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3D TV sales get off to stumbling start in Europe

by Tarinder Sandhu on 18 June 2010, 12:24

Tags: Sony (NYSE:SNE)

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Tip of the iceberg?

We have little doubt that TVs endowed with 3D trickery will become an integral part of all manufacturers' listings in the months and years ahead. However, in mid-2010, 3D-enabled sets make up a miniscule percentage of all TV sales, according to research conducted by retail analyst GfK.

Getting granular, GfK reckons that by the end of May 2010, European consumers had purchased 25,000 3D-enabled flat-screen TVs. Sound impressive until you factor in that GfK conjectures 252 million TVs will be sold this year.


Big-name manufacturers have begun rolling out a bevy of 3D-enabled sets but a lack of content and premium pricing is stifling demand, we think. GfK goes on to paint a rosier picture by stating "The latest survey of 120 electronic retailers in Germany, France and the UK found that 3D televisions will be an integral part of product ranges in future. In addition, 90% of retailers stated that the topic of internet television also sparked interest among their customers."

The nascent technology should gather significant momentum in the second half of the year as the 3D bandwagon moves into overdrive, helped by the release of a wider range of Blu-ray players, along with 3D-compatible console and PC gaming - the latter currently championed by NVIDIA.

What do you think? Will your next TV purchase be of the 3D persuasion?

HEXUS Forums :: 16 Comments

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3D is not something I'm interested in at all to be honest. The current technology (although I've only seen it in cinemas) looks more like a pop-up book than ‘real’ 3D to my eyes.

I certainly wouldn't buy anything that would need me to wear 3D glasses either. If it's all done on the screen then maybe but my feeling is this has been pushed out at/on we, the consumer, by the industries without really asking us if we want it.

But, I'm an old cynic. :)
I'm with pollaxe on this - absolutely unconvinced. I'm not going for anything that requires me to wear glasses. I'm just not. Period. And I'm not convinced that the 3D effect is either anywhere close to well-enough supported for me to buy a 3D set, or necessarily ever will be, or that I'm that bothered about the effect even if it were fully supported. I find it interesting as a novelty, and no more.

So …. if a future TV purchase happened to have a £D capability built-in, and didn't add to the cost, and that was the best set to select for my other needs, then okay. But I'm not spending extra on a set for 3D, unless it's an absolutely trivial amount, and I'm absolutely not, under any circumstances, replacing a perfectly good existing set with a new one on the basis of 3D. I might but a set that, coincidentally, had it, but I'm sure not buying a set because of 3D.

This is not to say that some, maybe many, people won't pay out just for 3D, or that I think they're wrong. If they want it and are prepared to spend money on it, well, it's their money. But I'm not.
Unless something actually is 3D, you need some kind of trickery to make it look 3D. If you're waiting for a version that doesn't require glasses - and isn't painfully awful - don't hold your breath. We'll have teleporters and hover-cars before we have even passable 3D without glasses.
I would get it, I reckon, for no more than a £50 premium - with a few provisos.

  • No glasses
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous viewers (who all see it in 3D)
  • Free 3D content (so blu-rays at no extra cost, or PS3 games, or Sky 3D)
  • No need to spend hours configuring it specifically for 3D

If it won't fulfil those criteria, then I wouldn't have it for any more than £0 - I wouldn't use it.
I can't see 3D TV taking off until it becomes a feature that is in all TV's and 3D content becoming the free\widely avalible.

For me the whole having to wear glasses thing is a show stopper, well at £80 a pair anyway.

I'm interested to see if 3D adds much to gaming.