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Television The Media Hardware

Huge Shocker — 3D TVs Not Selling 535

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dying-from-not-surprise dept.
itwbennett writes "It comes as no surprise to the vast majority of us who haven't rushed out to buy a 3D TV, but according to a DisplaySearch report consumers aren't doing their part to make 2010 the year of 3D TV, says blogger Peter Smith. And the stats are even worse than Smith imagined they'd be: 'DisplaySearch estimates that 3.2 million 3D TVs will be shipped in 2010. Note, that's shipped, not sold. 3.2 million equates to 2% of all flat panel displays shipped (as far as I can ascertain, that's worldwide shipments). So yeah, there are not many 3D TVs being shipped this year. But wait, that's not the end of the bad news. In Western Europe (the only region where they offered this data point) sales of 3D glasses are less than 1 per 3D set sold. In other words, a lot of Western Europeans who buy a TV with 3D capability don't even bother to buy the glasses to use that feature.'"
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Huge Shocker — 3D TVs Not Selling

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:07AM (#33893228)

    maybe it's because there's no 3d standard yet.
    I know I'm holding off until I don't have to choose from eighteen different technologies ranging from shutter to active to glasses free to holding flash cards infront of my head.

    Make a 'standardized' 3d format, and I'll dive in.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:19AM (#33893480)
      Actually, it's just how you look at the sales numbers. If you're wearing your 3-D glasses they look much better.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mlush (620447)

        Actually, it's just how you look at the sales numbers. If you're wearing your 3-D glasses they look much better.

        That only applies if the figures were made in 3D, if they were converted from 2D you may as well rub mud in your eyes.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:16PM (#33896950) Journal

        You jest but I'd say those stupid glasses are part of the reason stereovision TV (real 3D you can walk around, this is stereovision) will bomb hard. The glasses ARE expensive, which means to have enough so friends and family can all watch will be $$$, they just aren't comfortable or easy to deal with if you wear glasses, and even though my vision is good I've found wearing those things more than an hour gives me a headaches, and from talking to friends I'm FAR from alone on that. Then you add to that the fact that even though we have had Stereovision since the 50s most directors just can't figure out what to do with it so you end up with movies on par with "Dr Tongue's 3D house of Pancakes" (Man I miss John Candy, he would have cranked up the funny with this crap) and you end up with an expensive solution to a problem nobody really has.

        The problem is the TV industry hasn't accepted what the PC manufacturers are finding out the hard way: We passed "good enough" a long time back and many folks just ain't interested in the latest whizz bang. Hell we have had dual core for...what? 6 years or so now? yet the majority of machines I see cross my desk or are in people's homes are late P4 era, why? Because paired up with a 19-22in flat panel the stuff folks are doing with their PCs, watching videos, going on FB, surfing the web, etc, just ain't taxing even these 7+ year old machines. Hell I have a damned nice AMD Quad for gaming but I'm typing this on a circa 2003 AMD Sempron I use for a Nettop. For the above uses it is whisper quiet and ultra low power and even though I like the toys there just isn't anything I do with it that even needs dual cores. Most of the homes I go into doing service calls have a nice 32-46in TV and you know what? They are happy with it. They see NO reason to change it, it works, they can plug all their consoles and gadgets into it, and everyone can pile around WITHOUT needing a bunch of expensive glasses just to watch a movie or the game.

        I think Stereovision TV is gonna bomb and bomb hard, simply because it is too expensive and too much hassle for too little. I've asked customers thinking about getting a new set about Stereovision and down almost to the last one they'd rather have a bigger cheap screen than a Stereovision smaller one. Hell even the gamer customers I talked to just didn't seem that fired up by Stereovision, and gamers are usually first adopters. I'd say it'll probably bombs hard.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fizzup (788545)

          All good points for why stereovision sucks, but you missed one. You can't lie down on your side and watch television. Even if you lean to one side a bit, that's bound to give you a headache.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Idiomatick (976696)
            Circular polarization, Anaglyph(Red-Green), Interference, and shutter glasses allow you to lie down. Only linear polarization and parallax/lenticular barrier types fail there.

            For the uninitiated:

            Polarization: Good image. Cheap Glasses Required. Expensive Screen.
            Anaglyph (Red-Green): Shitty image. Cheap Glasses Required. No special screen.
            Interference: Good image. Really expensive glasses required. Good screen reqd (nothing special though).
            Shutter: Good image. If improperly done it makes people sick. E
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Namarrgon (105036)

              You're wrong in that you can't lie down and get a stereo effect, regardless of the method used. This is because the left & right viewpoints are created assuming the eyes are horizontally aligned. You'd have to shoot (or render) with over/under camera lenses to get footage suitable for sideways viewing (and then it wouldn't work for sitting up).

