3D Television – It’s About Time…and Price…And Accessibility

Posted: July 9, 2009 in Misc Stuff
Tags: , ,

Two posts in one month! As I’ve stated previously I haven’t had the urge to write much in my free time but I read something today that really got me excited yet left me with a lot of apprehension as well. As a techno-geek and an audio/videophile, I try to stay on top of all the latest technology rumblings and releases. Some time ago I had read an article over at IGN about the “PlayStation 4” being capable of displaying games and movies in 3D. As that console, if Sony even has plans to make one, is at the very least, several years away I relegated this news to my the farthest least frequently used part of my brain and reminded myself that it’s nothing more than mere speculation at this point. I love anticipation but when something is more than a year away it’s a little frustrating to anticipate even something extremely cool. The article I read today reminded me of the news IGN reported as it too dealt with 3D imagery. This time however it wasn’t console based or driven 3D content but rather 3D television sets. As someone who follows even the smallest technological news I was quite surprised to learn that 3D television sets are already available for purchase and that they are supposedly not much different in price than their 2D HD counterparts. Typically and as expected I became overtly excited about what I had read. My wife and I have discussed the purchase of a new TV and usually purchase one every few years at the beginning of the new year and so I saw myself walking out of Best Buy or some other extremely overpriced electronics store with a new 3D ready television set on a crisp March morning in 2010. The prospect of playing my games in and watching Blu Ray in 3D is enough to make me want to purchase one this afternoon, unfortunately we do not have the money for a new television set yet. Should things go I as hope and we receive a decent tax return early next year I will have my sights set on such a television set though I there are several questions I’ll have to find answers to before I commit to such a purchase.

  • Just how available are 3D television sets? – The little I’ve read today on this particular subject would indicate that one can walk into any electronics store and pick one up. I don’t believe much of anything that I read and I know that what’s reported isn’t always unbiased or accurate so I’m not holding my breath with regards to the availability of such sets, even come early 2010. As I currently don’t have the money for a new television set I’m not going to waste my time or frustrate myself by window shopping in the local electronics stores.
  • What do they really cost? – Even if what I read today is correct, that the cost of 3D television sets is nearly the same or only slightly more expensive than standard 2D TV’s, come 2010 I’d be willing to bet the price goes up, way up. Despite a poor economy the cost of most things both our needs and wants have all gone up (freeze anyone?). If 3D is fairly priced now but grows in popularity, even if only with early adopters such as myself, throughout the remainder of this year, it’s likely that prices will skyrocket simply because the manufactures will want to strike while the markets hot. When the time comes for a new television set my wife and I will likely be in the market for a 50-60 inch set. We’ll undoubtedly have enough to by a decent middle of the road television of that size but will be able to afford a 3D set of the same size? While the thought of owning a 3D set practically makes me drool in anticipation, I’m not buying a new TV unless it’s at the very least, 10 inches bigger than our current set, which still serves it’s purpose well. If 3D sets are widely available come early spring 2010 but are to pricey I’m not buying another standard 2D set only to sit out on the newest technology for another 2-3 years. It’ll kill me to wait, but I’ll do just that. It’s no different than when I needed a new TV but didn’t have the money for an HDTV in 2000. Prices fell low enough by 2002 so that I was able to afford one. I guess I can only wait and see how things pan out in this department.
  • Extra gear needed?/Everything 3D?– Everything I read today stated 3D ready televisions where already available and would receive a huge push from manufactures during the last half of this year and the beginning of the next. For all the excitement I have for possibly owning such a television, I remain very apprehensive because no article nor did any information I found indicate whether or not 3D ready television sets convert 2D video game signals from my PlayStation 3, Wii, and 360, to 3D. Are these sets capable of converting all images to 3D, only some, or just those sent to my satellite receiver already in 3D or on some predesignated media, i.e. DVD, Blu-ray discs, etc. Upgrading my home from SD to HD cost much more than I wanted it to, and more than I though it should, I’m not so sure I’m ready buy into yet another conversion, especially since HD hasn’t even become standard television yet. I want to buy one television that comes ready and more than capable of displaying all images sent through it in HD and 3D and I do not want to invest in another technological leap that’s only marginally supported by studio’s, cable companies, satellite companies, and video game publishers, it’s got to be all or nothing this time. Any additional equipment needed such as glasses, some type of 3D imaging unit, etc, needs to be prepackaged in with the set at no additional cost.

These are my three main concerns though I also wonder if I should adopt this technology early since the majority of the public still hasn’t even warmed up to HDTV and only a handful (though the number is growing) of television stations are offered in or are broadcast in HD. Would I be wrong to believe that there will be just one, maybe two stations that make only select programming available in 3D throughout 2012-13?  Though HD has been around for a little over 10 years it’s still insanely expensive, complicated for the average consumer, and it requires more than just a television to enjoy and is experiencing an extremely slow adoption rate. While I remain cautiously optimistic about someday soon owning a 3D television set I have no desire to buy a new Blu-ray player, DVD player, stereo equipment, or DirectTV equipment to enjoy 3D imagery. If TV manufactures want to introduce 3D to television audiences, movie buffs, and gamers fine, but learn from the mistakes you’ve made with HD. Make it affordable, accessible, and easy to understand and I and many others will be there day one.  I know it’s going to be costly to broadcast and shoot things in 3D and that studio’s will need to see demand for it before it’s supported but unless 3D television is all the things HD hasn’t been and still isn’t, the format will face an insurmountable uphill battle. I’d like to see this and all other technologies that are so expensive stay out of the public eye and off the market until such a time occurs where the technology becomes cheap enough to offer it at modest prices even for the best models.  Oh and no blue/red glasses either.  Grey glasses work just fine and are far less irritating.

…Oh and another format war involving two companies with near identical technologies will kill adoption of 3D television.  Work it out guys!

Comments
  1. Michelle says:

    You have a nice site! Great information!

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