Do You Want 3D On Your Next TV?

Do You Want 3D On Your Next TV?

The initial hype on 3D television hasn’t been matched by ongoing consumer interest in the feature. Is 3D going to be on the list for the next TV you buy?

I met up earlier this week with Brian Markwater, senior vice president research & standards at the Consumer Electronics Association, which runs the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas each year. CES 2009 saw massive amounts of hype around 3D televisions, but Markwater suggests that vision of a “3D future” has become more tempered. He said:

3D is a feature these days. It’s not something you’ll use all the time. The reality is the content needs to catch up. But some sports work really well — golf really makes a difference in 3D — and kids’ content always does well. The industry got ahead of itself at the show, but 3D definitely has a future.

Perhaps. We have seen some recent activity in this space, including Sony’s lending scheme for other 3D gear. But I’m wondering. Is 3D going to be a “nice to have” feature the next time you buy a television? What content would make it more appealing? Is the need for glasses a hassle? Share your thoughts in the comments.


  • Im looking to buy a TV, and its looking rather difficult to _avoid_ 3d if you want a good smart tv. Ill make use of the feature if and when I can, but its definitely not a selling point. In fact, all else being equal, if I was presented with a cheaper non-3d model of a TV I wanted, I’d take it.

  • I’d agree with ‘nice to have’. Already have one TV with 3D capabilities from a few years ago, and given I feel the need for (or have to play) 3D content only every few months there’s no real point to having it.

    Glasses are no issue – we ended up with 9 pairs and a blu-ray player for $35 bucks plus the cost of the TV. Yeah they’re all old active tech with IR communication, but for the amount it gets used there’s very little point spending more on it.

  • Personally don’t like it, it’s a hassle with the glasses and looks a bit odd, plus there’s very little content, so it’s a massive ‘why bother?’

  • Yes, TVs will continue to feature 3D functionality… it’s not going anywhere!

    Over time we will gain more content, but more importantly the technology will evolve to a point where it is much more “acceptable” to the general public.

    * consumers will have glasses-free, brightness and ghosting issues fixed.
    * content creators will see an improvement in stereo image capture and a more streamlining of their development pipeline.
    * publishers will (eventually) lose their influence to make consumers pay for the ‘3d experience’ premium.

    But for people at home, if you really want that ‘3D experience’ then forget the 3DTV, get a projector because that’s where it’s at!

  • Having recently purchased a new TV, 3D capability was the one thing I avoided. I’m not interested in having more half-useless peripherals lying around (the glasses).

    3D content is probably the most gimmicky thing in the TV/Movie industry. Over the years i’ve seen a fair bit of 3D content, and nothing has convinced me I need this technology at home. Overall I find the 3D content jammed into movies actually detracts from the quality, and it’s something that I now consciously avoid in cinemas as well. Slap 3D on a movie and i’m taking my money elsewhere.

  • 3D has been one big “meh” for me, a novelty and slight enhancement to the cinemagoing experience at best. Not something I care for in my home.


    One novel use of the tech is having two separate images on the one screen, using different glasses (different polarisation, or different timings depending on the tech) to show each user the right picture. If this can be made to work with separate inputs (and I don’t see why it can’t), the kids could watch cartoons while you browse the ‘net on the same screen.

    • Yeah, that’s the single great use of 3D TVs I know of. There are some great demos out there where each player of a game gets a full HD image. Can you imagine the uses if you scale that up? You can have huge work displays with multiple inputs, so people who need different data just wear different glasses. I don’t care about 3D, but we’ve suddenly got mainstream production of multi-output displays. How amazing is that?

  • Just wait a couple of years for the glasses free version and buy one then. Until then it’s a waste of money, not to mention that they seem to think you can just turn any movie into 3D. Problem is people are buying them and creating a false market.

  • Love 3D. Just waiting to save up my cash to get one.
    I am after one of the LG Cinema 3D setups, rather than the active glasses.
    It would be cool if I could get the polarized coating on my prescription glasses also.
    I’m keen on 3D for Games and Movies. TV shows it is mostly pointless. Maybe Scifi shows would be good.

  • See no point, I watch sport for the result and movies for the story. I really could not care less about whether the some of the images on the screen ‘jump out at you’. To be honest I find it hard to focus on anything in ‘3d’.

    I avoid any movies at the cinema that are being played in 3d like the plague.

  • I have a Samsung 3D smart tv, frankly 3D was a strike against it, but the 2D picture quality was absolutely amazing even on 2D SD content compared to the other TVs i’ve seen, and i got it below cost (or so they said), infact even smart tv features were not important to me as i have an XBMC box hooked up to it, but its easier to use iView on the TV with the remote instead of the XMBC box.

    I have never seen a non anaglypic 3D movie (and that was Honey i shrunk the audience at Disney World/Land/universal Studios or whereever it was in Florida), and not really too interested in it either (and my GF has epilepsy so she can’t, she was going to see Avatar 3D till i brought up the subject of potential side effects)

  • I love 3D. I have a 3D monitor, a 3D TV, a 3D projector. So the answer to the headline question is: Yes, I definitely do.

    As Brian says in the article, content needs to catch up. It’s an amazing experience watching Avatar in 3D on our projector. If only other directors could actually do it instead of all this upscaling crap.

  • Love 3D – in a way, I have been waiting my whole life for 3D to arrive in the home. Its not perfect yet, but still very compelling – I also own a 3D DSLR camera from Panasonic and i can tell you looking at 3D still photos is truly amazing. (even more so than 3D movies) .

  • I use my HDTV as a monitor for my pc to play games, but in Australia I couldnt find any that are nvidia 3D compatable, in fact the only ones that are seem to be Mitsubishi DLP rear projection which arn’t sold here.

  • 3D is a waste of time on home TVs at the moment. It’s a gimmick at the cinema too (though a lucrative one). In five or ten years when the glasses-free version is several generations old and the content is there (which is isn’t at present) I may take another look. Otherwise it’s just not a selling point or worth the extra expense.

  • No, 3D is a fad. Used to be tons of 3D movies, lots less were being made then Stereoscopic 3D was popularised, tons more 3D movies being’ll go away again, I like my 2D media..3D isn’t necessary at all..

  • Personally I would prefer 4K TV, and considering my TV is only a year old, my next one will probably be 4K.

    I would also like to see 21:9 aspect ratio with 4k res.

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