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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 mdogs444 on 12/15/2010 12:03:45 PM , Rating: 3
I think its pretty obvious why its slow....from the average person's perspective.

First is the price - 3D TV packages are much more expensive than the same non-3D TV set. Sure, the package comes with 2 sets of 3D glasses, but that is obviously not sufficient for typical households. They'd have to buy 2 more in most cases.

Second is the uncertainty of the internet pricing schemes and net neutrality. I use Netflix and think its great...but if they change my internet pricing to a tiered service where its going to cost me an arm and a leg to stream videos, then what good does an internet based TV do if I have no intention of paying $100/mo just for internet? If not for movies, then what? I really have no interest in sitting on the couch and logging into Facebook on a 50" TV.

Third is the idea of 3D and what else you need to get it to work. I'm fairly tech savvy and work in the IT department. I don't own a 3D system so I'm probably in the same boat as many other people in terms of knowledge. But I assume you'd need to buy a 3D capable Blu-Ray player (which I have no interest in Blu-Ray). Also, does the average persons cable package with $10-15/mo add on HD service broadcast in 3D? I don't know, but if you have to pay even more yet again for a small amount of programming available, then its still not worth it to the average person.


RE: Content?
By TheRequiem on 12/15/2010 12:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
Your right, the price isn't right, which is why I said that your average TV in the next couple of years will have 3D options, but they don't right now. Only the high-end set's, but still... they need the content to create a demand for the TV's.

Internet TV is different, don't know why you brought that up here. There will always be a competing broadband company with unlimited data (hopefully) and Internet connectivity will always be available in high-end TV's. On a different note, it seams we are progressing backwards with companies offering tiered pricing now. As soon as they do that here, I'm dropping my Internet (there's your message, cable companies). However, what i think will happen is Cable companies will ovffer there own streamign services and sign their own contracts in addition to having their subscription.

Also, your forgetting the simple fact that there are 10's of millions with 3D blu-ray players already... it's the PS3. Not to mention other companies preparing similar firmware updates for their blu-ray player's. All it is... is a different codec. 3D content and codecs won't change, but the display tech eventually will and there will be holographic displays showing 3D images without the need for glasses, but those are several years off. For now though, I think once 3D becomes standard in TV's over the next couple of years, the adoption will grow. Not to mention the whole country is still tight.


RE: Content?
By wempa on 12/15/2010 1:55:53 PM , Rating: 1
quote:

There will always be a competing broadband company with unlimited data (hopefully) and Internet connectivity will always be available in high-end TV's.


Where do you get this data from ? Most areas have only 1 cable company and only 1 or 2 options for broadband internet access. I happen to be in an area that has both cable and FIOS, so I still technically have an option for unlimited data. However, I know many people whose only option for internet is Comcast. He brought up a valid point. The cable companies know damn well that these internet services are going to eat away at their TV profits. That's probably a big reason why they want to enforce data caps. Their overpriced TV "packages" won't compare to the flexibility and cheap price of internet TV. Who the hell wants to pay $100 a month just to get the 5-10 channels you actually watch when you can get instant access to only the shows/movies you care about for dirt cheap ? My guess is that the cable companies will start lowering their data caps and/or raise the price of their internet packages to make up for the lost revenue. So, right now, the future of internet TV is unclear.


RE: Content?
By TheRequiem on 12/15/2010 3:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point, but generally speaking and from a large rural area that I live in... we have about 6 competing companies, 5 of which offer unlimited data (dumb Verizon with their LTE being the only one). So maybe in that perspective, I agree, but we better pray tiered pricing doesn't become the norm...

As far as them increasing prices, I wouldn't be surprised if they did either, but I would hope to see them increase the speed and bandwith as well. Cable will eventually have to reform themselves to IP based companies if they want to succeed anyways, that's where the whole world is headed. time for them to catch on.


RE: Content?
By mcnabney on 12/15/2010 4:56:00 PM , Rating: 3
What rural area do you live in that has 6 broadband options?

Do you know how many broadband options exist for the vast majority of rural areas? Zero

Hell, the typical model in suburban USA is one cable provider and one DSL provider. A few lucky people have the FiOS option as well. And you really can't call them competitors because they don't actually compete with each other. That is why broadband internet pricing is higher in the USA than the rest of the developed world.

And you really can't compare LTE to wired broadband. LTE provides cable speeds with low latency that is actually mobile. The only activities that will run into their cap is P2P and watching movies on a regular basis.


RE: Content?
By JediJeb on 12/15/2010 5:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
I live about 5 miles from a town of 20k residents and my only options for internet are dialup, AT&T DSL, or Satellite. The DSL I have is the 1.5Mb and I think maybe it can get up to 6Mb but not sure in my location, and that just became available to me last year, most near me still don't have access to it. Outside of large cities you don't find much availability for broadband that is good enough for streaming video. I haven't tried anything but watching some youtube on my PC but even that is jittery with my internet, I would hate to think I had to pay good money to watch videos like that on an expensive TV.


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