3-D TV market emerges despite concerns

Hailed as the next big thing in electronics, 3-D television was officially unveiled at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month. The show is the largest of its kind, boasting over 120,000 attendees at CES 2009.

“At C.E.S., the screens were big, the images were high-def, and the video samples were vivid and punchy,” David Pogue of the New York Times reported. “The made 3-D TV seem fantastic. You almost couldn’t wait to buy one when they come out this summer.”
With the unprecedented success of 3-D movies such as Avatar, electronics manufacturers want to bring 3-D into the home. With the quality 3-D found in Avatar, Electronics manufacturers have come out with several models of 3-D televisions, built to appeal to the average consumer.
As a result, Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic now offer 3-D televisions that require 3-D glasses. Most models range from $1500 to $3500. For those who wish to forgo the glasses, Phillips Electronics has an alternative: 3-D televisions without the 3-D glasses. Prices start around $8900 for the 42-inch model.

Viewing angle is another hurdle for 3-D television. If the viewer moves a certain distance away from the screen, or is viewing the screen from the side, the image appears flat and two-dimensional, negating the purpose of the 3-D television, according to PC Magazine.

“The viewing angle is poor, and price is too high,” sophomore Chris Moss said.

According to Moss, 3-D television is little more than a gimmick; too cumbersome and cost-prohibitive to become popular in the home.

The biggest problem with 3-D is the lack of content, according to CNET.com. Only two networks have announced plans for 3-D: Discovery Channel and ESPN. ESPN is the largest supporter of 3-D broadcasting and have been planning their conversion to 3-D since 2007. Beginning on June 11 with the FIFA World Cup, ESPN plans a live 3-D broadcast of over 85 sporting events worldwide. The June 11 Live 3-D broadcast will likely be the make-or-break moment, determining whether or not 3-D can make the jump from silver-screen to big-screen.