suggests that just 7% of consumers definitely and unconditionally intend to purchase a 3DTV in the year ahead. But why is that figure so low? One might well consider price to be a significant factor; economic uncertainties are undoubtedly having an effect on consumer willingness to spend on ‘big ticket’ items, and the fact that two-thirds of buyers have no intention of buying a HDTV at all clearly makes a more expensive 3DTV a much harder sell.

But Retrevo’s survey revealed that the two most significant concerns for buyers weren’t related to price. The perceived inconvenience of the glasses was too great an issue for many; clearly, while most consumers don’t mind donning 3D specs at the cinema for a couple of hours, the prospect of wearing them at home to watch TV isn’t an appealing one.

But the biggest single obstacle identified was the lack of 3D content, and that’s not an issue that’s easily or quickly resolved. Broadcasters are starting to invest in distribution of 3D content (like the UK’s Sky 3D channel and Virgin Media 3D On Demand), but production companies and networks still need to step up to create a lot more new and original 3D content, and that could take time.

Last year, Danielle Nagler, then-head of HD and 3D at the BBC, called 3D “a distraction from HD”, questioning whether audiences even wanted a full portfolio of 3D content all day every day. Citing the BBC’s commitment to delivering 3D for big events, such as Glastonbury, the London Olympics and Wimbledon, she said that “3D is about theatre”, adding that “we need to see what the long term benefits of 3D to broadcasters is, before we commit”.

That could be the big problem for 3DTV – there’s a clear shortage of TV content, but while consumers understand the ‘wow’ factor of 3D, they apparently remain indifferent to wanting it in their homes, and without significant demand, content creators won’t be motivated to invest more heavily in delivering 3D content.

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As long as they require glasses it'll never take off, and maybe not until it's truly holographic (where you can walk around and see the view from the sides and back.). I know I won't buy one till then.

I see inverted 3D. Basically it's a diorama effect. I feel like i can reach into the TV as if it were a shoebox with 3D objects "inside of it", rather than what everyone else sees as being objects popping out of the screen into the real world.

Inverted 3D, who knew?

How to sell 3D TV's. Bundle them with 2 pairs of glasses. Allow the glasses to be set to 1 (odd frames only), 2 (even frames only), and 3D. When watching 3D content set to 3D and enjoy. Don't like 3D set to 1 or 2 and it's 2D for you. But better yet, and push the heck out of this feature through marketing, when viewing non-3D content allow the user to select different inputs for 1 and 2 such as dual tuners, console and a tuner, Blu-Ray player and a tuner, etc. So you and your significant other can sit and watch/play different things at the same time. The glasses should thus also be integrated with headphones.

When the Superbowl is announced and broadcasted in 3D, i will probably buy a 3DTV, but no sooner.

I have boycotted cinema movies and waited for general release because a couldn't find a screening which wasn't 3D.

3D is a fad, we've seen a lot of movies without valid story lines being produced because they were filmed in 3D, but its also damaging the industry.

I think films have actually gotten worse since 3D, yet people go out and pay to watch crap with worse and worse content value. To me this tells me that 3D is making people stupid, perhaps the act of tricking the brain into visualising 3D actually causes brain damage - a scientific enquiry is clearly necessary.

I used to visit my cinema every week, now I usually wait for general release.

Once ultra high def TV and broadcasting arrive, will there even be a need for 3D? TV's with 4 thousand lines or more of resolution will be here in the very near future - and if you're happy with your full HD set now, think how much more realistic that will look.

Passive 3D is the way to go right now, as you can use cheap glasses if you want it, and not bother if you don't.

.......Last year, Danielle Nagler, then-head of HD and 3D at the BBC, called 3D “a distraction from HD”, questioning whether audiences even wanted a full portfolio of 3D content all day every day.......sums it up nicely

Went and saw Avatar 3D in the theater... and 20 minutes in had to literally carry my wife out she was so sick. And thus my feelings on 3D were permanently cemented.

3D is a fad, a gimmick to try and get people to upgrade needlessly. However, in this economy consumers have wised up and don't have money to throw away.

I have just purchased a 47" passive LG 3DTV, main reason for going passive was the expense of the glasses and the weight. I often have groups of friends over and don't intend on spending £60-70 a time to make sure we can all watch a film.

Looking forward to testing out some of the games on the PS3 with it and a couple of blurays I have purchased already.

