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Research Firm: 3D TV Sales Slower Than Projected

Turns out that selling an expensive consumer-electronics display format in the middle of a global economic downturn is proving to be not as easy as anticipated

Turns out, many consumers are not so interested in watching cable-news reports about double-digit unemployment in 3D.

Research firm DisplaySearch reported Wednesday that worldwide sales of 3D TV sets amid the still-lingering economic downturn have been weaker than anticipated.

The company had projected sales of 3.4 million units globally for 2010, but the current pace is only around 3.2 million TVs. In North America, the company is downgrading its forecast to just under 1.6 million from 2 million units.

Despite the fact that box-office performance of 3D titles has been uneven since "Avatar's" record-breaking run at the beginning of the year, 3D's business backers and giddy enthusiasts have touted the home market as a given factor in what they see as 3D's ubiquitous global adoption.

The imperfect logic: 3D's penetration into the home is inevitable, so the theatrical motion picture business will undoubtedly have to begin offering every film it shows in 3D to keep pace, much as how it adopted color five decades ago.

However, as DisplaySearch's data indicates, 3D's conquering of the home entertainment environment, at least in the near term, is far from given.