‘Avatar’ Pushes 3D Awareness to 60%

Blockbuster movie and news from CES has created a legitimate market for 3D home theater.

Tom LeBlanc · January 14, 2010

When it comes to consumers’ perception of 3D home theater, a recent study suggests that it must be viewed in two categories: Before “Avatar” and After “Avatar.”

That’s how much of an effect James Cameron’s 3D blockbuster film, which hit theaters in December 2009, has had, according to Retrevo.

Retrevo says that before “Avatar,” only 39 percent of survey respondents were aware that they will be able to watch 3D TV at home. After “Avatar,” that percentage jumps to 60 percent.

Retrevo saw a 20 percent increase in consumers saying they are ready to buy a new TV to get a 3D experience after “Avatar” was released.

The impact isn’t exactly surprising. CE Pro editor Jason Knott speculated that “If ‘Avatar’ ends up being the ‘Star Wars’ of this generation, it’s only a matter of time before it has a strong spillover effect in the custom market.”

Being the “Star Wars” of a generation is a lofty goal, but “Avatar” is off to a good start having grossed $441 million domestically after 24 days.

A massive onslaught of 3D video-related news out of CES 2010 didn’t hurt awareness either. Mainstream consumers were told that 3D is the next big thing in home theater and familiar brands like Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba announced 3D Blu-ray players.

The survey also shows that consumers aren’t wild about wearing 3D glasses, with 90 percent saying that they won’t spend more than $25 on a pair and 65 percent saying they won’t pay more than $10.

Glasses still remain an obstacle to 3D home theater sales whether consumers know it or not. Retrevo expects that an extra pair of active shutter glasses will cost $30 or more.

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  About the Author

Tom has been covering consumer electronics for six years. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Now, as senior writer/technology editor of CE Pro magazine since 2003, he dabbles in all departments and offers expertise in marketing. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Tom at

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  Article Topics

News · 3D · Avatar · CES · Home Theater · All Topics
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