3-D Video Changes the Consumer Content Experience

The more experience people have with 3-D technology, the more interested they are in having more 3-D options, according to a new joint study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Entertainment and Technology Center at the University of Southern California. The study, "3-D TV: Where Are We Now and Where Are Consumers," also showed that 3-D technology is positioned to become a major force in future in-home entertainment.

As with many successful technologies, such as HDTV, interest in 3-D increases as consumers experience it first-hand. In the past 12 months, nearly 41 million U.S. adults report having seen a 3-D movie in theaters. Of those, nearly forty percent say they would prefer to watch a movie in 3-D than that same movie in 2-D. That's compared to just 23 percent who have not seen a 3-D movie in the past 12 months.

"When it comes to current 3-D technology, seeing truly is believing," said Shawn DuBravac, CEA's economist and director of research. "Today's 3-D offerings are changing the way consumers view video content, not unlike the early days of high-definition television, which redefined TV as we know it today."

The study also found that today's 3-D technology is positioned to move into the home and is becoming a major purchasing factor of TV sets. Sixteen percent of consumers are interested in watching 3-D movies or television shows in their home, while 14 percent are interested in playing 3-D video games. All told, more than 26 million households are interested in having a 3-D content experience in their own home. More than half of U.S. adults said having to wear special glasses or hold their heads still while watching a 3-D TV would have no impact on them purchasing a 3-D set for their home. New 3-D display technology that would require no special glasses was unveiled at the 2009 International CES, produced by CEA.

Another driver for purchasing a 3-D capable set is content. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. adults said having access to 3-D content though cable, satellite, fiber-optics or over-the-air broadcasts would positively impact their decision to buy a 3-D capable TV.

"Movie studios and broadcasters are experimenting with 3-D and continue to search for ways to bring the technology into consumers' living rooms," said David Wertheimer, CEO and executive director of the Entertainment and Technology Center at USC. "In the past few weeks alone, we've seen college football's national championship game, multiple Super Bowl commercials and an hour-long TV show, all broadcast in 3-D. Interest in 3-D is growing, and consumers and content providers are both interested in seeing 3-D migrate into the home."

The study also found that consumers were willing to pay more for a 3-D experience. Nearly half indicated they were willing to spend more for a television capable of displaying 3-D content. In fact, 15 percent of consumers said they would spend roughly 25 percent for such a TV. The parallels between 3-D and other successful technologies like HDTV suggest great potential for 3-D in the home.

Shawn DuBravac and David Wertheimer will discuss 3-D technology in further detail in an exclusive webcast at Noon (ET)/9am (PT) on Tuesday, February 24. To register for the webcast or for more information, please email Steve Kidera at skidera@CE.org.

The "3-D TV: Where Are We Now and Where Are Consumers" study (February 2009) was fielded to a national telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults between December 18 through December 23, 2008. It was designed and formulated in conjunction CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study for $999 at www.ce.org.

Source: CEA