Skip to comments.Consumers not ready for 3-D TV
Posted on 04/27/2011 2:27:50 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
TV makers have naturally been talking up 3-D TV whenever they can because it creates a new top-end market for boxes at a time when prices of existing HD-ready stock continues to plummet. Vendors of network infrastructure equipment rather like 3-D as well because it will eat up bandwidth and boost demand for their products in the access network, content distribution networks and in fiber-based cores. But, operators are more ambivalent, because they are not convinced that consumers are taking to 3-D in the way they did to HDTV, which delivered a significant improvement in picture quality for emerging larger-screen displays. Furthermore, the only undesirable side effect of HD was a dent in consumers pockets, while 3-D can give viewers a headache.
The real problem is that 3-D TV in its current form is really a trick on the human visual cortex, presenting each eye with an offset version of each image point. The brain then assembles the two halves to create a 3-D image, just as it does with the binocular input from each eye when actually looking at the world rather than a TV or cinema screen. The difference is that when viewing the real world, the offset is created by the different viewing angles of each eye, rather than through different streams through eyepieces or via offset picture elements on a screen, in the case of emerging glassesless 3-D technologies. Either way, the processing required by the visual cortex is slightly different from the real world, and this can cause physical problems for some people.
The technology will improve, but meanwhile, companies are coming to the conclusion that 3-D will be an occasional rather than continuous viewing experience, even if the need for goggles ends. This mood has been reflected at recent exhibitions, including the 2011 NAB Show, where past euphoria about 3-Ds prospects had all but evaporated.
This is far from the end for 3-D, however. It just means that growth in services and sales of 3-D-capable TVs will be slower than expected with gentle boosts as new technology arrives. There is the realization that 3-D TV is as much an evolution as a revolution and will emerge gradually as technology improves. In terms of consumer demand, recent feedback from some major European operators offers some hope, revealing that people are interested in viewing different types of programs in 3-D stereo, including dramas, concerts and live shows as well as sports and blockbuster movies.
In a technical sense, however, the emerging displays without goggles will water down the 3-D experience, which is really only 2.5-D in the first place. To provide a wide field of 3-D viewing, 3-D TV sets will have to incorporate larger numbers of smaller offset picture elements, which means that the 3-D effect will be weakened. Ultimately, if every pixel was a 3-D element, it would look just like a normal 2-D screen. There is some doubt, therefore, about how successful 3-D without goggles will prove on large screens. It may be more successful on smaller devices the size of iPads, where wide field of vision is not required because viewing is on a one-to-one basis from a position right in front of the screen.
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I already wear glasses to watch TV and movies. I don’t need a second pair. That is simply stupid in my book to have to wear those silly things just to watch TV.
Imagine Michelle Obama, I wonder if you can...
In the real world 3D vision is only effective out to the distance of your fingertips. We use 3D vision to thread a needle, but not to catch a fly ball. We use other clues to judge distances greater than a few feet, which is why the moon or sun on the horizon appears much larger on the horizon than higher in the sky.
Even if 3D tvs came down to the price of regular ones I’d choose the non-3D over the 3D one. Even if it was less I still wouldn’t buy one.
The America that could afford toys like this has been killed by obama. People would have to sell their existing flat panel displays just to play... and there is no money left in real America for frivolous crap... we can barely eat and drive to work. I say this as a person that bought into HDTV in 1998.
Aren't you the Blue-Bird of F'ing Joy this morning.
(Though I must agree with you)
I was very unimpressed with the one I looked at in a store.
Dude... I am not trying to be negative but I am just stating things the way that they are... and I do not like it one bit... but to change things we must know where we are to find our way home.
I’m in the market for a new display but do not specifically want 3D. The set will probably have it but there is no way I’m spending $100+ a pair for four sets of glasses on top of the $1500 I’m paying for the set. So, they’ll count my sale as a “3D Sale” but I doubt it will ever be used as such. I doubt I’m the only one and the true 3D users number is much lower than the sales counts.
You would need a large wide-screen tv to watch her.
Yep, that thing is like four handfuls!
You don’t HAVE to watch everything in 3-D. It’s just a bonus and a nice one at that.
The Panasonic plasma 65 inch 3d tv has one of the best normal high def pictures I’ve seen, and the 3-D effect is amazing.
There’s not a ton of 3-D content yet, but if you have a PS3 it had a firmware update and it’s a 3D blu-ray player as well as an awesome blu-ray player. There’s some games out that use 3-D as well.
I’m hoping for no glasses but would love to have that Panasonic plasma.
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