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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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Bah
By Motoman on 12/15/2010 3:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
The interest in 3D isn't there because of:

1. Glasses
2. Price
3. Content

All three of those will have to be fixed before it's sufficiently interesting for people to buy into it. No 3D technology that requires special glasses of any kind will ever be popular. Ever. Anything that happens up to that point will be little more than a curiosity.

Price and content are also important...I know that I certainly would not consider 3D capability to be anything I would pay extra for. But the glasses are the total deal-breaker.

As for internet connected TVs...well, how many households have internet connected TVs by virtue of the fact that they have a Wii, or something else, that gives them internet access on their TV? Even low-end Blu-Ray players, like the LG unit I just picked up for $65 have built-in internet access (albeit limited in my case, to weather, Youtube, and Picasa...for some people that may be all they care about). And of course there is some market segment that already has HTPCs in place too. Frankly, if there's nothing wrong with your TV and you just want internet on it, buying a new BD player or a Wii or something else makes infinitely more sense than buying a new TV with native internet access. If and only if you are already in the market for a new TV, and have no other way already to get the internet on it, is native internet connectivity interesting when buying a new TV.




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