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3D glasses are worth no more than the $3 up charge the theater wants  (Source: Panasonic)
Give us a decently priced 3D TV with passive glasses and things might take off

A disconnect in what analysts think will happen and what actually happens with consumers seems to be commonplace within the TV industry. In October, DisplaySearch released some figures that forecast the shipments of connected TVs to soar this year. So far, according to massive electronics retailer Best Buy, the mass adoption of expensive sets with new features simply hasn't happened and adoption of 3D TVs is still slow.

Reuters reports that Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn told analysts that sales of 3D TVs has fallen behind expectations. Dunn said, "There was confusion about 3D early (on). It was a little short on content." A little short is an understatement, and one of the films that could have helped drive 3D TV adoption – Avatar – is locked up as an exclusive for Panasonic until 2012.

With the news of slower than expected sales of high-end TVs, Best Buy was forced to cut the profit forecast for the year. Frank Ingarra from Hennessy Funds stated, "The stock got killed today." Ingarra co-manages a find that has 32,000 shares of Best Buy stock. The stock closed at $35.52.

TV makers still expect sales to improve next year as more 3D content becomes available. LG's Jay Vandenbree told 
Reuters, "Just like how high-definition TV started in sports and movies, as 3D evolves, it will go with sports and movies and then become more of an everyday thing."

Some also point out that 3D content that is poorly produced is also making some watchers queasy. Google's Google TV offerings are also not doing as well as expected on the market. The main reason for this is the fact that most of the major video streaming services and networks blocked Google TV devices from accessing and streaming content from sites like Hulu, Fox, and others effectively killing the benefits of paying more for Google TV.

Perhaps even more telling though is a statement from Ross Rubin, analyst at NPD. Rubin said, "People can also buy lower-priced alternatives to connected TVs, be it video game players, Blu-ray players or Apple TV."

Consumers aren’t stupid; many are familiar with 3D from the theater and most understand the benefits of 3D in the home. What many consumers simply won't get behind are sets that are overpriced and then require active glasses that cost $200/pair or more adding an extra $800 or more to the cost of going 3D for a family of four. 

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RE: Content?
By TheRequiem on 12/15/2010 11:51:54 AM , Rating: -1
Eventually all TV's will have a 3D option IMO and 3D content is here to stay, this isn't a huge diffference or necessity like HD was... once they have tons of content and your regular TV has a 3D option, people will have the option to use it or not and buy 3D or not. For me, 3D is awesome and yet another higher level of viewing content.

RE: Content?
By BladeVenom on 12/15/2010 1:05:01 PM , Rating: 5
3d is a fad. Like it was a fad in the 50's and a fad again in the 80's. The current methods needing glasses, won't become the norm. Maybe someday with improved holographic technology, but not today.

RE: Content?
By TheDoc9 on 12/15/2010 1:26:48 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't base the future success on past failures. The real test will be when the Nintendo 3ds comes out, then we'll know the future of 3d tv.

RE: Content?
By JediJeb on 12/15/2010 5:16:45 PM , Rating: 4
Until I can actually walk around the video and see it from all angles while not wearing any type of special glasses 3D isn't going to interest me. Holodeck or nothing for me.

RE: Content?
By B3an on 12/15/2010 8:23:47 PM , Rating: 4
Other drawbacks of this 3D fad:

1. You need prescription glasses if you have bad eyesight, as obviously you cant use these 3D glasses with normal glasses. Prescription 3D glasses can cost many times more than the already expensive 3D glasses.

2. Theres Flickering problems.

3. Quite a few different health related issues, and other sick/dizzy feelings many experience when viewing for more than 2 - 3 hours.

4. Image quality and colour is degraded.

5. And of course it's not real 3D, just a cheap trick.

RE: Content?
By delphinus100 on 12/15/2010 8:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
I might accept 1-4, but...

5. And of course it's not real 3D, just a cheap trick.

What does that mean? What kind of 3-D (even actual holography) is not a trick?

