More than 120,000 3D TVs are expected to be sold in the UK by the end of the year, which is significantly better than the sales of HD TV sets in the first year they became available, says Futuresource Consulting.

The research firm predicts four million 3D TVs will be sold worldwide before the year is out, with 1.2 million being sold in Western Europe alone. Furthermore, 550,000 3D TVs will be sold in the UK next year, while five million will be sold in the US and more than three million in Western Europe.

In 2003, the first year HD TVs were available, just 4,000 HD TVs were sold.

"3DTV will continue to provide 'premium brand' CE manufacturers with a way to differentiate themselves from the competition and add value for consumers," says Bill Foster, senior technology consultant at Futuresource Consulting.

Futuresource said manufacturers slashing the prices of 3D TVs had helped encourage sales.

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See also: 3DFusion plans glasses-free 3D HDTV