The giants of television industry have released their next generation TV sets, many—if not all—featuring 3D capabilities. But there might be a problem: the bulging images that invade your space and enter a new dimension of your living room may not be as popular with consumers as major manufacturers had hoped for. There is a battle waging—as there always is within the tech world—pitting one industry expert against another over whether or not 3D TVs will be a consumer success in 2010. Our in-house tech editor, Scott Steinberg, takes a firm stance to say “no,” these new 3D advanced TVs will not strike America’s fancy this year.
Steinberg claims that the manufacturers are pushing for 3D-enabled TVs moreso than the everyday consumer. “3D TV has been all the rage lately, but the reality is that it is over-hyped in 2010,” he says. “3D TVs and technologies will eventually take off, but this isn’t the year that it will become ubiquitous in homes throughout America.”
Samsung, Sony, LG and more all showed off their high-powered 3D HDTV displays at CES last week and won over some hearts with the new technology. Others were not so impressed. “Image quality is solid, but in some cases resembles a pop-up picture book,” says Steinberg. “The true reality is that there isn’t enough supporting programming or content to presently make the switch to 3D practical or worthwhile either.” Movie industry sources say that this year around 20 out of 170 movies will be made in 3D, doubling the number from last year. Discovery Channel, Sony and IMAX have announced their commitment together to make a 24/7 3D television network available this year. There are 3D innovations going on all around us and we’re still only a few weeks into 2010, but some experts still think there will be a lack of consumer interest.
Still, it’s unavoidable that 3DTV will filter down into the mainstream. Steinberg claims that big name television manufacturers are driving the movement towards 3D technology whether consumers know it or not. He asserts that new 2010 HDTV models will be the Trojan horse that helps embed this technology in living rooms throughout the world. “The truth of the scenario is that 3D technology will eventually penetrate millions of American homes because TV manufactures are building it into their premium 2D sets as well—making 2D sets 3D capable,” he adds.
Still, “with no killer apps and a short supply of must-see programming, it will be difficult for people to be compelled to make and afford the 3D upgrade,” says Steinberg. We may have to wait until 2011 to see how the actual 3D uptake plays out, who comes out with actual 3D content and if the new technology’s price tags are within the consumer’s budget.