Although 3D is the latest next-big-thing in TV and movie technology it isn’t new and it will fail just like it did the last time it came around and for the same reasons. The real future for the television set is built-in internet connections to access web based video but it looks like the entertainment industry will be missing the mark and lead us astray with 3D.
Why is 3D TV a #FAIL? Here are the big three reasons:
- 3D media is expensive to produce and out of reach for most content creators;
- wide variety of incompatible equipment standards used to view the 3D movies in theaters and on home TVs make it difficult and expensive to use;
- it has been estimated that 20-30% of the audience can’t watch 3D due to vision limitations (lack of stereoscopic vision) or health reasons (seizures or headaches).
So with all of these negatives why is the entertainment and technology industry promoting 3D movies, games and TV? It’s simple – control. The big push for 3D video lets the big entertainment companies such as Sony retain ownership of the process from beginning to end. They make the movies, they distribute the movies and they sell you the technology used to consume their movies.
As consumers, most of us want a wide variety of content to choose from and that is one of the reasons why an internet connected TV with a fully functional web browser should be the next big home entertainment technology. If the entertainment industry has their say , it won’t be because it gives choices to the consumer and takes control away from the traditional broadcast media companies. An alternative is something that is not difficult or expensive to set-up and is quite popular among the geeks out there: connecting a computer to a TV set.
A simple solution is to pick-up a low cost computer (tower or portable, MAC or Windows), hook it up to your flat panel TV (VGA or HDMI along with audio), sit back with a wireless keyboard/mouse combo unit and watch web based video. To help you avoid wasting time shifting through the bits’n’pieces on sites like YouTube, the next big thing on the web are ‘channels’ with niche content which organize your choices making it easier to locate and watch video content.
If you’re looking to purchase a new TV, compare the price of a 3D TV (plus glasses for the whole family plus a new 3D enabled BlueRay disc player plus the cost and limited selection of 3D movies) with the cost of a good 2D TV with a new computer to connect to it. It won’t take you long to see the questionable value in 3D TV and hopefully motivate you to make the move to web-based video.
* Since I’m one of the 30% of the audience mentioned above with vision limitations, I really “can’t” see 3D TV. Although I have two eyes they don’t form a stereoscopic image. It’s referred to as monocular vision, similar to what a person with only one eye experiences. My depth perception is poor but my peripheral vision is wider than normal – so don’t try sneaking up on me, I won’t know exactly how close you are but I will see you coming!