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Huge Shocker — 3D TVs Not Selling

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the dying-from-not-surprise dept.

Television 535

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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I know why.. lack of standardization (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:I know why.. lack of standardization (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:I know why.. lack of standardization (0, Offtopic)

jra (5600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893532)

> But wait, that's not the end of the good news.

There. FTFY.

Re:I know why.. lack of standardization (2, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893508)

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 blanket statements (although from a geek perspective I'm totally with you - I wouldn't buy into 3D until I knew which format was going to win, I just don't think the average consumer thinks that way, which is why some people got burned by HD-DVD).

Re:I know why.. lack of standardization (5, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893562)

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.

Re:I know why.. lack of standardization (2, Insightful)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894106)

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 this I'm not the targeted demographic.

Slightly off topic, but where do they get off calling something HD (both regular 2D and 2D stereo) that computer monitors in the early 90's were doing in a fraction of the physical viewing space?

Price and glasses, most likely (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893238)

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.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (1)

show me altoids (1183399) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893394)

He says that less than one set of 3D glasses are sold per set in Europe, so people aren't even using the 3D feature. I can't believe that if you buy one of these expensive ass TVs that they don't already come with at least one pair in the box.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (2, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893530)

If they want this feature to catch on, they need to include a pair of glasses and a couple popular 3d movies.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893856)

I'm going to say 2 pairs even.

At least then you can buy them to show off.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894124)

That the trick you can't show it off. The field of view and range of 3D TVs is very poor you have to sit in a certian area that is smaller than the average couch and they lose effectiveness if your too far away or too close.

Anyone outside the bounds get distortions.

On top of the fact some 10-20% of population will get headaches/sick/etc from viewing such things.or if you don't have enough glasses youhave to watch the movie in 2D anyways. 3D TV with glasses is just stupid. 3D TV without glasses is about a decade out of realistic use. Current tech can only show images to 2,3 people at a time and in a smaller area than with glasses.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893568)

Exactly what I thought. And I can imagine people waiting to buy more glasses, assuming the price on glasses will eventually come down.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (1)

Fishead (658061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893712)

I bet if they did more research they'd find that they are also selling less then 1 over priced HDMI cable per TV sold, as well as less then 1 USB cable per printer sold. Cables and glasses are easy to order from overseas when you unpack your new toy and find they didn't include a key component.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894130)

Except that they're looking at total global sales. Those figures would reflect the cases where people buy the glasses online to go with the TV they bought in a brick and mortar. They're just not interested in the glasses.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893406)

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 out that without some perspective the given numbers are next to meaningless. Except the lack of glasses sold, that is kind of a nail in the coffin. OTOH, are they leaving out the sets that come with the set? I find it hard to believe that people are paying twice as much for a 3D tv and never, ever using it as a 3D tv.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (4, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893930)

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).

I Can Only Hope This Keeps Fumbling (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893434)

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:I Can Only Hope This Keeps Fumbling (2, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893690)

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:I Can Only Hope This Keeps Fumbling (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894142)

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.

Spot on. It will be interesting to see what happens with 3D... my wife gets motion sick watching 3D so its a non-starter for her. Plus we both wear glasses and have no interest in laser surgery or contacts so the glasses truly are PITA.

Again... probably not the majority but there are a lot of people for whom 3D is just not worth it.

Re:I Can Only Hope This Keeps Fumbling (3, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893740)

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 met your mom, and numerous other shows. Even missing some movie's I'd like to see but don't have time for.
Same for books.

Since they are mostly equally "good", the main determining factor is price. I can watch something on netflix for $8.95 for all you can watch? I watch that first. You want me to pay $5.99 to rent one movie from Vudu? Are you crazy? Guess I'm not in your target market.

I especially like the better iPhone video games for this. I must have spent 80 hours on "Angry Birds". The same for "Finger Physics". Now I'm starting Doodle Jump. Each cost 99 cents.
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.

Each time I do that, I skip a few 19.99 movies and almost all $50 games.

As for movies at the theater- I go to the $4 saturday / sunday movies most- and everyone else has shifted around and we go as a group then. It's $7 for "3d" and most of the time I skip the 3d unless everyone else is crazy about it. 3d rarely matters for more than 2 minutes out of a 2 hour movie.

Re:I Can Only Hope This Keeps Fumbling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893812)

Still haven't seen Dr. Horrible ...

