Most comprehensive study into 3D TV completed

November 10, 2010

Latest research into 3D TV has shown that viewers are more comfortable with the medium and enjoy it more than programming in high definition.

The most in-depth study on 3D TV to date was run by Dr Duane Varan, Professor of New Media and Executive Director of the Interactive Television Research Institute at Murdoch University for ESPN a leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company based in the US.

The research was conducted during ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at the Disney Media and Ad Lab in Austin, Texas and compiled results from more than 1,000 testing sessions and 2,700 lab hours.

Dr Varan said the research employed an experimental design approach including the use of perception analysers, eye gaze and electrodermal activity.

“The study focused on a multitude of topics including overall viewing enjoyment, fatigue and novelty effects, technology differences, production issues and advertising impact,” Dr Varan said.

“We used 700 different measures to analyse audience reaction and tested TVs from five different 3D manufacturers.”

Key Findings:

3D TV ads can be more effective

  • In testing the Ad Lab showed viewers the same ads in 2D and 3D.  3D ads produced significantly higher scores across all ad performance metrics – generally maintaining a higher level of arousal than the 2D counterpart.
  • Participants showed better recall of the ad in 3D:
  • Cued recall went from 68 per cent to 83 per cent
  • On average, purchase intent increased from 49 per cent to 83 per cent
  • Ad liking went from 67 per cent to 84 per cent

Fans enjoy 3D

  • The results showed a higher level of viewer enjoyment, engagement with the telecast and a stronger sense of presence with the 3D telecasts.
  • Enjoyment increased from 65 per cent to 70 per cent in 3D while presence went from 42 per cent to 69 per cent.

Passive vs. Active

  • With all things equal, there were no major differences between passive (viewing glasses not requiring a power source) and active (viewing glasses needing to be plugged into power) 3D TV sets for overall impact however, passive glasses were rated as more comfortable and less distracting by participants.

Depth Perception

  • The study found that there were no adverse effects on depth perception (stereopsis).
  • It appeared that there is an acclimation effect whereby participants adjust to 3D over time under normal use.

True 3D vs 2D

  • Participants showed much more favourable responses to true 3D images than to 2D.

About the ESPN 3D Research Study
Conducted over the course of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, this is one of the most ambitious studies of 3D viewing to date. Participants were tested prior to 3D viewing, in test and post test to garner a wide range of information. Testing was completed at the Disney Media & Advertising Lab which was developed to better understand the emotional drivers of audience behaviour and physiological reactions to advertising.  The facility conducts year-round tests using the most advanced research techniques including biometric measurement tolls to evaluate engagement and emotional responses.

This research was conducted by Professor Duane Varan, Executive Director and Chief Research Officer of the Disney Media & Advertising Lab, and his staff.  Dr Varan is recognized as a global innovator in iTV applied research and as one of the foremost authorities on new media.  He is the Executive Director of the Interactive Television Research Institute and holds the inaugural chair in New Media at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia.

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Media contact: Hayley Mayne
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