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Interest in 3D TVs fall flat with American, British and Canadian buyers

Most Americans, Britons and Canadians are unlikely to purchase a 3D television any time soon, according to a recent Vision Critical poll. The online survey of representative national samples shows that a negligible number of respondents in each country currently own 3D TVs. Five percent of Americans, 2% of Britons and only 1% of Canadians have a 3D television at home.

However, despite limited intent to purchase, awareness of 3D TV is strong in all three countries – at least four-in-five respondents in the US (81%), Britain (also 81%) and Canada (84%) have heard of household consumer 3D television.

Based on a short description, 81% of American respondents said they probably or definitely would not purchase a 3D TV in the next six months. American men are more likely (17%) to purchase than women (10%).

Some 95% of Canadians responded that they would “probably” or “definitely” not purchase a 3D television in the next six months. A vast proportion of those (71%) fall into the “definitely would not buy” category.

Four-in-five Britons (81%) will not purchase a 3D TV in the next six months. Respondents living in London are more likely to buy compared to those in other parts of Britain. Respondents in the Midlands and Wales are the least likely to purchase a 3D TV in the foreseeable future.

Across all three countries, the main reason cited for not planning to buy a 3D television is the high price tag. In Britain, two-in-five respondents (42%) think 3D TVs are too expensive, a sentiment shared by 39% of Americans and 32% of Canadians. Also, 31% of Britons, 28% of Canadians and 26% of Americans feel it is inconvenient to wear the required 3D glasses at home.

When asked what they would be willing to pay for a 46” name-brand 3D television, Americans averaged $753, on par with Canadians at $785 (nearly equivalent considering the current exchange rate). Britons are willing to pay £385 (approximately US$625) for a 40” 3D TV from a national UK retailer.

Of the very small group of respondents who will “probably” or “definitely” buy a 3D television in the next six months, most will elect to buy a Sony, Samsung, or LG – or whichever brand is the best deal at the time they go to purchase.

About a third of Canadians (35%) who plan to buy a 3D TV will choose LG, 17% will select Sony and 21% will go with whichever brand provides the best deal. In the US, 32% of prospective buyers will acquire a Sony model, 14% plan to buy Samsung and 16% will go with the best deal. In Britain, respondents who plan to buy a 3D TV will mostly go for the best deal (35%), followed by 23% opting for Sony and 14% choosing Samsung.

More than half of Britons who are planning to buy a 3D TV in the next six months will do so from whichever retailer has the best deal at the time they go to purchase (53%) – 12% will purchase from Currys and 11% will buy at Argos. In Canada, 37% plan to buy at Future Shop and 9% will go to Costco – more than a third (35%) will go wherever the deals are best.

American shoppers prefer Best Buy (28%) or Wal-Mart (22%) if they plan to buy a 3D TV in the next six months. One-in-five respondents in the US will be seeking the best deal, regardless of the retailer (20%).

Nearly one third of Canadians own a high definition flat screen LCD (29%) while one-in-five have a non-HD flat screen LCD (21%) and nearly one quarter (24%) have a CRT tube-style television in their home. CRT tube TVs (31%) and HD flat screen LCD TVs (30%) are most popular in the US. About one-in-five Americans (17%) have a non-HD flat screen LCD. In Britain, three-in-ten respondents have a flat screen HD TV at home (30%) while 26 per cent have a non-HD LCD, and 17 per cent own a CRT tube television.

Methodology: From 1 March to 7 March 2011, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 1,011 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists, 1,006 American adults who are Springboard America panelists, and 2,007 British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error is +/- 3.1% for Canada and the United States and 2.2% for Great Britain. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Canada, the US and Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Story filed 10.04.11

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