Seven in eight 3D TV buyers 'won't see 3D shows this year'

Nearly a million households to have 3D-ready television before the end of the year.

More than 800,000 households will have bought a 3D-ready television before the end of the year, but fewer than one in eight will actually be watching 3D programmes on it, the Guardian reports.

Consumers have been flocking to buy 3D TV sets - largely due to the hype surrounding the film Avatar and the promise of experiencing sport such as football via the new technology - but a new report from Informa Telecoms and Media predicts that of the 845,000 households worldwide likely to have 3D TV-ready sets by the end of this year, just 101,000 of them will be watching 3D shows.

By the end of 2015, 3D-ready sets will have reached 70m households, some 5.1 percent of all homes that have a television. But once again a huge number - up to 48m (68 per cent) - will not actually be watching 3D TV shows on them. Just over 30 per cent, or 22.2m homes, will be watching 3D TV shows.

The report lists a number of factors contributing to the gap, including a significant number of viewers not realising that they must also have the right set top box and/or subscription package. A similar issue plagued the surge of interest at the arrival of high-definition TV in time for the 2006 World Cup, with many viewers not knowing that they needed the right equipment to receive it.

The report says that while just 22.2m households in the world - some 1.6 per cent of all homes with televisions - will be watching 3D programmes by the end of 2015, the market will still be immature at that point, with "significant growth opportunities" to follow.

By the end of the year the number of homes watching 3D TV programming globally will be 101,000. Of those 60,000 will be in North America with 22,000 in Western Europe.

By the end of 2015 6.8m of the 22.2m households worldwide that will be watching shows in 3D will be in Western Europe. The UK is expected to have 1.6m 3D TV households by the end of 2015. North America will have 9.2m homes and the Asia Pacific region 4.6m.