The Blog
17th May 2011Posted in: The Blog 0
To 3D or not to 3D? That is the question!

When 3D is discussed, it conjures up many thoughts and questions from different people. One thing is certain however, 3D has come a long way. If you saw Avatar 3D in the theater I would have a hard time believing you weren’t blown away by the special effects (not the story line). There is a lot of confusion and frustration when it comes to 3D for the home however. So you have to ask yourself, is 3D here to stay?, is it worth the price? And do I have to wear those glasses to get enjoy the 3D experience?


Is 3D here to stay? If I said I knew for sure I would be lying. I believe there are a number of factors that will determine this. Mainly there needs to be continued consumer interest and that relies heavenly on cost and 3D programming availability. As any technology goes, the price starts dropping exponentially with time. The problem is, if you want manufacturers best flat panels whether LCD or Plasma, you will have to buy a 3D enabled TV whether you ever use the feature or not. I use the word feature on purpose because that is exactly what it is. 3D is just a high-end feature on many flat panel TV’s and projectors today. If you want the highest contrast available from a new Samsung LED then you will have to purchase a UN55D8000 with a contrast ratio of 25,000,000:1 as opposed to the UN55D7000 at 15,000,000:1 or the UN55D6300 at 5,000,000:1. I have early adopter clients who want the latest and greatest and wanted 3D as soon as it was available and I have some clients who said they had no interest in 3D until I explained this concept to them.


The other big part of maintaining consumer interest is the amount of 3D sources and programming available. Let’s start with the downside. The Blu-ray situation is very frustrating. I am speaking of the lack of new Blu-ray 3D titles that was originally projected when 3D hit the streets. For the life of me I can’t figure out why the movie companies are granting exclusive licenses for sale of their 3D movies to only a single TV manufacturer. For instance, if you want Avatar 3D, you can only get it with a Panasonic 3D TV/Blu-ray combo purchase. You can only get Monsters vs. Aliens 3D with the purchase of a Samsung package. Supposedly Sony will have exclusivity to Alice in Wonderland 3D when it is released. To me, this is doing nothing but hindering the growth of the market, but what do I know.


Now on the upside, 3D Blu-ray players do have a 2D to 3D conversion feature that does give standard Blu-ray movies a nice 3D-ish pop. It’s not going to be the same as a movie that was made for 3D. Also the 3D TV’s have a 2D to 3D feature so it will perform a 3D conversion on a lot of standard programming.  Also, I have noticed an increase in 3D offerings from Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network.


Is it worth the price? Well that is somewhat more subjective but as many people assume that the price difference in 3D versus non-3D models is just the 3D feature. You are paying for the best picture quality as well as other bells, buzzers, and whistles that you may or may not need or want.


Do you have to wear those glasses? Yes you do but the good news is that they are not that uncomfortable. First let me start by saying that if you have a Samsung 3D TV then you cannot use Panasonic 3D glasses. That being said, some manufacturers glasses are more comfortable than others. There are 3rd party glasses out there such as the ones from a company called Xpand who make Universal 3D glasses. So there are some options out there if you have a brand of glasses that you don’t find comfortable.


The bottom line is the same as with a lot of technology purchases; how much are you willing to spend incrementally to get those extra features. Keep in mind that with a 3D TV you are getting a lot more than just the 3D feature; you are getting a much better 2D picture as well.

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