If you have netflix, it's available on there. I'd also suggest Archer.

How I met your mom

Well aren't you the fortunate one! :)

O/T eldavojohn

Re:I Can Only Hope This Keeps Fumbling (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893936)

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?

Re:I Can Only Hope This Keeps Fumbling (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893980)

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.

Re:I Can Only Hope This Keeps Fumbling (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893858)

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.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893436)

It might have something to do with the DTV switchover last year. All those schlubs who bought high-def digital TVs just over a year ago probably don't want do throw them away to get another new TV just for some mediocre 3D effects.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893442)

You make a good point. I think the issue is summarized in: There is not enough content and the costs are high.

Why people would buy a 3DTV when they will need to find content and buy at least 2 pairs of glasses so they don't have to watch movies by themselves.

Wait until Playboy et. al. come in 3D than people don't be worrying about watching 3D by themselves.

Now this is coming so quickly, that I bet people is just going for the under-priced old TVs, instead of the new, all waiting to see how adoption evolves.

Re:Price and glasses, most likely (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893938)

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.

hmm (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893258)

no glasses or bust

Why Get one? (2, Insightful)

mattwrock (1630159) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893264)

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.

Re:Why Get one? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893498)

Until there is something really compelling *cough* porn *cough*, it's not going to fly off the sheleves.

Check out This Ain't Avatar XXX 3D [youtube.com]

There's some other's out there I'm too lazy to link to, like "Octopossy 3D" and "Whorrie Potter and the Sorcerer's Balls"

Re:Why Get one? (5, Funny)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893600)

And to think, they always said if you watched too much you'd end up wearing glasses. Who knew they'd be 3D!

Re:Why Get one? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893698)

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.

Re:Why Get one? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893870)

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

no surprise. (1)

notgm (1069012) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893266)

if i wanted a pseudo-3d bubble effect, i'd buy a tv with a huge bulging CRT.

Re:no surprise. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893312)

if i wanted a pseudo-3d bubble effect, i'd buy a tv with a huge bulging CRT.

OMG thanks! I've been looking for the perfect name for my chiptune-nerdcore band! That's perfect!

Re:no surprise. (1)

jra (5600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893582)

"Fruit Bat Fellatio".

Don't you read Slashdot?

Cumbersome (5, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#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...)

Re:Cumbersome (5, Funny)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893716)

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

Re:Cumbersome (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#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!

Re:Cumbersome (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894110)

switch to contacts, dude. best decision i ever made...

Re:Cumbersome (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893754)

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.

Re:Cumbersome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893982)

Yeah, I'm more than happy with my HD projector. I feel no need to get a 3D TV.

Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893292)

2d > 3d

it's a chicken/egg thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893298)

It's a chicken/egg thing. There aren't many 3D enabled movies or other things out, and for the extra price you're spending at least a grand extra just for the screen, then $200+ for the glasses. It's a novelty right now, and unless they appeal to the videophile (or whatever) on the SUPER-XTREMEEEEEEEEEEEE (insert echoing growly voice) level, they aren't going to sell...

Not interested 2 (1)

synackpshfin (1622285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893322)

Why would I even want to watch TV?

Re:Not interested 2 (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893892)

It's an overhyped gimmick. The only way to have it sell like crazy is to put the Apple logo on it.

content (4, Insightful)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:content (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894046)

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.

Shortage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893340)

"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."
There was even a shortage of those 3D glasses here (Belgium).
Consumers were supposed to be get 1 pair of glasses for free when buying a Samsung 3D TV, but the stores claimed they weren't available yet.
Consumers were then advised to write to Samsung directly to get their free pair, but a lot never bothered afaik.

3D vs. high end (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893344)

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.

Maybe because of this kind of warning? (3, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893348)

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.

Re:Maybe because of this kind of warning? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893894)

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.

Re:Maybe because of this kind of warning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33894126)

Your eyes are drawn to it...and you end up cockeyed! *gasp*

2 problems (2, Interesting)

pandore (316909) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893378)

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 ?

Re:2 problems (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893660)

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.

Re:2 problems (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893824)

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.

Re:2 problems (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893992)

"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.

Re:2 problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33894008)

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.

