NPD: US 3DTV sales growing

But consumers still don't see 3D as a crucial feature

May 23, 2012
LG Cinema 3DTV

The latest report on the US television market from NPD indicates that there has been strong growth in the sales of 3DTV sets.

In fact 3DTV revenues for the first quarter of 2012 rose by 64 per cent year-on-year, and unit volume was up even more at 74 per cent.

According to NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service, 3DTVs accounted for 11 per cent of all flat panel TV sales in Q1, which was double that achieved in the same quarter back in 2011.

When talking large screen 40 inch plus sets, 3DTV was even more prevalent at 22 per cent of the market.

However, consumers don’t buy televisions for 3D as a rule, with the majority still reckoning that it’s not a crucial factor in their purchasing decision. Recent research from NPD shows that only 14 per cent of consumers who are planning on purchasing a flat screen TV in the next six months said that 3D was a “must have” feature.

So folks are buying more 3DTVs simply because the manufacturers are including the technology on many new sets, in the majority of cases; rather than purchasing due to a genuine desire for three dimensions.

Whether a TV is net connected is a much more important factor, currently, as previous studies have also shown.

The good news for 3D is that a lot more consumers, almost seven in ten, believe that three dimensional viewing is a “nice feature” to have which “they may use in the future”.

Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis for The NPD Group, commented: “3D has been a success for the television market from a sales perspective. However, few consumers cite watching content in 3D as a reason for purchasing a TV, indicating that other factors such as screen size, resolution, and Internet connectivity hold more importance.”

As ever, the lack of content, and need for every viewer to wear glasses, remain the main bugbears putting folks off 3DTV.


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