Report shows consumers not ready to buy 3D TVs... yet

LAS VEGAS--The good news: A new study finds that consumer awareness of 3D TV finally is beginning to perk up. And the bad? Potential buyers still have too many reasons not to buy it.

There was no shortage of 3D technology on display at NAB, but the energy-and crowds-that made it a highlight of the conference last year were definitely more muted. That's reflected in the report from NPD Group.

The study said consumers aware of 3D LCD TVs went from 28 percent in September 2010 to 36 percent in February 2011. 3D plasma TV awareness jumped from 21 percent to 32 percent, and 3D Blu-ray players went from 15 percent to 26 percent.

But the price of the TV sets-despite the gap between 3D and 2D narrowing--and an aversion to wearing the glasses have left consumers increasingly unimpressed, and that should worry the industry.

Both saw relative increases as inhibitors to adopting 3D televisions, the report said.

"Glasses are becoming a more prominent inhibitor, and are poised to overtake price," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at The NPD Group.

Consumers are slightly less likely to cite a lack of content as a reason not to buy than they've been in the past. The most popular content? Movies and sports.

"Both movies and sports were important content drivers in the HD transition," said Rubin. "However, while feature films provided a large library of content that could be readily converted to HD, there wasn't packaged media that delivered on the promise of the entertainment experience as Blu-ray now provides for 3D."

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
ESPN 3D to finally debut on Verizon FiOS TV
BBC, Sony plan global broadcast of Wimbledon finals in 3D
Study: 3D TV set shipments to surge by 2015
Report: Steady 3D TV growth seen in U.S. future
Nielsen report: Consumers not yet in love with 3D