Seven out of eight buyers of 3D TVs won't be watching any 3D programmes on it this year, according to a report from Informa Telecoms and Media (IFM).
Although more than 800,000 households worldwide are expected to buy a 3D-ready television by the end of 2010, just over 100,000 homes will actually be watching TV shows in 3D. Of those, 60,000 will be in North America and just 22,000 in Europe.
By the end of 2015, 3D-ready sets will be installed in 70 million households globally, but up to 68 per cent (48 million) will not actually be watching 3D shows, predicts IFM.
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 susbcription package to watch in 3D.
In the UK, only Sky is currently committed to launching a domestic 3D TV service before the end of this year.
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ITM also says many consumers will buy 3D TVs for playback of 3D Blu-rays and 3D games, rather than broadcast 3D TV shows.
However, while just 22.2 million TV households globally are expected to be watching 3D TV programmes by the end of 2015 (1.6 million of those in the UK), there will be "significant growth opportunities to come", say the report's authors.
Big sporting events such as the London 2012 Olympics, and falling prices for 3D TV sets, should give the technology a boost.