Skip to content

The 3D TV Purchasing Conundrum

The NPD Group announced that 42% of consumers it surveyed are interested in watching 3D movies at home but only 11% intend to purchase a 3D television.

For more information visit:

Unedited press release follows:

More Consumers are Amazed at the Retail 3D Experience than the Theater Experience, according to The NPD Group

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 26, 2010 – There’s more of a “wow” factor for 3D at retail, according to the first installment of the 3D 360° Monitor, a new report from leading market research company, The NPD Group. According to the report, 20 percent of consumers reported being “amazed” by the 3D demos in stores, versus only 15 percent who felt that way about their experience in the theater.

“Since high-quality digital 3D has been available in the theaters for a few years now, consumers have come to expect impressive effects that are worth the price of admission,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for The NPD Group, “However, 3D TVs are relatively new and those viewing a demo don’t have to pay for the privilege, resulting in lower expectations that the sets are often exceeding.”

Theaters are providing most consumers with their first modern 3D experience. Twenty-six percent of consumers stated they experienced 3D entertainment in theaters in the past 12 months followed by retail outlets with 4 percent. Those interested in 3D, however, are being driven by the cinematic experience, with the vast majority of consumers intending to purchase a 3D television seek larger screens and multiple pairs of 3D glasses.

The fundamental gap that 3D faces is the one between the appeal of the experience and the acquisition of products to create it. For example, 42 percent of consumers surveyed were at least somewhat interested in watching 3D movies at home, but only 11 percent intend to purchase a 3D television. More than half of those intending to purchase a 3D product say that 3D enhances the viewing experience, and 42 percent agree with the statement that 3D is the future.

Objections from consumers not currently interested in purchasing a 3D television include cost and the need to wear glasses, but there are also concerns about the relatively short amount of time the technology has been available in the consumer market, and whether or not the technical issues have been addressed.

“As we have seen with other technologies that have transitioned from the theater to the home theater, lower prices and more content will help drive adoption of 3D,” said Rubin. “There is clearly an opportunity to build an ecosystem of products that enable this dynamic way to experience content.”

To learn more about consumer experiences at the theater and at retail read Ross Rubin’s blog post on The NPD Group Blog.

The 3D 360° Monitor Report, the first report of its kind from NPD, covers awareness, interest and intent around the breadth of devices and content tracked by NPD. More than 1,100 respondents from NPD’s online panel completed the first wave of this survey in August.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading market research provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless.