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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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Internet in the TV, why?
By Targon on 12/16/2010 8:10:47 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty much every BluRay player has that "Internet" connectivity, with an increasing number including WiFi(so you don't need to run ethernet to connect). This means that there is ZERO reason to spend extra for a TV that has all of these Internet features if you go with a BluRay player with the feature.

That's it, problem solved. 3D is another issue, and in general, the only benefit will show up when filming uses 3D equipment, rather than having 3D added in post processing.

Now, the real advantage to 3D is that you get an increased depth to programming that is recorded in 3D. Most people frown on the old-school approach of "objects popping out" at them, but they do appreciate when movies look like there is depth in the scene, and that is what will make 3D become popular.

When stereo first came out on TV, it wasn't all that exciting for most people. I noticed that for shows like Star Trek: TNG, you could hear the background hum of the ship that was not there without stereo. With surround, for things that use it, you will hear events that happen off the screen, people walking in the door from behind, etc, and it just enhances the overall program in minor but still obvious ways. Action sequences obviously have the potential for hearing objects flying all around the viewer/listener.

So, 3D...if a proper 3D recording is made, you will feel like you are looking at a show with depth, and while it won't be a make or break thing(in the way stereo isn't really REQUIRED), it will be an overall enhancement of the viewing experience once it matures a bit more.

The real thing that is holding back sale of the 3D displays is the cost. Right now, the amount of true 3D recorded programming is TINY, so why would you spend all that extra money for a display that costs twice as much if you don't have enough programming to justify it.

Now, one thing that would help is if the supporting technology for 3D TV would not have a price premium. The lower cost displays have a 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rate, while you see the 3D sets having a 240Hz LED with all of these extra features. This means that you are paying for a higher grade of display, and it is questionable if THAT would also really enhance the experience. If the 240Hz LED is so much better, then if that became the norm for a $800 40 inch display, 3D might only cost an extra $100 to $200(plus glasses of course). That is something that many wouldn't object to, but they will object to spending $2000+ on a 3D TV when they can get the same size for $1200 without 3D, even if the technology isn't as advanced.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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