3D TV: Is it too Early for the Manufacturers to Start Selling them?

When Samsung presented it’s all new 3D TV in recent CES 2010 presentation, it caused a stir among technology enthusiasts. If you had any doubt that the big thing in televisions this year will be 3D, then Samsung’s CES press conference would have finally convinced you. The company is throwing its rather large manufacturing weight behind 3D in the home, bringing not just TVs but 3D Blu-ray players and home theater systems into stores this year.

3D Televisions are everywhere in 2010, but I doubt the TV viewing world’s willingness to quickly take the plunge. Call me practical, jaded or simply a good, old-fashioned stick in the mud, but when it comes to consumers upgrading to 3D television anytime soon, I just don’t see the point. Much ado has been made about this new technology at CES 2010 by manufacturers such as LG, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and Panasonic, with one in four consumers surveyed by the CEA saying they plan to buy a 3D TV within the next three years. However, while ESPN plans to roll the first official 3D sports network on June 11, and consumers are predicted to spend $17 billion on 3D TVs in 2018, per research firm DisplaySearch’s forecasts, I’m just not sold on the concept’s potential rapid consumer uptake.

3D TV Is it too Early for the Manufacturers to Start Selling them

Here are 3 main reasons why I feel that the world is perhaps not ready to upgrade yet and it is too early for the Manufacturers to start selling them:

1. Current Lack of Demand. It’s one thing to experience 3D technology while sitting in front of a three-story screen versus one’s living room, where it’s more of an event, and your everyday living room, where the activity becomes more mundane, making it hard to justify the cost of an immediate upgrade. Besides, since when was 2D storytelling and filmmaking broken to begin with? Fueled by hit films like Avatar and Up, interest in 3-D has hit a fever pitch – and both cable networks and electronics manufacturers are taking notice. Their conceit: If it works in the theaters, why not in the living room? And that inherently flawed notion is leading companies to sink billions into a trend that probably won’t last long.

2. Counterintuitive. It’s bad enough having to hunt for the remote in your couch cushions. Now imagine having to do the same for 3D glasses that not only make you look goofy once located, but could also prove quite uncomfortable to wear in long-term sittings. Is this really the glorious future sci-fi novels once promised? Maybe, if you’re into migraine headaches, occasional screen flicker and, well, you know, looking a complete toolbox.

3. High cost of 3D TV. Three-D TV will require brand new television sets and related equipment, which companies like LG Electronics, Panasonic (PC) and Toshiba were eager to show off this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. Special 3-D goggles are required for each viewer, unless the set has Auto Stereo Display – which then only works if everyone is situated directly in front of the set at a specific distance. Otherwise, it’s a blur. Your best bet: Shell out for a pair for each family member and expected guests. The cost of all this equipment could run into the thousands, preventing a surge of early adopters still too strapped to even buy a regular HDTV or wise enough to wait until the technology catches on – if it ever does. And skimping on a 15-inch screen won’t cut it: For 3-D to be effective, it needs to be huge– which is why the technology is best seen in a movie theater, as it has been for decades.

I really don’t see what the big deal is about 3D. It was always much more of a nuisance, what with the glasses and eye strain. I wish companies would stop worrying about this crap and look into OLED more. Perfect the performance of your televisions before you move onto uncharted territories. What do you think?


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