Technology Talk


3DTV May Not Be a Hit

3d split screen video games

Producers and TV manufacturers believed 3D to be the next revolutionary phenomenon to hit the home entertainment market. However, that technology has moved so fast that unless you have bought a new TV lately and even if you have, it may not be 3D ready. The economy may very well be one factor holding back 3DTV
And purchasing a 3D-ready unit for limited viewing, may not be a priority for consumers at this time besides the fact that analysts, manufacturers, and networks can only guess how many viewers are watching since viewer ratings from Nielson are not available due to the small audiences that can’t be measured.

Sources say that some productions like The Masters offered a lot of Tweets during the show indicating a lot of people tuned in, yet other events are extremely quiet. Current numbers show that under 115,000 homes in the US are tuning into 3D channels which is no where near what was expected by consumers and far less than the 20 million homes watching the highest rated shows currently on TV.


While sporting events may well be the most watched of the 3D channels, it is only one of nine launched since 2009. Only about two percent of TV’s in the US are 3D ready, but analysts expect the Christmas season to up that number significantly to maybe 20 million since most manufacturers include that technology in their models. Even with this increase, it would only raise the 3D consumer amount to around six percent of US homes.

Networks that produce 3D content say they may have jumped the gun on the technology too soon. 3D is more expensive to produce so the content has remained low and has not grown as market leaders thought it would. Many producers are not wondering if is is even worth the cost of production.

Not only does it cost more to produce, it costs more to be able to watch it. In today’s market, consumers would pay about $200 more for a 3D-ready 42 inch model. The technology is more expensive as it usually is featured on larger screen units. According to critics, consumers are not asking for it and don’t see a value in the extra cost.


Other added costs can be additional sets of glasses that are required from your TV manufacturer. Most come with at least two sets, but additional sets can cost as much as $50 or more. The 3D TV contains a high tech chip that interfaces with the glasses with video feeds to the right and left eyes to create a 3D effect. Additionally, movies on a disc requires a 3D Blue Ray player…hitting the consumer with another cost of about $150.

While these costs are significant to the consumer and most don’t see the benefit in the cost, most networks do not charge for 3D content provided you already have a high end package with them. To be or not to be? The life of 3DTV home entertainment may be the first flop in a long time.

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