The FIFA World Cup is expected to help boost HD TV sales by 5% or £118 million this year, according to new research. Commissioned by Kelkoo and carried out by CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research), the new report on HD TV and 3D TV in the UK suggests that the country's 3D TV market could be worth £7.25bn by 2015.
Other predictions contained in The Prospects for HD TV and 3D TV in the United Kingdom include: 7.6 million consumers - or one in four households - to own a 3D-ready TV by 2015; 40,000 3D TVs expected to be sold in the UK this year; and a predicted drop of 60% in the average price of a 3D TV over the next five years.
The report also tracks the impressive adoption of high-definition technology in the UK, with 12.5 million households now owning an HD TV set - although the economic downturn and market saturation yielded a 15% drop in sales for 2009.
3D TV, suggests the report, "could help to turnaround the industry's fortunes", with high-profile 3D films like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland raising awareness of the technology across the board. Adoption in the home may escalate in the near-future, with average set prices expected to fall from £1,720 to £786 by 2015.
However, 3D content continues to lag behind TV sales: although 845,000 households worldwide will have 3D TVs by the end of 2010, only 101,000 will watch 3D shows. The report suggests that content accessibility will improve when the forthcoming spectrum changes free up bandwidth currently occupied by analogue services.
Bruce Fair (pictured), managing director of Kelkoo UK, commented: "HD TV sales have reached a natural point of saturation so the World Cup effect will provide a welcome sales boost for retailers and manufacturers alike. Historically, major sporting events can have a significant impact on the sale of consumer electronics products, and the arrival of 3D ready televisions in time for the World Cup is no coincidence.
"The industry is tying its hopes to 3D technology to become the new growth driver for the consumer electronics market so it is widely anticipated that any barriers to entry will be swiftly addressed. Issues such as affordability and the lack of content on offer are likely to be alleviated with proximity of events such as the 2012 London Olympics as a means of showcasing the technology.
"Consumers are understandably keen to upgrade their home entertainment systems in time for major events; however, prices for 3D TVs are currently at a premium and will be for the next couple of years, which means consumers should always shop around and compare prices before making any purchasing decisions."