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World 3D TV sales to jump in 2011

But still only a small percentage of tellies shipped

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World shipments of 3D TVs will jump 463 per cent this year, market watcher IHS iSuppli has forecast, as TV makers tone done their feverish promotion of the technology.

Releasing cheaper sets is helping too, it will surprise no one to learn.

Some 23.4m 3D TVs will ship this year, up from 4.2m in 2010, iSuppli reckons.

Global shipments will breach the 100-million-unit mark by 2014 and then hit 159.2 million in 2015, the research firm said.

Last year, vendors were vigorously hyping up 3D in a desperate bid to persuade punters to upgrade existing flat-panel tellies. Their calls largely fell on deaf ears, thanks to a lack of content, high set prices and - frankly - because too few people could see the point. Brits would prefer to have BBC iPlayer access, for example, we think.

This year, iSuppli said, vendors are taking a more measured approach, pushing 3D not as the be-all-and-end-all of home entertainment but as a nice feature to have alongside internet connectivity, network media playback and such.

That will work with buyers, hence the big jump in shipments.

But let's put those 23.4m 3D TVs in context. DisplaySearch, another market watcher, says 257.9m TVs will ship this year. That includes CRTs, OLEDs and rear-projection sets, but by far the vast majority - 92 per cent - are LCDs and plasmas, the two technologies used in 3D TVs.

Out of around 237m LCD and plasma TVs, just 9.9 per cent will be 3D-capable. iSuppli puts the proportion at 11 per cent, up from two per cent in 2010.

Focus on higher-end sets, says DisplaySearch, and the percentage of 3D-capable tellies jumps to 30 per cent this year.

Expect next year's Olympic Games and the Euro 2012 tournament to have a positive impact on 3D sales, but by then, of course, 3D will be as much a standard feature as IPTV services are now. ®

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