              Your method summary is about right, except that I'd say that in my experience, Polarization often gives a blurrier image (more ghosting) than e.g. Shutter glasses

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by WuphonsReach (684551)
          We passed "good enough" a long time back and many folks just ain't interested in the latest whizz bang. Hell we have had dual core for...what? 6 years or so now?

          While multi-core was available back in '05 and '06 - it wasn't affordable until about mid-year in 2007. That's when the first AMD Athlon X2 CPUs dropped below $200. Once that happened, Intel was forced to hurry up their multi-core offerings and get the price below $200.

          I remember it fairly well, because that was the kick-off point for a majo
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by delinear (991444)
      I doubt most buyers even understand the different formats, they probably just think 3D TV is all the same. No, it's more likely higher cost plus lack of a real need just yet that's behind this - sales of HDTV were similarly low when sets first started appearing on the consumer market, due to both the high cost and the lack of content. It's way too early to say 3D TV has failed as TFS seems to be suggesting - let's wait until 3D movies are widespread and prices of sets have dropped a little before making bla
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AlecC (512609)

        I don't think they are saying that 3D TV has failed, merely that this is not "The year of 3D TV". Which doesn't surprise me. Leaving aside the format problem, which is serious, the consumer needs to have much more awareness of the products and much more available material in order to put out that amount of money. I think they are not totally stupid - they know that the home TV experience will not match the experience that the got watching big movies - not to mention that while some moves have looked brillia

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by yuna49 (905461)

        I doubt most buyers even understand the different formats, they probably just think 3D TV is all the same. No, it's more likely higher cost plus lack of a real need just yet that's behind this - sales of HDTV were similarly low when sets first started appearing on the consumer market, due to both the high cost and the lack of content.

        I don't think the two are comparable at all. HDTV provided larger screens with better resolution without any change in how viewers relate to the television. 3D offers nothing

    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:23AM (#33893562) Homepage Journal

      maybe it's because there's no 3d standard yet.

      Maybe it's because its an expensive device that delivers a sub-par viewing experience in exchange for a gimmick that people are already fed up with.

      • by Rasperin (1034758) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @11:21AM (#33894798)
        And have been fed up with since the mid 80's
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Defenestrar (1773808)

      Or perhaps because it's not really worth the sticker shock for all 4 movies out there you want to watch in 3D. Wait - let me correct that. Don't want to pay the sticker shock price for a 2D stereoscopic projection.

      Heck - I'm not even willing to pay that percentage of my annual income for a regular HD TV. Then again, I have different hobbies and fairly limited free time, so I probably don't spend more than two hours a week in front of a TV. So my comments should be taken with a whole spoon of salt since

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by digitalunity (19107)

        You've got it all wrong.

        HD isn't "High Definition", it's "Higher Definition". That is to say that it is higher definition than the really abysmal NTSC specification called out.

        On another note, I just got rid of my old 21" Viewsonic CRT. I think it was close to 18 years old and still had higher resolution than my new widescreen LCD monitor.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EdZ (755139)
      As far as I know, there are only two methods of encoding 3D that are actually in use for consumer products (ignoring proprietary and bespoke systems, For That Way Madness Lies): page-flipped, and side-by-side. Page flipped is basically stored at twice the normal framerate, with one eye image then the other. Uses double the bandwidth/bitrate, but as it's storing two full frames there is no loss in quality. Side-by-side encodes the images side-by-side anamorphically in a regular frame. Easy to broadcase becau
      • by Firethorn (177587) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @11:43AM (#33895184) Homepage Journal

        Displaying 3D is not standardised (horizontal or circular polarisation, active shutter, funky-multi-layer-dichroic-anaglyph, etc), but this makes no difference whatsoever.

        Depending on the technology used, it DOES matter though. Why? Because with all the HD image techs you listed, nobody needs special glasses to see the image.

        With most existing 3D techs, you need the glasses. What happens when you get friends over? When you break a set, or they just fail? Right now you can't just order generic glasses, your friends, assuming they have 3D, would likely have different 3D and would thus have different glasses.

