SID 2011: Spread the Word about 3DTV

The day before the official start of SID Display Week 2011, I attended the Business Conference hosted by DisplaySearch. I could probably write the rest of this year’s Almanac entries based just on the information that was presented that day, but I want to highlight one here. Mike Abary is the Senior Vice President of the Home Division of Sony Electronics, and his presentation covered the 3DTV market from his company’s perspective. He had a lot of fascinating information that came from a major consumer research project from February 2011.

It is little surprise that cost was the main reason that people cited for not wanting 3DTVs, or that the second was the need to wear glasses when watching 3D content. According to the survey results, 62% of consumers would be interested in getting a 3DTV if they didn’t have to wear glasses. Sony then added additional attractive features, such as no additional fees for 3D content or favorite video games were available in 3D. With four features in addition to no glasses, 85% of the consumers wanted a 3DTV.

Then Sony asked a similar set of questions, but without the n0-glasses feature. With five other features, 74% said they wanted a 3DTV. In other words, if they are offered the right feature set, three out of four consumers want 3DTV.

The other result that startled me came in a section that surveyed consumer knowledge about 3DTV. 54% reported that they knew that 3DTVs are also HDTVs and can be used to watch 2D HDTV content. That means that 46% believe that you need a separate HDTV in addition to a 3DTV. Wow! No wonder they don’t want to buy one.

While it is interesting to try to take the measure of the market, this is all going to become moot before the year is over. 3D support is migrating throughout the product lines, and by the end of this year, it will be about as difficult to get a TV that is not 3D-capable as it is to buy a car these days that doesn’t have an FM radio. And as those new sets find their way into American households this year and next, the broadcasters will find ways to make more content available in 3D, either produced that way from the start or converted from 2D content. In the meantime, you can do your part by spreading the truth about 3DTV to your family, friends, and neighbors.

And by 2013, 3DTV will be well on its way to becoming a familiar part of the home entertainment landscape.