3DTV Takes Over? Not Quite Yet

by Randy Murray on July 7, 2010

Sometimes I see press releases and pronouncements that make such ridiculous claims that I have to stop and think about what they’re saying. This one claims that by 2013 that a full 86% of Plasma TVs will be 3D versions.

On closer thought, they may be right, but it probably doesn’t mean what you might think it means.

The current push for 3D in the home is a pitiful technology. Really awful. And it’s being pushed as the next big thing, right after high definition. But there’s very little to watch on these things and you have to have a 3D display, a 3D source (like a special Blu-Ray player, game console, or set top box from your TV provider, if they even have 3D channels) AND you have to wear specialized 3D glasses. Oh, and you need to sit directly in front of the TV, at the ideal distance, in a darkened room.

Awful. Or let me restate: great for a brief demo, awful for actually watching anything.

Did I mention that the battery-powered glasses are expensive and you can’t interchange them or other components with other manufacturer’s 3D versions? That’s right – there are no standards yet.

But that’s not what this press release claims. They’re not saying that people will actually use these displays to watch 3D content. They’re just saying that they will be 3D capable. And they’re also claiming just plasma displays, not LCD, DLP, or other display technologies. Clever. All of the detail is in the body of the release, but most people only read the headline and accept it as fact. Releases like this add to the urgency to make you think, “Everyone else is getting 3D. I need to, too!”

Don’t do it. The current 3D technology just isn’t any good. Eventually we’ll have a clear, realistic 3D home movie and TV technology that doesn’t require glasses. You should wait for that. Or go to Best Buy, sit and watch their demo for five minutes. You’ll see what I mean.

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