Two years ago the price was 3 times that.

we dont need their..tourch control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893380)

They try to force us to all kind of new standards
I am a bit tired of this, TV is for them time i'm bored, and i'm not that often bored.
And neither i do need high definition TV reason.. i'm sitting like 3 metres away of that tube when i watch.
I dont care for less noice, simply dont buy a TV so big that you see all the noice 3 metres away.

But still it amazes me that a lot of people with glasses are convinced it is so much better..
I got good eyes and i dont care about it, got it, away with all your new standards etc.

Instead of TV's start producing reprap printers, then we we will print our required device ourselves, its not the time for TV thats old age tech RepRap is the new kid in town.

Re:we dont need their..tourch control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33894134)

Never heard of RepRap. I checked it out, and I think it's the stupidest thing the FOSStard community has come up with to date. As usual, you take a hobby toy and assume that the entire world would have some use for it and one will be in every home. Who wants something that makes a bunch of cheap plastic parts that you have to assemble into something useful? The notion this would ever be useful to a non-hobbyist individual is delusional at best.

And this idea of yours about everyone printing their own TVs sums up the flawed thinking of the FOSStard. Do you really think people are interested in printing a bunch of plastic parts and assembling them into a TV? Where will they get the semiconductors?

Moron.

Gaming, gaming, gaming, gaming,... (2, Interesting)

WikiChris (1664907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893450)

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.

Re:Gaming, gaming, gaming, gaming,... (1)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894144)

Honestly, I think /.ers are hugely underestimating the draw of sports. ESPN has already made a huge investment in 3D. ESPN3D is a huge draw for sports fans.

It's going to take time to catch on though. HDTVs didn't take off overnight either.

Content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893454)

Is there even any content to watch on your flashy new 3D TV? I'm not going to bother replacing my perfectly good TVs with new 3D ones unless there's some really compelling 3D movies I need to watch on them (can't imagine anything that would fit that description.) And even if I was replacing my TV anyway, I'd want some really good content on the shelves before I shelled out extra for the 3D feature.

It's possible that those Europeans who are buying 3D TVs with no glasses are simply waiting. They figure they'll shell out the extra for 3D on the TV now (cheaper than replacing the whole TV later), but will wait to get glasses until there's a movie they want to watch with them. But the concept of 3D isn't attractive enough to me to make that investment

Too many barriers for mainstream adoption. (5, Interesting)

popoutman (189497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893458)

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.

Re:Too many barriers for mainstream adoption. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894002)

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.

Re:Too many barriers for mainstream adoption. (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894060)

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...

Can't wait for this fad to die... (4, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can't wait for this fad to die... (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894140)

I know... 3D right now is a gimmick. It was a gimmick in the 50s too...

But they also said color was gimmickry. So were moving pictures. And sound.

Paying for the headache privelage (5, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Paying for the headache privelage (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893840)

Everyone always uses Avatar as their example of "good" 3D. Am I the only person on the planet that thought Avatar's 3D was more annoying than anything else. I didn't get a headache or anything, it just didn't do anything for me.

And it's not really 3D. Real 3D would allow someone to see around an object by changing your position relative to it. The 3D being marketed today is mere depth perception trickery.

Re:Paying for the headache privelage (2, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893898)

"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.

Shocking (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893494)

Who doesn't want to spend 5000$ so they can watch Monsters 3D over and over until more 3D movies come out?

Its a UX problem. (2, Insightful)

AndersBrownworth (448236) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893510)

As long as you have to have glasses, 3D TV will remain a niche market.

Re:Its a UX problem. (0, Redundant)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893860)

But none of the "glasses free" 3D systems work.

Google TV will kill 3d TV (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#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

Re:Google TV will kill 3d TV (1)

JoeWalsh (32530) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894136)

I just finally bought my first HDTV last month (my old TV finally died). After researching a bit, I bought an LED-backlit LCD TV and a Blu-ray player. And you're right, in addition to the image quality being great, having networking built in is awesome. I have access to You-Tube, Netflix, Vudu, and a slew of other services all right from the TV and the Blu-ray player both. I'm looking forward to when Hulu Plus will be available on the TV (or maybe I'll break down a buy a Roku or some other device that offers it). When I get Hulu Plus, I'm cutting the cable and never looking back.

Anyway, I'm very happy I wasn't an early adopter of HDTV. My coworkers who were have sets with a single HDMI jack, no built-in networking, less contrast, and image blurring when things move quickly. And they paid five times as much for theirs!