RE: Content?
By PrinceGaz on 12/16/2010 10:49:20 AM , Rating: 3
It is a cheap trick because all it is doing is adjusting the relative position of an object independently for each eye; it is NOT adjusting the distance your eye needs to focus on depending on the distance the object is supposed to be from you. All you are seeing are two different flat (2D) scenes, one in each eye, which is not a natural way to see things and is a major cause of problems with prolonged viewing of such material.

RE: Content?
By RubberJohnny on 12/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: Content?
By Shadowself on 12/16/2010 6:45:11 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using fake 3D systems in my professional life since the 80s with special 3D systems from the old Evans and Sutherland group. While *some* of these new systems are better they are still horrible.

1. Wearing 3D glasses over regular glasses sucks. Period. I wear aspheric lens glasses to get the best correction. Putting cheap 3d glasses over them significantly degrades the imagery.

2. Not true. Some 3D is at 120 fps many, many are not. The imagery from most films is still based upon a base rate of 24 fps. There is not way to get 60 fps for each eye out of that without a LOT of temporal interpolation.

3. Maybe not you, but the effect is not just for a very small fraction of people. For long durations, a significant fraction of people have negative side effects.

4. Not total BS. I guess you've never heard of intra frame blurring and frame to frame effects that are dependent on each sensor recording the imagery and how they are sequentially shown. Also while -- in theory -- polarizing shutter glasses don't degrade color a much it does happen. And such shutter glasses inherently drop the light intensity by half. Never take an optics class -- and pay attention.

5 And yes, it is a trick. It is not an image you can move around and view from different angles.

RE: Content?
By TSS on 12/16/2010 10:17:34 AM , Rating: 2
The main drawback isn't the illusion, it's the price.

I bought a 55" LED TV recently, With all the bells and whistles you could wish for in a TV except 3D, for the same price i've seen 42" 3D TV's begin at. I bought a 42" LCD tv like 4 years ago for half of that price.

Oh, there's also something i noticed in the store that you americans probably wont deal with often, but we dutch do constantly: Subtitles in 3D are really really annoying.

RE: Content?
By RubberJohnny on 12/15/2010 11:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
Sweet, then stop reading 3D display tech related articles until 2030. I look forward to reading your useful comments on holodecks in 20+ years.

RE: Content?
By xpax on 12/15/2010 5:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
+++ Agreed, 100%.

RE: Content?
By FaceMaster on 12/15/2010 5:27:02 PM , Rating: 1
3d is a fad.

Look at things with both eyes open. Now look at it with just one. Which do you prefer? Exactly. 3D is one of the least faddy things I can think of. 2 eyes are better than none, so unless you're all disagreeing with that, there must be something else about the technology you don't like.

Honestly, is it just the glasses putting everybody off? They're not a great solution, I agree, but HAS will be better alternatives in the future. There HAVE to be better alternatives in the future. But for the sake of archives and future-proofing, I think that 3D glasses are a small price to pay for having a 3D archive of footage starting today.

No doubt I'll be rated down for this comment because it goes against popular opinion, though as far as I can see it you're all being short sighted (Or maybe you're blind in one eye ), because the way I look at it , 3D is the one jump we need to make with all forms of media before I'm satisfied with the quality of the footage I watch and archive. Well, 4K would be nice as well, but that will no doubt happen with time. 3D is one of those things that we MUST make now, and then deal with the problems later... otherwise we'll never get around to it. And that would be a great shame.

RE: Content?
By JediJeb on 12/15/2010 5:40:16 PM , Rating: 3
What would 3D gain me in watching the local news? Just as some people insist that you need 7.1 surround sound to enjoy a movie others insist that you need 3D to enjoy watching TV. I am completely happy watching a 2D TV with only the TV speakers most of the time. Sitcoms and News really don't require 3D or surround sound at all. I sometimes like to have surround sound when I pop in a movie like Star Wars or Serenity, but I don't watch movies that often. Talking to the people I work with it seems the average person may only watch a few hours of TV a day, and that is mostly news and weather, maybe a sitcom or two.

