About a quarter of TV viewers surveyed expect to upgrade to 3DTVs in the next 18 months, while 75% either currently own an HD set or plan to buy one in the same time frame, according to a global study from Motorola Mobility.
However, the numbers for the U.S. were lower than the worldwide average: Only 4% of U.S. respondents currently own a 3DTV and just 11% plan to get this technology in the next 18 months.
Motorola Mobility's Media Engagement Barometer study, conducted by research agency Vanson Bourne, surveyed video-consumption habits among 7,500 consumers in 13 countries: the U.S., Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Nordics, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the U.K.
The study also found that consumers around the world are very interested in using social-media features on their TVs -- with 58% of people who have used social media during a TV program saying they would change their service provider if it were offered as an integrated service.
About 42% of viewers globally have had an e-mail conversation, engaged in an instant message chat or used a social network to discuss a program or video while they were watching it, according to the study. Of this group, 22% said that social-media multitasking is a regular part of their viewing experience and 61% would be prepared to pay more for a service that offered these capabilities.
Again, the figures for American viewers were lower: 32% of U.S. respondents have used social media while watching a TV show, but just 13% of Americans would pay extra for a video/TV service that integrates Internet capabilities such as chat on screen with social network contacts. Motorola found that 37% of Americans would change TV provider to one that offered access to social networks, chat or e-mail while watching live TV or video.
"The research clearly shows a changing television landscape, one where subscription services are becoming mainstream, augmented by social activities revolving around Internet chat and networking channels," Motorola Mobility chief marketing officer Bill Ogle said. "The good news is that, based on these findings, consumers are willing to pay for the services providing the value."
Just over two-thirds of the respondents said it was either "quite" or "very" important to be able to access free content on devices other than the main TV set in the home, compared with 39% who said the same about subscription content.
Consumers in China, the United Arab Emirates and Russia were the most enthusiastic when it comes to integrating social media into their viewing habits, while the Japanese, Germans and viewers in the Nordics are the least likely to chat, use instant messaging or a platform like Twitter or Facebook to discuss a program or video while they are watching it, according to the study.
Meanwhile, shopping via television was of interest to 42% of viewers globally, followed by chat (30%), updating a social media site (27%) and accessing Twitter (17%), the study found. About 20% of respondents said they would be interested in a recommendation engine that tracked viewing habits and suggested content based on viewer preference in addition to popular content their friends are watching.