Only 17% of Americans consider 3D to be important enough to buy a new television set and most of them are not prepared to pay any more for one. A survey commissioned by Deloitte reports that only one in five respondents would pay up to 10% more for a 3DTV. In the last six months, only 9% of consumers in the United States have seen 3DTV. The survey suggests that 7% have purchased 3D media, which if anything seems a surprisingly high proportion, given the paucity of programming and sets on which to view it.

Deloitte found that 31% of respondents did not enhance their entertainment experience, while a further 13% reported feeling uncomfortable or physically ill after watching 3D programming.

The need to wear special glasses seems to be a significant barrier to adoption. Ed Moran of Deloitte said that glasses are “a barrier to the multitasking that consumers engage in while watching TV, including surfing the web, reading email, talking on instant message, and reading books, newspapers and magazines.”

Not surprisingly, those under 30 years old are more likely to have seen 3DTV. 55% of them would buy a new television set that would allow them to watch programmes in 3D without glasses. 25% of those in their twenties that already own a flat screen television would be willing to pay 15% more for a 3DTV.

The results of the survey will be unwelcome news for consumer electronics manufacturers that are convinced 3DTV is the next big thing.

They are consistent with other recent survey results. A survey by research firm Interpret suggested that 21% of respondents would probably or definitely buy a 3DTV. However, interest is higher than in the first quarter of the year, when only 13% said they would buy a 3DTV.

In January the Consumer Electronics Association forecast that 4 million sets would be sold in 2010, but has since reduced that forecast to just over a million.

Samsung, which leads sales of 3DTVs sold half a million sets since the launch of its range in March. Falling prices could see sale pick up in the second half of the year, but they remain a premium product.

Revolutions 2010 takes the pulse of American consumers between their annual State of the Media Democracy Survey. The survey was conducted by the Harrison Group in June and July 2010 and is based on responses from 1,960 Americans between the ages of 14 and 75.