When most people have a room that is maybe 12 x 12 or 15x15 a 50inch 3D TV is kinda overkill. I also imagine most people are like I am in that I'm not going to pay over $500 for a new flat screen TV when the old CRT I have is working fine. Get a 42" HD TV down to about $200 then I might buy one because I have other things I need to spend my money on.

I wouldn't rate you down for your opinion, but I do think it is rather short sited to think most people out there place such a high priority on something as trivial as 3D TV considering most still don't even own HDTVs.

RE: Content?
By FaceMaster on 12/16/2010 8:22:18 AM , Rating: 1
What would 3D gain me in watching the local news?

Why not just have the news in black and white? Heck, why not do away with vision altogether and just have sound?

RE: Content?
By wempa on 12/16/2010 3:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
Those comparisons aren't even close. The step up from B&W to color was huge. The step up from SD to HD was much smaller. Notice how long it's taking people to move to HDTVs and Blu-Ray players. The step up to 3D is miniscule and certainly not worth paying the kind of premium that it requires now. Given the slow adoption, it's pretty safe to say that most people agree.

RE: Content?
By FaceMaster on 12/19/2010 8:41:36 AM , Rating: 3
Sigh, and you think the first colour screens were as clear and defined as the best black and white monitors around at that time?

New technology has always lead to sacrifice somewhere, it simply takes time to iron out the bugs and to maximise the benefit of the new technology. Simply refusing to allow the progress in the first place is NOT the way forward, despite what most people on these forums think.

I'm beginning to think that none of you actually care much about technological progression. Then again, this is an American site.

RE: Content?
By glennc on 12/15/2010 8:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
3D is flawed in its current state and i am not talking about the glasses. it is the refresh rate that is the problem. when you are viewing 2D both eyes are seeing the same picture at the same time so 60Hz is enough. when 1 eye sees the image and then the other eye sees a image from a slightly different angle you see the 3D. this is fine until the action speeds up (action movies, sport etc.) where 1 eye is seeing a different object position not just angle (it has moved) the image becomes semitransparent. even avatar suffered from this badly but it is sport where it is going to be most detrimental.

why is no one talking about this? i notice it all the time and then researched it and discovered why. the problem is the source not the device. 240hz, 480hz whatever just screw things up and don't actually improve the situation.

RE: Content?
By SeeManRun on 12/15/2010 10:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
Look at things with both eyes open. Now look at it with just one. Which do you prefer? Exactly. 3D is one of the least faddy things I can think of. 2 eyes are better than none, so unless you're all disagreeing with that, there must be something else about the technology you don't like.

I think 3D will be much better when they don't force focus on objects and allow your eye to focus on anything you want in the 3D world you view. This is what is coming with video games, so it will be the way of movies as well.

When viewing 3D content now it feels more 3D than real life because when I look at something that is out of focus it doesn't clear up, giving an artificial amount of depth to the picture, that makes it look non real. Nothing about 3D in its current form is more realistic, any more than 2D is unrealistic. Once it can track my eyes and make proper focus what I am looking at and adjust the picture accordingly, it will always looks false.

RE: Content?
By AnnihilatorX on 12/16/2010 4:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. That's why I couldn't get used to seeing Avatar (first 3D film I've sen) after half an hour of adjusting. That plainly gave me headache.

But I don't think technology in near future can remedy this problem, it'd require eye tracking.

RE: Content?
By jimbojimbo on 12/15/2010 7:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the optical digital movie industry was a fad doomed to fail when the Laserdisc failed too.

By the way you cannot compare 3D technology now to the old anaglyph technology which washed out all the colors. Completely different. If you think they're the same you're obviously blind.

RE: Content?
By GWD5318 on 12/16/2010 10:44:33 AM , Rating: 2
3d is a fad....

Yeah, yeah! I agree, ya see?

Ya know what else is a fad? Talkies! Bring back the good ol' silent films! Too much hubbub for me, pally!

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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