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Report: Industry Needs to Lower 3DTV Expectations

15 May, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Despite the success of The Avengers in 3D, the consumer electronics industry shouldn’t expect the Marvel Comics juggernaut to boost mainstream consumer interest in 3DTV, according to a new report.

Fifty-two percent of The Avengers’ record opening weekend box office tally came from higher-priced 3D tickets (including Imax), according to Walt Disney Studios. However, a new Parks Associates report says consumer interest in 3DTV will remain at niche status.

Indeed, Samsung last month at the IFA Global Press confab in Croatia said it expects 3DTV to represent 30% of total TV sales in 2012, compared with 60% for Internet-connected TVs.

The estimate underscores the reality that 3DTV isn’t the panacea the HDTV industry sought when 3D jumpstarted box office ticket sales in 2009 and 2010. At the same time, 3DTV continues to receive positive marks by consumers who own one, including increased demand for more 3D content, notably on 3D Blu-ray, according Parks.

In a survey of 600 3DTV owners, Parks found 65% want greater access to 3D Blu-ray movies, 49% want more 3D TV programming, 46% want increased 3D sports programming and 45% want more 3D video games. Overall, 56% of respondents were “very satisfied” with their TV’s 3D features, which they use at least once a month.

“The industry needs to stop comparing 3D to HD,” said John Barrett, director of consumer analytics with Parks Associates.

Barrett said the fact that just 6% of U.S. broadband households have 3DTV underscores that the format’s higher pricing compared with non-Internet-enabled 2DTV and dearth of 3D programming continue to stymie wider consumer adoption.

“Consumers are never going to watch everything in 3D,” he said. “They will watch the occasional program in 3D if the content is compelling, but 2D will always be the default.”

That said, Barrett expects The Avengers to reinvigorate consumer interest in 3DTV — albeit with limitations.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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