        They aren't even standardized as far as blink rate synchronization goes, so many glasses, even if the sets of different makers use the same basic tech, aren't inter-compatible.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:07AM (#33893238) Homepage

    I'd imagine that the price of entry (not to mention expensive and PITA glasses) are likely what's holding back a faster adoption. I've checked out a couple of 3DTVs on display at my local Bad Buy, and I gotta say the effect is extremely impressive. Were it not for a lack of content and finances, I would probably buy one.

    The fact that first-gen consumer flatscreen 3DTVs work as well as they do is promising for the technology.

    • My question is how this rate compares to other major advances in TV technology over the years. What was the adaptation rate in the first 12 months for color, flap panel, and high definition TVs? This, to me, sounds exactly like all those articles that used to claim that Blu-ray was dead on arrival; and I seem to see not one but two isles devoted to blu-ray at my local Target these days.

      I'm not saying 3D tv's are going to sell well or are worth the money (and the stupid, stupid glasses). I'm just pointing

      • by arivanov (12034) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:42AM (#33893930) Homepage

        Flat panel was hugely expensive for many years. Its transition from early adoption to consumer technology took nearly 5 years. Once the prices dropped under a certain threshold the CRTs disappeared off the shelves virtually overnight.

        The replacement of BW by Colour took even longer. We are talking decades here. Once again, once the price difference dropped under a certain level BW disappeared overnight.

        HD TV crawled to HD through "HD Ready" for more than 4 years.

        12 months are not indicative of an adoption rate. The first 12 months in consumer electronics are often the same for tech that eventually dies and for tech that becomes the de-facto standard. Will the 3D TV live or die is yet undecided. It will become clear in 3-4 years (earliest).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Moryath (553296)

          Once the prices dropped under a certain threshold the CRTs disappeared off the shelves virtually overnight.

          Actually, CRT's dropped off the shelves for three reasons:
          #1 - Collusion by the "beige box" computer manufacturers (Dell, Gateway, etc) to only offer LCD monitors.
          #2 - Collusion by the "Big Box" retailers (Worst Buy, Circuit Scammy, etc) to no longer sell CRT's because they got better margin on higher-priced, but same sized, LCD TV's.
          #3 - Bought-and-Paid-For legislation in states like California creati

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Defenestrar (1773808)
            The disappearance of CRTs is a real shame because there's nothing else out there (that I'm aware of) which offered really high resolution options. I do some imaging in one of my labs where I'd love to see the whole picture (>2500 pixels wide) at once (so I can observe patterns) without having to reduce image size (which might cause me to miss some of the artifacts I'm looking for). While I know current LCD is heading toward the 2500 pixel width mark, I don't want to have to use a 35" display to do so.
    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:18AM (#33893434) Journal

      Were it not for a lack of content and finances, I would probably buy one.

      I am so happy we have blu-ray discs today. I don't own any blu-ray movies nor do I own a blu-ray player. But what I do own is lots of DVDs that I purchased after blu-ray came out. Found a complete X-Files box set for under $100 brand new (over 40 discs!) from some 'deep discount' retailer online. Same with a bunch of other movies I liked but never had the cash to blow $20-$30 to get on DVD. Dr. Strangelove looks pretty much the same to me on DVD -- again, found it on the cheap given the advent of blu-ray. Handbrake allows me to rip the discs to an m4v file so I can stream them to my player on my TV and then put the discs away in safe storage to increase their shelf life. I'm happy. Obviously if I'm compressing them to m4v and enjoying that with no problem, DVDs are more than satisfactory. Could I even still do this with blu-ray and 3D, let alone afford them? Probably not.

      Now with the 3D, I was hoping that publishers would be forced to put out three tiers of purchasing: DVD, blu-ray and 3D. And the ceiling would be on 3D while DVDs might shift even lower. I know I'm the minority when I say that I am satisfied with current DVD resolution and am okay with buying into DVDs but the price difference is unreal -- especially used discs.

      Of course, this backfires if they 1) stop making DVDs of movies or 2) stop supporting DVD playing in major electronics and players. Since the discs are the same size, I don't ever thing #2 will happen but #1 is a possibility. Until then, my wallet and I are really enjoying these transition periods!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I know I'm the minority when I say that I am satisfied with current DVD resolution and am okay with buying into DVDs but the price difference is unreal -- especially used discs.

        I don't think you're the minority at all. I think a lot of people feel this way, myself included.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Maxo-Texas (864189)

        Exactly. I did the math once and at 15', the difference between DVD and HD is meaningless on a 46" screen. Pretty meaningless on a 55" screen.

        I have gone a step further and stopped buying things like the X-Files (tho I did buy that before I stopped).

