Why 3D TV Still Won’t Matter Yet

This blog post is part of a 2010 Consumer Electronics Show series supported by The Network Hub. To find out more about The Network Hub, please visit www.thenetworkhub.ca.

One of the hottest topics coming out of this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was the pending arrival of 3D television in the living room. From Samsung to Sony, Panasonic to LG, all the major players demonstrated that they were prepared to enter this new dimension of home entertainment. However, I’d argue that 3D TV still doesn’t matter. At least, for the time being.

The technology behind the 3D TV is not new. This was the third time that I’ve ventured into Sin City for CES and I’ve seen televisions from all the major manufacturers touting the “immersive experience” that a 3D TV is supposed to offer. Aside from a quirky prototype from Samsung, you need to wear specialized glasses or goggles to get the 3D effect. Without them, you get a blurry mess.

Yes, I understand that 3D has become a big money-maker for Hollywood and for movie theatres, but the living isn’t quite ready for the jump. Here’s why:

1. Everyone in the room needs those specialized glasses, which makes it useless (or expensive) for larger groups. Further still, do people really want to wear these goggles the whole time they’re in the living room?

2. There is not enough 3D content out there yet, but that could change in the next year. There’s a new 3D standard for Blu-ray and DirecTV is forged a relationship with Panasonic for more 3D content. That will take time.

Given the ongoing push for the format, I’m reasonably certain that 3D TV will get there some day. But that day is not today. For now, we’re much more interested in streaming Internet content to the living room TV. To that end, the development of TV-based apps and widgets could prove to be more influential than the adding of an extra dimension.