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3DTV Interest Modest Despite 60% HDTV Household Penetration

28 Dec, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

More than 60% of households in the United States have at least one high-definition television, compared to just 12% of households in 2005, while consumer interest in 3DTV remains reserved, according to a new report.

Leichtman Research Group in Durham, N.H., said 26% of households have multiple HDTVs compared to just 1% in 2005.

Despite 80% of adult consumers in a survey of 1,034 respondents indicating they were familiar with the concept of 3DTV, only 8% said they are interested in purchasing one. To date, less than 1% of households have a 3D-compatible HDTV.

The latter percentage helped undermine Best Buy’s most recent fiscal period where sales of high-end consumer electronics, including 3DTV and connected TVs, through Black Friday (Nov. 26) fell below expectations.

Consumer CE buying habits continue to reflect the general economy as sales of HDTV units below $1,000 topped 60%, compared to 48% in 2009 and 34% in 2008 before the recession.

Further hindering 3DTV growth is scant availability of 3D Blu-ray movies, with studios releasing less than 20 titles in the format through the end of 2010, according to industry experts.

“With modest consumer demand for 3D-capable TVs, the potential growth of 3DTV will rely on a continued push of 3DTV by manufacturers and retailers, as well as the fact that about one-fifth of all U.S. households purchase a new TV each year,” said analyst Bruce Leichtman.

Leichtman said there is light at the end of the 3DTV tunnel as 24% of respondents who have seen 3DTV rated it from 8 to10, with 10 being excellent. About 18% of all households plan to purchase a new TV set in the next 12 months.

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