3D TV: Avatar or Ishtar?
Do punters really want it?
Heads or Fails We've seen plenty of forecasts predicting how many 3D TVs will be sold in the coming years - the latest, from UK-based IMS Research, puts the total at 218m shipped by the end of 2015 - but none that show that punters want or will use the technoology.
As we reported recently, there have been small spending surges in the US and Europe following the debut of 3D TV sets in these territories, but since there's no real amount of content, we have to attribute these sales to folk with too much money or at least more money than sense, and not real people.
We agree with IMS' Anna Hunt, who notes that “within five years, the majority of high-end large-screen TV sets and Blu-ray Disc players are likely to offer 3D capability". Eventually, all sets will have this feature as vendors struggle to sell more sets and the cost of adding the technology falls.
One day, all TVs will be made this way.
Content will come. Over here, Sky will start broadcasting 3D programming, eventually, and more and more 3D Blu-ray Discs will ship. Though, as Reg Hardware's recent 3D TV Group Test revealed, 2010's release list is all too brief.
But will punters adopt it? Most surveys which have asked retailers all mention that internet connectivity appeals to consumers more than 3D does, while in the UK specifically all the signs are that Freeview HD is the key draw pulling punters into the shops in search of a new screen.
As yet, though, no one appears to have questioned consumers here or elsewhere about whether they actually want 3D TV.
We see signs, admittedly entirely anecdotally, that even 3D in the cinema is proving to be less of a draw, so what chance has the technology got in the living room?
Based on the people we've asked over the past month or so - which we certainly don't pretend is a scientifically selected or statistically relevant sample - suggest of itself 3D TV will be no more successful than a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest.
Is this view typical? Now's the chance for you to have your say, in the forum. ®
Pros and Cons
More immersive with the right content
Family sitting around with their jamjars on
Non-interoperability of different specs so need a bag of 'spares' for when friends come around
Easy to lose one remote, what are the odds on losing/breaking expensive glasses
Not great/relevant for many types of content
possible restrictions on viewing angles/distances in modern, cramped houses
I left out expense since that will fall. Yes, internet access would be more useful.
@a beter horse
You used to need to wear glasses to watch colour TV?
People were made nauseous by HD?
Viewing angles were a problem with both?
I don't think any of the above arguments were ever made for colour TV or HD.
As far as I can see...
...3D was added as a gimmick to films to encourage people back into the cinema and away from pirated movies (or, god forbid, waiting for the film to come out on DVD).
As home AV setups now have colour, surround sound, widescreen and hi-def, cinemas needed a new trick. Once people have 3D at home, cinema will need to find a new fad.
The thing is... did you hear anyone actually crying out for 3D? Widescreen, maybe (nobody was UNhappy with their standard def TV); hi-def, at a stretch (most people can't tell the difference between DVD and Blu-Ray). 3D, though?
one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest
The thing is, anyone can wander up and watch the arse-kicking contest without forking out £50+ for a pair of glasses that give them headaches.
So I suggest that the one-legged man will get more viewers.
I'd much rather have UPnP and DNLA built into my telly than 3D.
3D is a gimmick for content-providers. If you've digitised your DvD library and are keeping it on a server, then plug&play connectivity with that library is far more enticing.
And let's be honest here; most TV manufacturers aren't in the content business. They just want to sell more goggleboxes so I'd recommend that they take steps in this direction. Leave the 3D gimmicry to Sky and just let me watch my movies on my TV with a minimum of hassle.