Is 3D Here to Stay?

For anyone who has been around for a while and has been paying attention to the technological front, then they know that 3D TV isn’t a new creation. In fact, there have been numerous variations of the 3D TV and all of them in the past have failed to catch on and become relevant in the television market. Thanks to the digital age of cinematography, that has all changed, but the question remains about whether or not 3D TV is here to stay.

Two sides of the argument

As with most questions in the entertainment industry, there are going to be two completely opposite opinions about whether 3D TV is here to stay or if it’s simply a passing fad that will see its fate before long. Both sides have compelling arguments and of course no one truly knows the future, but let’s take a quick look at the current arguments first.

With the release of Avatar in 3D, nearly every third major motion picture released this year seems to have been in 3D. As remarkable as the technology was for this ground-breaking movie, it ushered in an age of surrealism and overuse. There have been dozens of films since the release of Avatar that have been released in 3D, which costs more per ticket than an average movie ticket, that has left the audience feeling less than thrilled with the effects, and the results.

Where are the effects? Where’s the image?

Perhaps it’s simply a matter of human nature that the more a person is subjected to a particular effect or technology, the less ‘thrilling’ it becomes. Or perhaps the technology that is used in creating some 3D films is not the same as others. Still, given a choice, it is clear that movie-goers would rather spend less money to see a movie in 2D than to pay more for one in 3D that doesn’t have the same impact as a movie like Avatar, for example.

Then there’s the other side of the argument, the advocates for 3D TV. These are the individuals who point to recent technological advancements in digital technology that allow movies as well as television programs to be broadcast and captured with efficiency on 3D TVs. This camp points to the recent sales of 3D TVs as proof that the technology has finally caught up with consumer expectation. However, even though some manufacturers sold out of their 3D TV sets doesn’t, by itself, denote a revolutionary change.

In order for 3D TVs to be here to stay, the technology must be available and accessible in the home entertainment market. The first sign that this has occurred is the Blu-ray disc players that are becoming more reasonably priced and affordable. Another factor is the ability for cables (such as HDMI cables) to carry two high-quality Full HD video streams simultaneously, making 3D TV possible.

Advocates for 3D TV will point to recent sales numbers and the projections for the future in 3D TV sales, which some expect to rise exponentially as the price of the innovating technology meets with full demand and the cost reaches a reasonable level for consumer consumption, such as that which occurred with flat screen televisions in recent years.

One glaring hindrance

Of course, there is one major obstacle that must be overcome for 3D TV to be here to stay and that is the availability of 3D titles, as well as 3D television programs. Currently, there are only a limited number of 3D titles to choose from. Like other formats in the past, it takes time to convert and manufacture new technology and when demand doesn’t exist, then the progress will be slow.

For all intents and purposes, it should be safe to say that 3D TV is here to stay, but that public consumption and demand may lag for several more years, especially if the economy continues to remain sluggish. Once the cost of the 3D titles, and the 3D TVs reaches an acceptable level for consumers, then we will likely see an explosion in the market.

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