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Consumers more amazed by retail 3D experience, NPD report says

 1 November 2010      

PORT WASHINGTON, New York (28 October 2010) - There's more of a "wow factor for 3D at retail, as 20% of those consumers surveyed said they were "amazed" by the demonstrations seen in stores, versus only 15% who felt the same way about their experience in the theatre, according to a new report form the NPD Group.

The conclusions were published in the private market research firm's first instalment of its new 3D 360° Monitor. The report covers awareness, interest and intent around the breadth of devices and content tracked by NPD. More than 1,100 respondents from the firm's online panel completed the first wave of this survey in August.

"Since high-quality digital 3D has been available in the theatres for a few years now, consumers have come to expect impressive effects that are worth the price of admission," Ross Rubin, NPD executive director of industry analysis, said in a statement. "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."

Theatres are providing most consumers with their first modern 3D experience. The report noted 26% of consumers stated they experienced 3D entertainment in theatres in the past 12 months followed by retail outlets with 4%. 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% of consumers surveyed were at least somewhat interested in watching 3D movies at home, but only 11% 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 theatre to the home theatre, 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."

Rubin discusses this issue in greater detail on The NPD Group Blog.

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