Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 28-07-2011

In a huge blow for development of a still fragile market, research is suggesting increasing amounts of consumer exposure to 3D services, is failing to translate into either intent or actual purchases.

In a detailed look at the 3D market in the US, “3D 360-Degree Monitor”, the NPD Group found that despite more consumers gaining exposure to 3D video at cinemas, retail venues, and in the homes of friends and family, overall awareness and purchase intent for specific 3D products declined in May 2011 compared with October 2010. Declines were noted in all 3D product categories, except for home and portable video games consoles

The survey also found that for the majority of consumers who weren’t interested in purchasing any 3D devices, 3D glasses were the major barrier to purchasing, surpassing price as the most frequently cited objection to buying 3D services. Price is not going away as a gating factor: it is still a growing concern with 42% of consumers in May 2011 indicating that prices were a barrier to purchasing a 3D TV, a 4% rise in the autumn 2010 survey.

Explaining the trend dynamics, Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at NPD said: “With the run-up to the holiday purchase season, the intent to purchase 3D televisions followed the purchase intent to buy TVs in general....sales of 3D TVs did indeed rise during the holiday season, but they have since receded due to the seasonality of major electronics purchases.”

Offering some glimmers of hope for the 3D industry, Rubin added: “With lighter and less expensive active shutter glasses, a mix of smaller displays, and the entry of passive 3D technologies into the market, the industry is offering more 3D options to consumers...A greater array of Blu-ray titles, along with new digital delivery alternatives, is also helping to ease the path to 3D entertainment.”