Just 1.8 million U.S. households will have a 3D television by the end of this year -- representing 2% of all TV homes -- but the category will pick up the pace to reach 21% by 2015, according to a new forecast from SNL Kagan.
"Although consumer adoption of 3-D TV sets is expected to be slow while more 3D programming becomes available in the next couple of years, the attraction of live 3D sports and the success of 3D theatrical film exhibition point to a new revenue model for the supporting businesses," the research firm said in the report, "The Future of 3D and Internet TV."
The projected 1.8 million 3DTV households by year-end is a net gain of 1.4 million from year-end 2010, based on an estimated retail sell-through rate of 35%. SNL Kagan expects the retail sell-through rate to increase to 75% in 2011 as average 3DTV set prices drop from an estimated $1,728 in 2010 to $1,623 in 2011.
The category will ramp up in 2012 and beyond as prices of 3DTVs drop even more, the research firm said. It pegged the average retail unit price at $1,511 in 2012 and $1,195 by 2015. However, SNL Kagan noted, that does not include 3D accessories such as Blu-ray Disc players or additional 3D glasses, which cost about $100 depending on manufacturer.
SNL Kagan also issued an updated forecast for Internet-connected TVs. It projects connected TVs (excluding Blu-ray players and other over-the-top devices) will grow to 14% of total U.S. TV households, an increase of 8.4 million net new Internet-connectable TV households estimated this year from 7.5 million, or 6% of total U.S. TV households, at year-end 2010.
From year-end 2012 to 2015, the research firm estimated that the percentage of total TV households with at least one Internet-connectable TV set or Blu-ray player will grow from 23% to 51, as the majority of new HD and 3DTV sets and Blu-ray players will have some sort of Internet connectivity.