3D HDTV sales slow so far, still expected to be awesome by 2014

Summary:With next-to-no compatible content, high prices, and a glacial economic recovery, it really should be no surprise that 3D HDTVs haven't set the world afire since their introduction earlier this year. According to a new DisplaySearch report, roughly 1.

With next-to-no compatible content, high prices, and a glacial economic recovery, it really should be no surprise that 3D HDTVs haven't set the world afire since their introduction earlier this year. According to a new DisplaySearch report, roughly 1.6 million 3D sets will be shipped this year, which amounts to only 2 percent of all flat-panel TVs shipped.

Nonetheless, the research firm still believes 3D TVs will become a sizable minority of sets purchased in the coming years -- 41 percent by 2014. DisplaySearch attributes that to a wider range of 3D displays, lower prices, and increased 3D content. Meanwhile, back in 2010, the number of 3D glasses sold in Western Europe amounts to fewer than one pair per 3D TV, which means many 3D sets are being purchased but aren't being used to watch 3D content.

What goes unstated in DisplaySearch's press release is that there's also a resistance that many viewers will have to donning glasses just to watch TV in their living room. Perhaps there will be a killer app -- 3D sports, perhaps -- that will break down the stigma, and children won't mind wearing the specs, but those of us who've grown up not watching TV with special glasses will have a tough time adjusting. The best solution is 3D technology that won't require any glasses to discern the extra dimension, though that's still a few years away from being ready for mainstream TV production.

Have you purchased a 3D TV yet? If so, was it worth being one of the first to do so? If not, what's keeping you from buying one? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Enterprise Software

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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