        I only buy a movie on DVD now if I know I will be watching it at least 5 times or at least once a year. If I know I'm going to watch the movie once or twice, I rent it.

        I can't keep up with the new entertainment as it is. Still haven't seen Dr. Horrible, How

        • I'm excited about this new space war/flight simulator game too- have a free copy- it looks super deep and if I can make it through the learning curve (it's a full fledge starship combat / star colony simulator) I'll buy the full version for ... 99 cents.

          care to share the name of this potential gem with us?

        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          Exactly. I did the math once and at 15', the difference between DVD and HD is meaningless on a 46" screen. Pretty meaningless on a 55" screen.

          I have an aunt and uncle that would violently disagree with you. Never underestimate the psychological effects of something like that. Funny that they are always having financial problems, buying the biggest, brightest, flashiest, newest thing.

        • by slyrat (1143997) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @11:07AM (#33894468)

          Exactly. I did the math once and at 15', the difference between DVD and HD is meaningless on a 46" screen. Pretty meaningless on a 55" screen.

          15 feet? Well no wonder. Most every time I've seen tv set ups it is at most 10 feet, and even then everyone I know has distances closer to 6 feet. If you have that kind of distance you should look into projection hd. You can make it a bunch bigger for just moving it back a bit farther.

        • by dogsbreath (730413) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @11:10AM (#33894536)

          I have gone a step further and stopped buying things like the X-Files (tho I did buy that before I stopped).

          I only buy a movie on DVD now if I know I will be watching it at least 5 times or at least once a year. If I know I'm going to watch the movie once or twice, I rent it.

          Yup... we stopped buying video content a long time ago. We just use the PVR, watch a show a couple of times and then let it disappear into the bit bucket. I have almost no interest in owning/permanently keeping video content. My experience is that most discs are played once or twice and then just take up space on the shelf that would be better used for books, pictures or photo albums.

          OTOH, I am very much into a permanent collection of audio. Music has more meaning and permanent value for us than videos/movies. Go figure.

          I still buy CDs because of the flexibility and control: I can convert it to any format with ease, but if (legal) downloadable content was DRM free then I would not buy CDs either. I would rather maintain a reliable NAS vault of music than manage a collection of fragile plastic discs.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by pak9rabid (1011935)

          ...the differencebetween DVD and HD is meaningless on a 46" screen. Pretty meaningless on a 55" screen.

          What, are you fucking blind?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by adisakp (705706)

          Exactly. I did the math once and at 15', the difference between DVD and HD is meaningless on a 46" screen. Pretty meaningless on a 55" screen.

          Either your math is wrong or your TV is crappy or your eyesight is really bad. With the higher resolution, you do get a lot more image. There are BluRay discs of Nature shows where you can see individual blades of grass or individual hairs and whiskers on an animal's face during close ups. On the DVD versions, everything looks a lot muddier.

          In addition to just resolution, there is also a much higher bitrate. BluRay can hold 25GB per layer - DVD can only hold just over 4GB per layer. Having 5-6 higher

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        handbrake will rip blurays the same way as well.

        upgrade to a bluray reader drive in your PC. and rip those blurays to 720p or 1080p m4v's and SHOCKER they look as good as the bluray but at 1/4 the space and none of the crap.

    • Not to mention that some folks would need a new Blu-Ray player to replace their "old" one to go along with that 3D TV.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sznupi (719324)

      How often do you use "3D" photos? Have you ever made even one such photograph? It's quite easy and quite inexpensive for a long time, has experienced many short fascinations from time to time during the last ~150 years. But ultimately - ignored.

  • Why Get one? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mattwrock (1630159)
    It's not like there's a lot of 3D choices. Most of the movies I saw in 3D still work in 2D. Until there is something really compelling *cough* porn *cough*, it's not going to fly off the sheleves.
    • by delinear (991444) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:25AM (#33893600)
      And to think, they always said if you watched too much you'd end up wearing glasses. Who knew they'd be 3D!
    • The prices are still a little high too.

      Regarding the summary though, don't most 3D TVs include two glasses? You can buy extras separately. There's no reason to buy a 3D TV unless you're going to actually use the feature, so saying that people aren't buying glasses sounds spurious, it sounds like they're not buying extras.

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      Most movies that were released in 3D looks BETTER in 2D, and most of them were filmed in 2D, and then converted to 3D. Maybe in some future 3D movies have a place in your home, but for now, neither technology nor content makes it worth. About 2010 (or 2011) this won't be the year of the 3D TV, but of the Internet TV
  • if i wanted a pseudo-3d bubble effect, i'd buy a tv with a huge bulging CRT.

