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NPD: Price, Glasses Continue to Thwart 3DTV Adoption

11 Apr, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Ongoing issues surrounding the cost of 3D televisions and required eyewear continue to negatively impact sales, despite increased consumer awareness of the new high-definition format, according to a new report.

Port Washington, N.Y.-based The NPD Group said the cost of 3DTVs and the need to wear expensive glasses were cited by 2,000 respondents in a February survey as primary deterrents to adopting the format in the home.

“Concerns about price and an aversion to 3D glasses both saw relative increases as inhibitors to adopting 3D televisions,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at The NPD Group. “However, as prices and price premiums for 3DTV decline, glasses are becoming a more prominent inhibitor and are poised to overtake price.”

Indeed, the average price for a 2DTV fell 14% to $511 in February from $594 in February 2010, and retail prices for LCD 3DTVs during the same period dropped 36.5% to $1,705 from $2,683. Unit prices for plasma 3DTVs fell even more, down 59% to $1,214 from $2,948. Pricing for 2D plasma units declined nearly 32% to $603 from $878.

Regardless, NPD said the lack of 3D movies available at retail stymied further consumer adoption of the format, with 68% of respondents citing 3D Blu-ray as their preferred content, compared with 40% interest for sports and cable programming in 3D.

“Both movies and sports were important content drivers in the HD transition,” Rubin said. “However, while feature films provided a large library of content that could be readily converted to HD, there wasn’t packaged media that delivered on the promise of the entertainment experience as Blu-ray now provides for 3D.”

NPD said consumer awareness of 3DTV and 3D Blu-ray players increased from last September to this February. Awareness of 3D Blu-ray players increased to 26% from 15%, while awareness for LCD 3DTVs increased to 36% from 28%, and 32% (from 21%) for plasma 3DTVs.

Best Buy Co., in its most recent fiscal report, said consumer adoption of 3DTV and connected TVs continues to disappoint.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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