3D television will succeed. It’s just a question of how long it will take.
The short term prospects for 3D TV are promising enough for it not to be a total flop, but those expecting consumers to rush en masse to purchase 3D TVs immediately will likely be disappointed. Long term, however, 3D TV is a very good bet. So don’t look for a super hot fad; look for a gradual but ultimately major success.
First off, why will 3D TV manage only modest success in the short term?
1. Even though there are always people who are eager to get the latest and greatest new technology who will automatically want 3D TV, there are also a lot of people who will balk at the expense. 3D TV requires a big screen to be all that impressive, it requires extra expense for the special glasses for each member of the family, and it’s coming too soon after so many people spent the money to upgrade to high definition TV, which they won’t want to admit is obsolete already.
2. Although almost everyone who sees 3D TV agrees it’s an improvement over what they’re used to, a pretty fair number of those people experience it as only a mild improvement. How many of the people who like it better but aren’t blown away will not only be able to handle the aforementioned expense, but also the nuisance of wearing the glasses, and even possibly being made sick by them? (Video gaming, though, tends to be enhanced even more by 3D, so serious gamers will certainly help those early 3D TV sales.)
3. There are some movies and some sports and other programming ready to go for 3D TV, and the porn industry is said to be gearing up for this new technology, but most of what people watch won’t yet be in 3D. So it’s neither the case that you’ll have a 3D TV with no programming to watch on it, nor the case that you’ll be able to watch everything in 3D. It’ll be somewhere in between for now.
But why is 3D TV the wave of the intermediate or longer term future?
1. Once 3D TV is out of its infancy, prices will come down, as they invariably do.
2. Already work is being done on 3D technology that will do away with the glasses. The glasses are a significant present impediment to 3D really taking off.
3. The amount of material available in 3D will obviously increase over time. Eventually pretty much all new programming will be available in 3D.
4. You can watch 3D TV without the 3D. You can take the glasses off (or whatever the replacement technology turns out to be) and just watch regular TV. So people will find that if they want the 3D experience sometimes and not others, or if some members of the family like 3D and others don’t care for it or it makes them queasy, they can pick and choose when to use it. When they realize that 3D TVs are “3D-capable” rather than “3D-mandatory,” some of the people who are on the fence about 3D will choose to get one just to keep their options open.
It won’t come overnight, but in time finding a non-3D TV will be like finding a black and white TV.