September 10, 2010 / 9:31 PM / 9 years ago

Americans put off 3DTV viewing by glasses

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - American consumers like the immersive feeling of watch 3-D television, but are put off by having to wear special glasses because they restrict multi-tasking at home, according to a U.S. report on attitudes to the next big thing in television.

High costs and lack of 3D content are also among factors causing Americans to hesitate in buying the latest generation of 3D television sets, according to the report by the Nielsen Company and the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing.

But while costs are expected to come down and content grow over time, unease about wearing 3D glasses could prove a bigger long-term barrier to mass adoption of 3D TV sets, the report issued on Thursday said.

3D TV set sales are poised to go mainstream in the next 12 months with manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG all rolling out sets. Sports broadcasters like ESPN launched its first 3D channel during this year’s soccer World Cup.

But some 89 percent of those questioned for the “Focusing on the 3DTV Experience” report felt the special glasses would constrain other activities they usually do while watching TV.

More than half said the glasses were a “hassle” and 57 percent said they were “not likely” to buy a 3D TV set for that reason, the survey found.

The 425 randomly selected participants had watched 30 minutes of 3D television programing in a home viewing environment.

Although 57 percent of viewers agreed that watching 3D television made them feel they were part of the action, 77 percent said they thought the technology was best suited for special events like sports or movies, rather than everyday viewing.

The Nielsen Company’s Frank Stagliano said the research revealed a “wait and see” attitude by Americans.

“In fact, purchase interest for a 3DTV set among those planning to buy a new TV in the next 12 months decreased after seeing a demonstration of the technology, experiencing the glasses and learning more about product costs,” Stagliano said.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Christine Kearney

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