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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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Who needs it
By kleinma on 12/15/2010 12:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the fact we just went through the whole flat screen craze over the past few years, where people dropped a few K on flat TVs to hang on their walls. Those people expect to get a decent amount of life out of those things before rushing out to buy another. Electronics companies love to make your 1-2 year old purchase feel crappy compared to their newer lines, but in reality, people aren't willing to keep buying new stuff when the old stuff isn't broken. If the old stuff does break in such a short time, they should at least stay away from that brand.

The other issue is the glasses of course, and 3D tech in general is likely to go through a number of revamps with improvements over the next few years, leaving the 3D TV you buy today feeling like crap again.

You know what I do when I want to see 3D? I look at something OTHER than the flat monitor on my wall. Besides 3D is just an excuse for content creators to give up with actual things like storylines and good plots, because they figure they will make money on the gimic that is 3D.

RE: Who needs it
By MrTeal on 12/15/2010 2:35:53 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. We replaced a small TV in the upstairs den with a 37" LCD last Christmas, and just replaced the old 27 CRT in the basement TV room with a 46" LCD. Both were huge steps up over what they replaced. Barring accident or failure, I have no plans to purchase another TV for 10 years or more. Maybe if 3D was close to price parity I would chosen to go that route, but I'm sure as hell not going to pay triple the $600 I paid for my 46EX400 just to get the higher refresh rate and 3D.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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