New US Survey Highlights Misconceptions Surrounding 3D

Jonathan Sutton

When it comes to 3D TVs, not a week goes by without a new survey on this extra-dimensional display technology hitting the news desks of tech journalists. The latest is one conducted by US-based market research firm Interpret. While most of its findings were hardly groundbreaking, the survey did unearth some gems that highlighted the amount of confusion surrounding 3DTV technology even among consumers who are more technologically savvy.

Interpret, which specialises in using advanced methodologies to track and measure trends in the media, entertainment and technology industry, recruited 1458 US residents aged between 12 and 65 for a period of almost 2 weeks starting from the 31st of August. Specifically chosen to ensure proper representation of the US demographics, there were healthy portions of cinema-goers, gamers and home entertainment users (at least 400 in each category) among the participants. They were then asked to complete a 20-minute online interview which contains a number of questions on different aspects of 3D entertainment ranging from 3D TVs to 3D gaming.

Some of the results in the survey are already well-known. Only slightly more than one-fifth of respondents showed an interest in splashing out on a 3D TV within the next 12 months. The top 2 reasons putting respondents off buying 3D TVs are high prices and obligatory 3D eyewear. And the content which will stimulate respondents’ interests in 3D TVs are 3D movies, 3D games and 3D sports (and in that particular order).

But there were also some frankly quite worrying findings from the survey. For example, at least two out of three respondents were not aware that they needed to buy a new 3D TV in order to watch 3D channels from their cable or satellite TV provider. A large number of them thought that all they require is a pair of 3D glasses to be used in conjunction with their existing 2D TVs.

If these findings are the result of genuine ignorance rather than poorly worded interview questions, then companies who have invested heavily in 3D technology (TV manufacturers, retailers, broadcasters, game developers, etc.) still have much to do to clarify the misconceptions on 3D entertainment among the buying public. Any widespread confusion will only hurt consumer demand for 3D TVs and related hardware.