I might be in the market for a new TV in the next 12 months and to be honest if a regular HDTV and an equivalent 3D HDTV were the same price I think I would still get the regular HDTV

Thinking to get a nice 47" around black friday if I can and 3D wasn't even on the list of specs I included in any comparison I did.

Good for 3D TV though, they've pushed "2D" TVs down to some really good prices!

maybe people will start to realize 3D is a fad that no one really cares about in large numbers? All it seems like to me is an excuse to put yet another BluRay disc in that aready packed case to jack up the cost $10 *cough disney*...

Kratzie said,
I will be purchasing a 3d smart tv in a few months. prolly around april, $1700 isnt so bad for a 47 inch led.

Just bought a Samsung 59" Plasma 3D for $1399 at Bestbuy, had 31 reviews, 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Oh plus it up converts 2D to 3D, and looks pretty decent.

I saw a demo of it on a decent quality Samsung set and thought it was very nice. But the ridiculous cost and the need for (clearly massively overpriced 3D specs) for each person that wants to view the 3D content is a massive turn off. Not to mention people already went out and bought really nice HDTV's which are still perfectly adequate, then there's absolutely zero incentive to want to dump them and rush to upgrade.

Customers can only feel like piñata full of money for so long, whilst electronics companies take it in turn to try and beat money out of us.

Quoting Dara O'Briain: "3D is like tuberculosis; it flares up once a generation and you have to zap it with anti-biotics and get on with your life".

Last time I watched 3D content I had for the rest of the day a giant headache and during the movie my eyes hurt. So no thanks.

3D isn't just a gimmick IMHO, but also it's just not ready for home use.

1) Programming is dire
2) Hardware is overpriced
3) Active glasses cause headached (I have suffered)
4) Passive glasses work about as well as re/green tints

nik louch said,
3D isn't just a gimmick IMHO, but also it's just not ready for home use.

1) Programming is dire
2) Hardware is overpriced
3) Active glasses cause headached (I have suffered)
4) Passive glasses work about as well as re/green tints

The tech they use at the new star tours rides at disney is really good. It uses a new kind of passive glasses tech. I was able to be sitting on the side and still see the 3d. Too bad its probably too expensive for tvs right now.

The problem is that people are satisfied with viewing media in 2d.
We are happy with roughly the same experience without the headache, annoying glasses or batteries.

The bottom line:
3D will not be successful because people focus on and enjoy the content they are viewing, not the format its playing in.

danoxx said,
The problem is that people are satisfied with viewing media in 2d.
We are happy with roughly the same experience without the headache, annoying glasses or batteries.

The bottom line:
3D will not be successful because people focus on and enjoy the content they are viewing, not the format its playing in.

I bet you everything that 10 years from now all TV will be 3d and people will enjoy 3d contents without a problem.

LaP said,

I bet you everything that 10 years from now all TV will be 3d and people will enjoy 3d contents without a problem.

I'll take that bet

LaP said,

I bet you everything that 10 years from now all TV will be 3d and people will enjoy 3d contents without a problem.

I'll second you on that bet. I'll also make a counter-bet, that 3-D as it is now will not exist, and will fail miserably. If 3-D media exists at all, it will be holographic tables, but even those won't be consumer ready for some time due to the price overhead. And yes, there's a company named "Zebra" that is planning on having a working holographic table in production by 2013.

Something that they fail to understand is that it makes people uncomfortable, it does not matter how much stronger you make your eye's muscles, there will be sometimes were you are going to feel strained.

This happens the same with the 3DS, it's glass free, yet there are several people which feel uncomfortable using it.

I've always stuck with the idea that 3DTV is a novelty. I'm looking to get a new TV sometime soon, but it will just be an HDTV, not 3D. Having experienced 3D recently in a store, I know that it doesn't agree with me. Plus, I don't want to be forced to put on a pair of glasses to watch something.

Intrinsica said,
I've always stuck with the idea that 3DTV is a novelty. I'm looking to get a new TV sometime soon, but it will just be an HDTV, not 3D. Having experienced 3D recently in a store, I know that it doesn't agree with me. Plus, I don't want to be forced to put on a pair of glasses to watch something.

Not only that. Let's say it agreed with you but now you can't watch 3D when you have friends over unless you are rich enough to buy a few more hundred dollar glasses. That's why it's a FAIL. You have to make sure you have enough for the whole class.