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Report sees bright days ahead for 3DTVs

A new report from GigaOM Pro forecasts substantial growth in popularity of 3DTVs among consumers over the next few years with the number of flat-panel HDTVs capable of displaying 3-D content reaching 46 million by 2013.

According to Alfred Poor, author of the report and publisher of the “HDTV Almanac,” consumers buying the first 3DTVs to hit the market next year will pay a premium compared to conventional HDTVs. However, as volumes increase and manufacturers include 3-D capability as a standard feature, prices will decline to the point where consumers will pay only a slight premium for 3-D.

According to the report, “3DTV Market Analysis: Making the Transition from Cinema to Living Room,” lower prices for 3-D viewing glasses and greater availability of devices also will play an important role in consumer uptake of 3DTV. While today’s low volume of 3DTV glasses has not allowed manufacturers to achieve the scale needed to lower prices, higher future volume of 3DTV sales will create the need for larger volumes of 3-D viewing glasses and drive down costs.

Helping to increase future demand for 3DTVs will be viewer interest in 3-D content. “Just as many consumers are voting with their wallets today for the 3-D version of their favorite movies in the theater, we expect over time that many will choose 3-D for their favorite shows and movies at home as well,” Poor said.

The report’s findings are consistent with a recently released report from In-Stat, which shows general interest in viewing 3-D at home by consumers as long as the devices needed to do so don’t carry much of a price premium.