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3D – What’s the Hold Up?

3D was the talk of CES last year, so is this year the right time for the technology to take off, improve the television viewing experience and see a huge jump in sales?

That could happen, but from what I’m seeing at CES so far, I’d give it a little more time for many reasons.

1. The technology is greatly improved, however, its still not ‘right’.  By that I mean, its not exactly a superior picture to a full HD 1080p 2-Dimensional picture on an equivalently priced television or monitor and of content shot on a state of the art HD 1080p camera.

Some 3D content still looks like computer annimation, rather than true real life.

The technology still has some strides to make.  For comparison, when HD technology was introduced, it was a substantial improvement from the standard definition content we had been watching.  Once anyone got a taste of HD, they could not go back to SD, even though they had no previous complaints with their TV picture.

3D doesn’t make this kind of jump.

2. Not enough content.  This will change in time, most likely, and until it does, consumers can’t be blamed for sitting on the sidelines.   In a way, this gives vendors time to refine the technology.

3. Glasses? I already where glasses & don’t like the feel of a second pair and from what listeners have reported, others feel this way also. Vendors will simply have to get away from the dependence on specific 3D glasses, in my opinion, to sell this technology to the masses.

4. The technology itself.  The current 3D approach of displaying separate images for each eye that, with the help of the glasses, the brain can merge to give the feeling of depth perception and of an image that jumps off of the screen may work against adoption.

Sony has already stated that the technology is harmful for children 6 and under because of the eyes having to focus independently on separate images.

I’m not an opthamologist, but I recall my eye doctor saying our two eyes should focus on a single image and if they don’t, its a problem. Sony seems to be admitting it is a problem for children.  Whether or not it would also cause vision loss after a certain amount of viewing for adults or 7-year olds, I don’t know but I can certainly see it causing headaches at the least.

For another approach to 3D TV, we need only look to the Force.  Way back in 1977, R2-D2 in Star Wars Episode IV (A New Hope) displayed a holographic image that was, of course 3D.

Hallowgraphic projection technology is perhaps a better way to go in the long term for viewing 3D content.

We’ll see how it goes, however, and it will certainly be interesting to see if consumer adoption rates rise and if networks make the necessary investment to broadcast in 3D so soon after upgrading to HD broadcasting.

Let us know what you think?


January 5, 2011 - Posted by | Audience Communication

1 Comment »

  1. SciFi fans will also note that 3D imaging through holographic technology is also on display in the Star Trek The Next Generation series. The Holodeck served as a full immersion virtual reality environment that could be entirely lifelike. That is likely a natural progression of 3D/virtual reality image rendering and could well be within reach.

    The military is already using virtual reality heavily to train our military. The adoption of this technology in the commercial space is likely only a matter of time.

    Comment by techtodayradio | January 5, 2011 | Reply

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