I'm treating 3D the same way. If it's around in five years, I'll consider upgrading. But for now, forget it. Who knows what the standard will eventually be? Who know whether it's just a fad or if it will stick around? And who knows what improvements are on the horizon?

Paying premium for zero overhead cost? (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893534)

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 confusion they'll opt for the non-3D version, and then sellers won't have another chance to sell 3D for another decade or so (cycle time on TVs is pretty long).

Want 3D out there? Stop making it a big deal. Build in the support cheap. Stop charging a premium. Stop making it confusing. Just include it, quietly, and be done with it. People will spring the $75 for the glasses when they're ready - they won't spring another $1500 until the screen dies years hence.

Re:Paying premium for zero overhead cost? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893820)

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 (4, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 3 years ago | (#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!

Re:Apple (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893932)

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.)

3D is not for everyone... (2, Interesting)

cpghost (719344) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893620)

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.

3D TV To Watch What??? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893646)

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 likely to bring a lot of interest either.

Re:3D TV To Watch What??? (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893776)

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...)

Re:3D TV To Watch What??? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893966)

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.

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Who wants to wear glasses to watch TV? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893680)

Absolutely no one, that's who!

Are there people that just sit and watch at home? (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893692)

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, but really the home experience is so different from the movie theater one that it won't translate for me at all... AND I have a projector with 2 rows of seating, and a dedicated theater room in my house, so it isn't like I don't like watching movies at home.

Even sports, isn't that usually some kind of social gathering with lots of snacks and banter? How can that work with big glasses on your face?

Re:Are there people that just sit and watch at hom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893940)

You cant eat snacks and communicate while wearing glasses?

It's just not that compelling (4, Insightful)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:It's just not that compelling (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893994)

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 on your laptop...and at the end of the day you have a laptop.

Nothing is selling right now. (1)

orsty3001 (1377575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893758)

Nothing!

Please!!! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893792)

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

kids got bored with it pretty quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893800)

got a 3d tv as a present with the monters vs aliens blu ray... pretty cool to watch the first time thru... ever since then my kids watch it in 2d mode so they can run around without the glasses on... overall it's kinda neat, but i agree more content needs to be available before anyone will take them seriously

No surprise (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893816)

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.

economy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33893912)

I wouldn't buy one right now even if I had money to burn... I don't want to risk buying a big ticket item then lose my job. I still use a 19" cathode ray tube TV even though I could afford a flat panel. I don't want to risk spending money I don't have to.

Why is 3D TV Stumbling (1)

SkinnyGuy (697369) | more than 3 years ago | (#33893944)

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.

No surprise (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894016)

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.

Camel's Nose (1)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894026)

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 not just looking passively at a story being told, but must move about in an environment. 3D Desktops have been predicted for quite sometime, but perhaps you really need true 3D to pull of a 3D Desktop.

Still this may all fall to wayside if someone can get rid of the screen, giving you true mobility in a 3D space. Yes there are VR 3D headsets, but they are clunker than the 3D glasses everyone here is already complaining about and high definition VR headsets are prohibitively expensive. No doubt technology will eventually catch up with how to make a high definition, light weight, untethered, long battery life, unobtrusive, VR headset.

On a related note, more than 3D for passive content, we need higher frame rates. There seems to be some conception that movies must be in 24fps to have a 'movie' feel as opposed to a 'TV' feel. I don't know any TV in full progressive 60fps. Most prime time TV shows are shot on 24fps film. 60fps 1080p would be much more immersive for high motion scenes. Someone needs to shoot some action epic in 60fps or higher and see if the public responds to it. IMAX once sometime ago shot one or two films in 48fps. It was insanely expensive to pull off back then, but now should be a cinch. Oddly almost every one's HDTV is capable of displaying 60fps, but unless you are using it for gaming it probably never use more than half this bandwidth.

(BTW, yes I posted this first in the wrong thread. Sigh....)

Why the TV? (1)

tomk (20364) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894056)

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 use the same display surface for two independent images.

I am cautiously optimistic about 3D as a whole, but I don't understand why I need to buy into the 3D TV paradigm in order to get a 3D experience. I would prefer to simply use active-screen glasses.

The great thing about 3D televisions... (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 3 years ago | (#33894094)

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

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