  • Cumbersome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by olsmeister (1488789) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:10AM (#33893284)
    Who wants to wear some clunky glasses while they watch a movie? Who wants to purchase a pair for every member of their family? Who wants to walk into a room where someone is watching 3DTV with their glasses on and not be able to look over without seeing garbled pictures on the TV? Who wants to replace the $2,000 TV they purchased a two years ago? Seriously, the only reason I would jump on the bandwagon would be for video games. I think they should be pushing that market more. (or porn, of course...)
    • by eldepeche (854916) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:30AM (#33893716)

      Some of us have to wear clunky glasses all the time, you insensitive clod!

      • Re:Cumbersome (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:36AM (#33893826)
        Yeah, which makes it even WORSE for us because we have to wear those annoying glasses uncomfortably over the glasses we already have. DOUBLE ANNOYANCE!
        • by martas (1439879)
          switch to contacts, dude. best decision i ever made...
        • by RapmasterT (787426) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @02:51PM (#33898480)

          Yeah, which makes it even WORSE for us because we have to wear those annoying glasses uncomfortably over the glasses we already have. DOUBLE ANNOYANCE!

          You need some 3D contact lenses. Then you can wear them ALL the time and experience 3D all day long without looking like an idiot wearing the 3D glasses in public.

          I've always wondered what the real world would look like in 3D, just never had the nerve to wear those goofy glasses outside.

    • Who wants to wear some clunky glasses while they watch a movie?

      To be fair, the last time I saw a 3D movie in a theater, the glasses were like sunglasses, and they actually weren't clunky at all.

      Who wants to walk into a room where someone is watching 3DTV with their glasses on and not be able to look over without seeing garbled pictures on the TV?

      I think that's a better point. And the fact that our family has to search for the remote every time we want to sit down and watch TV. I can just imagine the hunt for half a dozen glasses to go with it. Now, if the 3D effect was an ENHANCEMENT when you wore the glasses, yet it looked like a normal picture without them, then that might be a good solution.

  • content (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snookerhog (1835110) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:13AM (#33893332)
    as soon as they can come up with more content that is not just more monster chiller horror theater [sctvguide.ca] they might have a chance. I think the real win for this will be with video games. even just making the most basic platforming game in 3D would be pretty cool.
    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Games would be more headache inducing I suspect. A competent 3D film maker is going to arrange things so that you are looking where they want you to look.

      A game can't do that, and hence the parallax and focus queues of distance will conflict more often.

  • It would be interesting to see how many of the 3D TV sales were "entry level" 3D. My guess is that the major reason they have 2% market share is because virtually all of the high end models have 3D these days. That would also explain why less than 100% of owners purchased glasses.

  • by rsborg (111459) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:14AM (#33893348) Homepage
    WARNING: 3D Video Hazardous to Your Health [3dtvbestprices.com]:

    ... You Cannot Give This To Kids! Pesce says that Sega took the test results and buried them. Fearing lawsuits and consumer backlash over health risks, the VR Headset never made it to market and neither did the truth about the dangers of prolonged exposure to 3D virtual environments - until now. The results of SRI's research have been published and there is an unclassified document from the defense department of Australia [defence.gov.au] that says there are a variety of "...unintended psychophysiological side effects of participation in (3D) virtual environments."

    All that took was one google search for "3d tv danger". I'm sure experience with the actual devices would yield more "headaches" and other disorientation, which a parent takes as serious coming from the kiddos.

    • by westlake (615356)

      Fearing lawsuits and consumer backlash over health risks, the VR Headset never made it to market and neither did the truth about the dangers of prolonged exposure to 3D virtual environments - until now.

      The military use of virtual environments - imcluding motion simulators - is not the same as consumer tech. It is not even the same as the amusement park thrill ride.

  • 2 problems (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pandore (316909)

    I don't think the price of the TV is the problem.
    The first problem is probably the price of the glasses. Imagine you are are 4 or 5 persons family and have to buy 4 or 5 pair of glasses at 150$-200$ each pair, you will have to spent a lot.
    The second problem is the market penetration of the standard HDTV was too high. If a family bought a 52" HDTV 2 years ago and just finished to pay for it, will they buy a 3DTV today ?

