Thursday, February 25, 2010

To 3-D or Not 3-D

CES premiered a number of 3-D TV sets and cable networks, including Discovery and ESPN, have announced the creation of 3-D channels. And next month, consumers can actually buy a 3-D TV set. "Sears, the first US retailer to offer 3-D sets, is selling two models, a 46-inch set for $2,599 and a 55-inch one priced at $3,299. The sets are made by the electronics giant Samsung, which began selling them in Asia late last year. Viewers have to wear 3-D glasses to get the in-depth, visual effect that is now all the rage in the movies." And I believe it will be a big bust.

I believe 3-D today is a fad best used in theatres to draw kids and adults to pay more to watch a movie. Frankly, the glasses are awkward, uncomfortable, and viewing sites are more limited. It works in a theatre, it will bomb in the home. Without enough content, limited programming, ands the need to wear glasses, a 3-D set is not the near future of home entertainment. Until enough content arrives and can be watched without glasses, the future for consumer electronics remains HDTV.

Consumers are just now purchasing their big screen HD set and are not about to junk it for this development. Early adopters are instead buying multiple HD sets for more rooms in their house, while others are just now buying their first HD set. For the next few years, the future will be lower priced, bigger screens (55" and higher) HD sets for the main viewing and smaller sets for the bedrooms, study, and kitchen. Will consumers look at them in the store - yes. Will they buy a 3-D set - No.