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High cost and lack of content hamper 3D TV uptake

A lack of content and the high price of TV sets has limited the early uptake of 3D TV, according to the latest research.

In North America, consumers are playing a waiting game as content and channels start to roll out. In Europe there are fewer 3D glasses being sold than sets, suggesting some of the 3D TVs being bought are by customers simply wanting high end, future-proofed sets, but who are not yet interested in watching 3D TV in the home.

“While TV manufacturers have bold plans and a lot of new products, consumers remain cautious,” said Paul Gray, director of TV Electronics research at DisplaySearch. “Consumers have been told that 3D TV is the future, but there still remains a huge price jump and little 3D content to watch.”

“North American consumers in particular appear to be playing a waiting game,” noted Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV Research. “Set makers have trained consumers to expect rapid price falls for new technology, and consumers seem happy to wait a little.”

However, as prices for TV sets fall and more content becomes available, the research house says 3D will gain a foothold. It forecasts 3.2 million 3D TVs will be shipped this year and the total will rise to 90 million, or 41% of all shipments, in 2014.

DisplaySearch says that while 3D TV is creating a lot of buzz and headlines, which have not so far been backed by availability of content or numbers of sets sold, the real revolution in TV is the large number of connected TVs being sold. About 40 million Internet-connected sets will be sold this year, rising to 118 million in 2014, it says.