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Avatar expands 3D TV interest

Making punters keener to buy too?

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Hit movie Avatar appears to be persuading punters - in the US, at least - that it might soon be possible to view 3D films on TV at home. Whether it will convince them to buy into the notion is another matter.

Electronics price-comparison site Retrevo said yesterday that while a mere 39 per cent of consumers were aware of 3D TV in the home before the release of Avatar, that figure rose to 60 per cent after the film's debut.

The movie's benefits for sellers of 3D TV kit is less clear cut. Before Avatar premiered, more than a quarter of consumers — 27 per cent — said they'd buy a new telly to experience 3D at home.

After the arrival of Dances with Wolves in space — surely 'James Cameron's spectacular 3D epic', Ed — the number of potential 3D TV buyers rose, but only to 32 per cent of the total.

Still, even if Avatar hasn't done as much to encourage people to buy a 3D TV as it has to evangelise the concept, that's still a lot of folk willing to part with their hard-earned for a new telly.

Which is good news for Sony, Panasonic, LG, Toshiba et al, though they'd better bundle plenty of the glasses you need to view stereoscopic 3D material.

Retrevo found that a whopping 65 per cent of respondents would only buy 3D specs if the devices costs $10 (£6) or less. A further 25 per cent said they'd be happy to spend up to $25 (£15) for specs but no more. Only ten per cent said they wouldn't object to paying more than $25.

As the company notes: "Won’t consumers be surprised when they discover that an extra pair of active shutter glasses is going to cost around $30 or more?"

Interestingly, while only a small percentage of survey respondents grumbled about the comfort of the glasses they'd had to wear to watch 3D movies, that percentage almost doubled in Avatar's post-premiere period. Vendors, take note.

Retrevo's conclusions were drawn from surveys of its own users, though how many of the the site's 5m visitors were sampled, it didn't say. ®

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