Do Consumers Care About 3DTV?

Do Consumers Care About 3DTV?Guest blogger Zuhair of MrTechz writes:

Although 3D technology has been around for a long time, it was only a few years ago that 3DTVs first broke onto the scene. Since then, television vendors have been forcefully pushing 3DTVs on consumers and major companies have integrated 3D into most of their television sets. 3DTV sales are on the rise, but consumer interest in 3DTVs is questionable. Recent statistics show that the amount of consumers actually utilizing the 3D aspect in televisions that support 3D is decreasing. In a recent study, it was found that over 60% of US residents are not interested in upgrading to a 3D television. Despite this alarming statistic, it is expected that around 15 million 3D televisions will be sold next year; this indicates that a significantly large portion of 3DTVs shipped will be bought by customers. This raises the question: If consumers aren’t buying 3DTVs for the 3D technology, then what are they buying them for?

It is safe to conclude that statistics showing an increase in 3DTV purchases are misleading, as most television sets in the market support 3D by default. Consumers are basically forced to upgrade to 3D-enabled televisions if they are in the market to buy a high end TV, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they utilize the technology. TV manufacturers have been trying to convince customers to switch to 3D television since the technology first hit the market, but consumer interest in 3DTVs has gradually declined. One of the main reasons for this is simply due to the lack of 3D content being produced. It is almost as if broadcasters have lost interest and abandoned their ambitions of producing 3D content. You can’t blame them, though. The hype surrounding 3D television has worn off and broadcasters have realized that the expenses involved in making 3D content aren’t justifiable.

One of the biggest drawbacks of 3D technology in televisions is that users have to wear 3D glasses. If that weren’t enough, spare a thought for wearers of prescription glasses. The fact is, having to wear 3D glasses to utilize 3D televisions just isn’t a practical solution and, regardless of how comfortable or fashionable they make them, it won’t create a good user experience. It’s all well and good if you are going to a cinema to watch a 3D movie, but to have to wear 3D glasses while watching TV in your lounge is an inconvenience to say the least. The added expenditure combined with the impracticality of 3D glasses would be justifiable if the 3D experience provided by 3DTVs was of any notable quality, but this just isn’t the case. In fact, once you understand how 3D technology works, it will lead you to question the very existence of 3D and if it’s all just a gimmick presented to consumers to extract money out of them.

The concept on which 3D is based is flawed to an extent that the human brain may be incapable of interpreting 3D content. This is because 3D movies require the audience to focus their eyes on a particular distance and to converge at another. A 3D editor himself, Walter Murch, explained that while it isn’t impossible for us to conceive of 3D content, it is extremely difficult and can lead to headaches and eye strains. So when it comes down to it, 3D is basically an optical trick that is a bit of a hit and miss wonder at this stage. Although TV manufacturers are slowly improving the technology behind 3D and developing glasses-free 3D televisions, consumers have the right to question the need for 3D televisions. Have television vendors properly conducted a market analysis to see whether consumers are even interested in having 3DTVs at home? Because they may be shocked to find out that a solid 60% of residents in the US are not interested. I’m one of them, because I feel that 3DTVs have no place in a household.

Feedback suggests that, while consumers find 3D movies to be entertaining, they would not want it as an everyday experience in their house. Broadcasters have understood this; why can’t television manufacturers do the same? It’s about time that TV vendors accept the fact that 3DTVs are not going to trigger a technological revolution. They would be better off further developing 3D technology so that it offers something new. After so many decades, 3D hasn’t changed much and the time is nigh for television vendors to look into developing 3D technology into something that we have not seen before — like televisions that are capable of displaying 3D holographic images across the room. That would get consumers interested. 3D has the potential to be developed into something more than it currently is, and it would be a wise move for 3D manufacturers to focus their attention on how they can make 3D different to what it is now rather than persisting in promoting the current iteration of 3DTVs.

Are you among the majority who find today’s 3D technology lacking and not ready for everyday use in the home? Or do you like it enough, as is, to invest a good amount of money into what you feel is the latest and greatest? Drop us a line and give us your thoughts.

CC licensed Flickr photo of 3D glasses (and glasses and glasses) above shared by RCabanilla