    • by residieu (577863)
      You will have to buy 4 or 5 pairs of glasses, 2 of which will immediately be lost by your children and you'll have to buy another 2... I have enough trouble hunting for remote controls on a daily basis.
    • by iamhassi (659463)
      A 55" HDTV is $900 [walmart.com] and a 50" is only $650 [walmart.com]. If a family spent 2 years paying off a TV they have bigger concerns than the size of their TV, they might want to spend the time wasted watching TV working towards getting a better job.
      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        "If a family bought a 52" HDTV 2 years ago and just finished to pay for it"

        Quoting the grandparent - 2 years ago, TVs in that size class were a LOT more expensive than you quote.

  • Doesn't really surprise me too much. 3D is a bit of fun and the whole glasses thing... But I am absolutely convinced it's going to be absolutely massive in gaming. PS3 owners are all going to want one and enough will buy to make it the next big thing but not for average Joe. That extra bit of immersion will go down VERY well. Xbox will get very interested soon.
  • by popoutman (189497) * on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:18AM (#33893458) Journal

    The 'active' screens with the requirement for very expensive glasses is definitely a barrier to adoption. Pretty much only the true early adopters / gadget freaks / over-rich will get these, and even then mostly for bragging rights. Active screens are not suitable for those with kids, or those people with friends.

    The 'passive' screens are so much more expensive than the 'active' screens, that's another barrier to consumer takeup, at least these sets have cheap near-disposable glasses as a requirement to get the 3d effect. This is a better option for those that actually have a more than a few friends that might come over to watch the screen.

    Now when the screens that have the micro-lens array in front of the pixel matrix, that will allow a better 3d effect, if only in certain places around the set. That'll be an improvement for sure.

    My pie-in-the-sky idea is a micromirror array, fed by three-colour lasers, that'll illuminate the eye's pupil with the correct pattern for each eye, with tracking of the pupil locations. This would ensure that no matter where one stood in front of the display, the correct image would be seen at all times. Anyone know if this is a realistic possibility?
    And all of the 3d diaplays will do absolutely nothing for those of us that have e.g. a lazy eye or other problems with binocular vision. My girlfriend has poor vision in one eye, and doesn't have true binocular vision available, so 3d tv is not a priority.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      I can remember when plasma HDTV's first came out they cost $15,000-$20,000 and not even most hardcore early-adopting videophiles (incl. myself) could hope to afford them. It's taken over 10 years for those to become mainstream. So early adopter data means nothing. Now, if these things still aren't selling 5 or 6 years from now, then they'll be in trouble.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      My pie-in-the-sky idea is a micromirror array, fed by three-colour lasers, that'll illuminate the eye's pupil with the correct pattern for each eye, with tracking of the pupil locations

      Someone's been masturbating to Snow Crash again...

  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:19AM (#33893466)

    I hate 3D. It looks awful, adds unnecessary cost to everything, and gives me eye-strain headaches faster than "Battling seizure robots". Lets not forget the fact that even Justin Timberlake can't make those glasses look cool in their super-budget commercial.

    It is just a fad pushed by a panicked industry who is seeing their strangle hold on the home-cinema market evaporating to iPads and other disruptive technologies. The fad will die, just like it did in the 50's, but it will gobble up a few orders of magnitude more money this time.

  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxrubyNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:20AM (#33893490)

    Executive's view of why 3D TV's aren't selling:
    Hey, why don't people want to pay for something with the latest technology? Avatar was awesome..

    Consumers view of why 3D TV's aren't selling:
    Hey, I can pay a huge premium for something that will give me a headache, requires glasses and that almost no content can use. Besides most 3D movies were done after the fact and aren't avatar.

    Tip to electronics executives, your market for 3D TV's wont be ready for another 5-10 years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iamhassi (659463)
      "Hey, I can pay a huge premium for something that will give me a headache, requires glasses and that almost no content can use. "

      Or pay for a feature I'll only use maybe 4 hours a month, assuming you watch a 3D movie twice a month. Sorry, that 4 hours of fun a month is not worth an extra $2,000, I could buy a lot of Avatar 3D tickets for that.

      Besides, if we all had 3D HDTVs doesn't that mean pirates would download 3D movies and the MPAA would be mad again? Can't make everyone happy.
  • Who doesn't want to spend 5000$ so they can watch Monsters 3D over and over until more 3D movies come out?
  • As long as you have to have glasses, 3D TV will remain a niche market.

  • by alen (225700) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:22AM (#33893524)

    i've watched 3d shows on TV for almost 30 years as they played every so often. wearing the glasses is PITA and adding 3D is not something i'm going to pay the extra $300 or so for.

