3D: more measured optimism

Joseph O'Halloran | 01-12-2010

New research has uncovered what could be described as modest grounds for optimism regarding the prospect of the advance of 3D TV technology and in particular its rate of growth compared to HD technology which is rapidly becoming the new yardstick for 3D.

In its new study, ‘2010: The New Age of Video Entertainment’, Frank N. Magid Associates investigates the rate and magnitude of adoption for 3D television sets and found that only 8% of consumers said that they were very likely to purchase a 3D TV set in the next 12 months.

Putting this into relative context, such potential compares well to that of HD in its early days of adoption according to historical Magid data. Surveys at the time showed that I HD’s early days 8-10% of consumers said they were very likely to purchase a HD television, while annual adoption reflected only 4-5% growth for the proceeding twelve months period. A penetration rate of 5% by autumn 2011 would indeed be impressive.

What is noticeably from the Magid data is the consistent number of people offering the opinion that there should be more 3D content, one of the key gating factors for 3D along with cost. Yet Magid concludes that this actually suggests that the growth in purchases of 3D television sets will not be driven by consumers' interest in accessing 3D content. Instead, it argues that a more likely short-term growth scenario for 3D adoption will be for providers to bundle HD TV sets with 3D capabilities.