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Ten Reasons 3D TV Can Succeed


My previous article, Ten Reasons Why 3D TV May Fail stirred up quite a debate. In response to my skeptical take on the launch of 3D TV, David Modell, 3ality Digital’s Chairman offered the following counterpoints:

1. Glasses. 165 million Americans or more need correction to their vision. The vast majority wear glasses. All day. Every day. To do and see everything. They already wear glasses to see TV and movies. In the end, this will be a factor, but content will always be king. If the SuperBowl is on in 3D, people will watch it, use and forget about the glasses. And, as this becomes more ubiquitous, the glasses will be personalized – I have a real Wayfarer pair! Plus, there is no distortion field, you can leave the goggles on and go for a beer – just looks a little dimmer.

2. TV is Social. We all socialize at activities – and they ARE ALL IN 3D…. Go to a game (live) with friends – it is in 3D… You get the gist. The 3D happening all around you all the time does not keep you from socializing…

The real drag is that we have until now been UNABLE to see our movies, our TV and our own faces in 3D. Everything else in most people’s lives is in 3D all the time.

3. Yes, you will need to buy a 3D enabled TV. And you will need a 3D enabled player of some sort for current DVD’s. All the rest is outta the box. I hooked up our 3D Blu-ray at the office myself and did it with normal cables… All content will be wireless at some point, so DVD players and cables will not matter in half a decade.

4. Content. While true up until this year, we have all seen an explosion of 3D content and will see more. Not a weekend went by this summer without a 3D release into theaters. Many if not the majority won their weekend gross competition. Add to that ESPN committing to 85 programs in 3D, Sky announcing a 3D channel, Discovery, Panasonic, etc.

This was obviously a big question and it seems to have been answered with much more to come (how about when they get 2D to 3D conversion mastered and cheap enough…Gone With the Wind, ET, Alien – please…).

5. Confusion. All I can tell ya is I put it together in our office. And it worked. Seemed roughly equivalent to doing the same for 2D components. Zero confusion for a guy who gets mainly confused with stuff like this.

6. Health Risks. Yes, it is true, BAD 3D does have bad physical reactions along the lines you mentioned. But, excellent 3D minimizes the risk of this for the average, normal viewer to zilch. First question I ask folks who tell me they have seen Avatar is about eye comfort, headaches and the like. Zero. As in not one person told me they had discomfort.

This in fact is one of our key selling points. Our equipment auto corrects to within one pixel between ‘eyes’ which is what enables our equipment to legitimately shoot live.

7. Unwatchable footage. Well, there will be 2D content (still and forever – 3D does zip for CBS Evening News) and 3D content. The great news is that 3D enabled TV’s become 2D with the push of a simple remote button. And I bet for a while titles will come out both in 2 and 3D, so you’ll have both to watch. The SuperBowl will be offered in 2 and 3D – one for the cool room and one for the luddites.

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8. Just Good-enough Syndrome. I love(d) my $5k top of the line, uber Pioneer Elite flat panel. That is until I went to CES this year and saw a bigger TV, with double the resolution for half or less the price. My TV is an expensive piece of crap compared to what I saw. Plus, I have never seen a 3D novitiate walk away from a 3D enabled TV going “oh, that’s ok”. It is ALWAYS a eureka moment. Precisely because we see everything else in 3D and have gotten so accustomed to the tricks they play to make a wall seem like it has depth. But when the wall really seems to go away as if a hole opened-up – EUREKA.

And all this is BEFORE 3D adult movies. People may never leave their home again!

9. Discs are dying. Amazing ain’t it. For me then, it has gone 8 track to cassette to disc to download with wire to download without wire. Thank G-d!

Let’s just figure out why content I pay for on my TV is not concurrently avialable to me on my laptop. Why must I be in my home to get what I pay for from Comcast (utility…)?

Books as we know them gettin’ ready to die as well… That iPad is cooo-ooo-oool. It’s already proving to a monster. Down with physical media, up with the cloud! Pun intended.

10. History. History tells us it is all about money. If they can make money, it will happen sooner than later. Broadcasters were unable to monetize their HD investment. Trust me. I have heard the “I’m not making the same mistake twice… How do I make money?” speech way too many times… When Ben Franklin shows up, so will the broadcast crowd.

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