    LED TV's are cool mostly for the nice CPU's inside them. i've seen HD shows on them and they look almost as good as seeing something with your own eyes. much better than watching HD on the original HD sets from years ago. but the real value is in internet access. netflix and youtube on TV's is nice. and with Google TV promising to organize all the video on the internet it will make it a lot easier to view shows straight from the network's website rather than pay for DVR. and it makes it so much easier to watch porn on your TV with flash built in. there is a return on investment in buying a TV with Google TV in it. people aren't stupid. they look to buy stuff to save money in the long run, not some gee whiz tech being hyped as the next cool thing

  • Adding 3D ability to a TV costs (AFIAK) nearly zero. So long as the refresh rate is there, stick on a dirt-cheap IR transmitter to sync the glasses and add mundane 3D support to the software. It's a no brainer: support should just be there for new models; sure, you can leave off the extra-cost glasses, but then the ability is there and customers can get those when they see fit for a relatively low cost.

    So why is 3D a premium on the price, and yet another decision buyers must make? Between price and confusio

    • by alen (225700)

      a year or so ago there was a huge lawsuit settled where the panel makers admitted to colluding to keeping prices high. TV makers liked this since they could hike the price of TV sets for higher margins. now with prices falling everyone is looking for ways to sell a high end model with something to make people pay a premium to keep the margins high. the 42" EEFL 120Hz TV I just bought for $650 didn't give a lot of profits to Panasonic

  • Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Krneki (1192201) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:23AM (#33893566)
    In 2 years Apple will make a 3D TV and everyone will want one.

    The key to this success?
    1. Increase price
    2. Fancy design.
    3. Marketing
    4. ????
    5. Profit!
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      REally.....

      Apple completely shuns bluray.

      3d over internet delivery will take 2X the bitrate or you need to degrade the resolution. I dont see that happening in backwater internet countries like the USA any time soon...

      (yes we are backwater, we do not have 100Mb/100Mb to our homes.)

  • by cpghost (719344) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:26AM (#33893620) Homepage
    Having widely different diopters on both eyes (-7 and -1), and unable to wear contact lenses, I can't enjoy 3D even in real life. So 3D-TV is not my cup of tea. I only hope that if and once 3D-TV gets mainstream, monovision will sill remain an option, because looking at the blurred 3D-image is horrible, and looking at it with colored glasses would make it appear with a green, blue or red tint, which is also bad.
  • Currently Best Buy only lists 12 3D Blu-Ray titles [bestbuy.com] - and 8 of them haven't been released yet. The four that are currently available:
    • Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
    • My Bloody Valentine 3D
    • Monster House
    • The Jonas Brothers 3D Concert Experience

    Odd that the title that is most often bundled with 3D sets - Monsters vs Aliens isn't on the list of titles you can buy. Nonetheless the titles offered aren't exactly movies that sold out 3D theaters for very long. And a lot of what's listed as coming soon isn't like

    • by residieu (577863)
      You'd think Avatar, the movie that started the latest round of 3D interest, would have been the first on their list of priorities (but I can see why they thought Step Up 3D was more important...)
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      fun part is none of those are real 3d titles but "simulated 3d"

      Which blows my mind as the CGI stuff can easily be re-renderd in real 3d. 10 minutes to write up that camera script.

  • Absolutely no one, that's who!
  • Seriously does anyone really just sit still on the couch watching a movie or TV? Without like getting up to get a snack, playing on the laptop, taking care of the kids, sweeping the floor, straightening the books, wiping down the table, etc etc...

    I haven't just sat there watching the TV uninterupted for more than 10 minutes in a row, pretty much ever. Special Glasses would be so damn annoying at home for exactly this reason. Sure I love going to see "Disposable Action Movie THREE DEE" in the theater, b
  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:29AM (#33893702)
    Most people want higher resolution. HD was a compelling shift in tv technology. One look and people saw it was better. Wide aspect ratios were compelling as they take advantage of our natural FOV. 3D is just kind of MEH
    .
    I think people generally think of what they see in the day to day world as a 2D scene. Sure you rely on depth perception, but it's sort of at a lower level of thought. You know when to catch a ball that someone throws you, but you don't marvel at the depth of field. You appreciate rich landscapes, but are mostly focused at infinity. Kids don't really struggle with projecting a 3D scene onto a 2D plane. They just start drawing what they see on paper. They don't even think about vanishing points and projections. That interpretation is natural as our vision is really based on 2D sensors.

    When we watch tv or movies, 2D is good enough because we are used to thinking about the world this way. We appreciate a good 3D scene, but it doesn't really ever add anything that was missing from the 2D scene as we are very adept at reconstituting depth.
    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      HD was a compelling shift in tv technology.

