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Why 3D TV Will Fail

by Sean P. Aune | June 5, 2010

Call me bi-polar if you must, but after looking at why 3D TV will succeed, now it’s time to look at why it will fail.

The entertainment industry has gone through bouts of trying to popularize 3D over the years, with the biggest success before the current wave having come in the 1950’s with slews of b-grade horror films utilizing the old red/blue technology.  While there have been a few stabs of doing it on television, it has always been for just a few minor events here or there such as Super Bowl half-time shows and so on.

With the advances in technology it is now possible to bring it into our family rooms, but someone seems to have forgotten to ask consumers if we even wanted this.

panasonic 3d glassesThe biggest hurdle in my opinion is that for any of us to take advantage of 3D means we’re all going to have to buy new TVs.  Didn’t we just all go through this?  Didn’t we all just start buying HD TVs over the past few years, and now we’re expected to run out and buy yet another television set?  Maybe five to ten years down the road this would make more sense, but for now people are happy with what they have.  With the economy the way it is right now, no one is going to run out and buy another.

TV has become a secondary activity to other things people do now.  The number of people browsing the Internet while watching television continues to climb, and wearing 3D glasses is going to encumber that activity greatly.  No one is going to want to look at their computer through those glasses, and the constant refocusing of their eyes as they move from screen to screen will be enough to drive some people nuts.

Of course, this brings us to the glasses themselves.  The sets only come with one pair currently, and buying additional ones run around $150 a pair.  Last time I checked, most people like to have friends over to watch movies and sporting events, is only one person going to get to enjoy the 3D, or is each guest going to have to go out and buy a pair before they come over?

While we’ve covered why 3D TV may succeed, the list of reasons for why it may not just seem to convince me more.  Am I against new technology?  Of course not, but this just seems like such a waste, and something that has no proven track record for longevity for us to all think we need to run out and buy it.  The move from tube televisions to flat panels made a lot of sense for a laundry list of reasons, but this is just silly and wasteful in my opinion.

What say you?  Why do you think 3D TV may fail?


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...


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