No Big Surprise: 3-D TV Not Catching On

Some bad news for consumer electronics manufacturers: 3-D TV is not taking off as quickly as expected. According to DisplaySearch, 3-D TV makers have made their products widely available, but to little avail, as consumer uptake of the new products has been limited.

DisplaySearch estimates that there will be 3.2 million 3-D TVs shipped in 2010, which is lower than some other forecasts, such as one by iSuppli that called for an (already conservative) 4 million units shipped this year. The research firm cites high prices and lack of quality 3-D content currently available on TV, and thinks demand for 3-D TV offerings will pick up once prices drop and more content is available. Like all industry research firms, DisplaySearch is bullish on the new-ish 3-D technology, forecasting that the number of 3-D units shipped will grow to more than 90 million, or 41 percent of all flat-panel TVs by 2014.

However, the solution might not be as simple as lower prices, more content: there’s reason to believe that consumers just don’t see the point of 3-D in the home. According to a KPMG study earlier this year, just 15 percent of consumers surveyed said they would likely shell out for a 3-D capable set the next time they bought a TV, with 63 percent saying they didn’t see a need for the technology in their home. And yesterday CNET said that, according to data gathered from more than 17,000 of its users, interest in Internet-enabled TVs is 51 percent higher than for 3-D TVs.

Consumer electronics manufacturers and distributors seem keen to continue rolling out new 3-D capable TVs and programmers and distributors are supporting the initiative with new cable networks. Still, despite industry interest, we’re skeptical about the viability of 3-D in the home.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user bark.

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