      Er, except your cable company probably offers a limited range of HD channels because they don't have the bandwidth. Good for you if you're rich enough to justify an HD television just to watch ESPN in HD. That doesn't stop it from being a scam.

      Wow I am going to pay thousands of dollars for a television with "new" technology that somehow has a worse pixel resolution than my computer monitor!

      Or, you could just download HD movies and watch them o

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by StikyPad (445176)

      Wide aspect ratios were compelling as they take advantage of our natural FOV. 3D is just kind of MEH

      By that logic, 3D should be compelling because it takes advantage of our natural depth perception.

      IMO, the reason 3D it's *not* is because depth information usually fades into the background (metaphorically speaking) unless we're actively using it. Since we're not trying to interact with objects in movies and, for the most part, objects in movies aren't being thrown toward the viewer, there's very little rel

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Kids don't really struggle with projecting a 3D scene onto a 2D plane. They just start drawing what they see on paper. They don't even think about vanishing points and projections. That interpretation is natural as our vision is really based on 2D sensors.

      Actually, that's not true. The naive/untrained method is to draw everything from a flat 2D perspective. You can see this both in art by children (or people with no formal art training) as well as in pretty much all art from the Middle Ages and prior. The development of perspective [wikipedia.org], which is an application of mathematics/geometry to art, is why paintings from the Renaissance Era on simply look so much better and more lifelike than paintings from any earlier era. The rules of perspective (that is, mapping

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FoolishOwl (1698506)

      I think people generally think of what they see in the day to day world as a 2D scene. Sure you rely on depth perception, but it's sort of at a lower level of thought.

      I think that's quite accurate.

      I enjoyed Avatar. As I watched it, I was struggling to understand what the point was of using 3D in Avatar. Before long, it dawned on me that in the scenes which genuinely had depth effects (many didn't), my eyes were drawn to the specific focal point of that scene. 3D effects were a tool for the filmmakers to control where the audience is looking.

      I have mixed feelings about that: sure, it's another tool for filmmakers, but it comes at a cost. In addition to the discomfort of t

  • by PPH (736903)

    I'm not certain I want to see a huge shocker on any TV, let alone 3D!

  • Its hardly a surprise when you look at the number and quality of 3D blu-ray movies available.

    http://www.3dmovielist.com/list.html [3dmovielist.com]

    Even of the few available, most 'live' movies (as opposed to entirely CG) have been "converted" from 2D rather than originally filmed in 3D.
    The results suck as much as you would expect.

  • PCMag.com says "If there's one thing consumers won't put up with, it's the fracturing of the basic television-viewing experience. [pcmag.com] Not only do all current 3D TVs require glasses, they're not all using the same ones. Some knuckle-head manufacturers are even charging extra for these glasses, which may only work with a fraction of today's 3D TVs. Imagine if you bought glasses that only focused on buildings and signs but not cars and people.
  • I've seen 3D HDTV at Costco. The 3D reminds me of a View-Master, it's really not all that convincing. I can imagine it being useful for games, but that's about it.

    And as far as games go, I might pay $100 or $150 for a pair of glasses to get 3D... but buy a whole new TV? Forget it.

  • 3D may not be being adopted has quickly as TV manufactures would like, but I don't think it is going away. This isn't the same once every decade or so gimmick it was. But the camel's nose under the tent won't be movies I think, but rather immersive 3D games with good 3D tracking.

    I haven't yet tried Sony's Move system, but couple 3D tracking with a large 3D display and you may have an unbeatable gaming experience. I am also not a Second Lifer or a WoW player, but again 3D seems ideal for when you are n
  • Reposting from a previous 3D TV story...

    If I have to wear glasses anyway, why not put LCDs in the glasses themselves? You'd get a full edge-to-edge experience, avoiding some of the weird off-screen 3D effects. You'd always be in the "sweet spot", avoiding the off-center weird geometry effects. You could go 120Hz on both eyes and make the correct matching frames appear at exactly the same time, avoiding the headache-inducing strobe effect. You would not have ghosting or other distortion caused by trying to u

  • Is that it is depressing the prices on non-3D televisions. I really don't care about 3D TV. I do care about a quality 2D image, and there are tons of good televisions with great quality panels at nice prices thanks to the lack of 3D.

    It's a great time to buy a TV if you don't care about 3D. The window is closing though. I suspect every TV will have 3D capability within the next year of product refreshes.

    -ted

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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