A recent Los Angeles conference on 3D

A recent Los Angeles conference on 3D saw a presentation from Michelle Abrahams, an In-Stat analyst, who said 43% of those asked said they’d pay up to a $200 premium for a 3D set. But 25% said they wouldn’t pay anything at all. Also, 31% said they wouldn’t pay any more to get a 3D-capable Blu-ray player.It seems that there will be plenty of new ‘3D Ready’ TV sets that will start shipping in volume early in 2010.

Moreover, from reports in the US it seems that some sets – if not all – will include a couple of ‘free’ pairs of polarising lens glasses. It isn’t yet clear whether Panasonic will ship their highly-specified sets with polarising specs or their preferred ‘active shutter’ glasses. One thing that is clear is that plenty of viewers will happily pay a premium for 3D.
One study from the DisplaySearch suggests that about 120,000 3D TVs will be sold in the USA in 2010, the majority of them being large screen plasmas. By 2013, more than 11m are forecast to be sold, with LCD TVs capturing about 70% of the US market. There’s no reason to suppose that Western Europe might not enjoy similar sales success.

Delegates to the conference were told that younger viewers skewed a more positive response in their intentions, and older viewers were more negative about 3D. While InStat recognised that an education process is needed – as happened with HDTV – few expected mass-market consumers to pay the extraordinary premiums for flat-panel HD sets, but they did. Now that HDTV flat-panels are well below $1000 their adoption is now near-universal.

In the US vendors like Mitsubishi and Panasonic have giant trucks rolling around the country showcasing 3D, and the general consensus is that TV set manufacturers are prepared to invest heavily in promoting 3D, and spending much more on promotion than they did on HD.