Print 63 comment(s) - last by Pessimism.. on Jan 5 at 4:14 PM

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 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.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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