Will 3-D TV Be a Bust?

Despite strong box office sales of 3-D movies, TV programmers and consumer electronics manufacturers who are betting big on 3-D technology entering the home may want to curb their enthusiasm a bit. According to recent survey data from KPMG, few consumers see the need to bring 3-D into the home, with just 15 percent saying they expect to buy a 3-D-capable set the next time they shell out for a new TV.

According to the most recent KPMG Media and Entertainment Barometer, more than a quarter of respondents said they had viewed a 3-D film in the theater over the past 12 months, and those numbers are even higher for 18-24 year olds (42 percent) and 25-34 year olds (45 percent).

Comparatively, only 5 percent of those surveyed said they had watched a 3-D film on TV — and very few seemed to want to, with only about one in six respondents said they were likely to buy a 3-D TV for their next purchase. Only about a quarter of respondents said they would prefer to watch TV in 3-D if it was available, with a third saying they would prefer not to. A whole 42 percent were unsure if they’d prefer to watch 3-D TV, which signals unfamiliarity with the technology.

So why the lack of interest for 3-D in the home? Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents said they didn’t see a need for 3-D TV, and 59 percent said they expected 3-D sets to be too expensive. More than 40 percent said they believed 3-D was a “gimmick.” That’s bad news for the consumer electronics industry, which is investing heavily in 3-D technology, and for cable companies and programmers, which are rolling out dedicated 3-D TV stations.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user bark.

Related content on GigaOm Pro: Are We Putting the 3-D Cart Before the Horse? (subscription required)