The past six weeks have been extremely beneficial for the developing 3D home format, with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the release of Avatar helping propel the technology into headlines.
Research firm In-Stat expects more than 40 million 3DTVs will be shipped in 2014. Analysts also believe 3D Blu-ray players will closely trail 3DTV units shipped in the following years, which will dramatically boost Blu-ray sales.
Avatar, which has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, has shown average consumers the power of the format. Prior to the release of Avatar, 40% of consumers polled were familiar with 3DTV technology — the number jumped, however, to 60% after Avatar’s release.
A study compiled by NPD last June indicated just 17% of consumers wanted 3D at home, with the format receiving a boost in support from the 3D film “Up.” Just one in five consumers actually wanted 3DTV and overall consumer awareness of the format was unknown.
There are still several issues that must be dealt with before consumers feel comfortable with the 3D in the home. Price and 3D glasses are two of the leading consumer-driven concerns, as the cost of 3DTVs will initially be high.
The cost of 3D glasses — or the elimination of them altogether — must become more reasonable in 2010 or 2011, or consumers will wait for the format to develop further. Designer 3D glasses are being made already, but the custom glasses are designed only for consumers with deeper pockets.
Avatar’s success has also resulted negative headlines, however, including the revelation that a man in Taiwan died after reportedly becoming over-excited while watching the film. The man, only identified as Kuo, suffered from hypertension — watching the film triggered his medical condition — and he lost consciousness before heading to the hospital.
Nevertheless, 3DTV is poised to become a popular feature in HDTV’s and Blu-ray players released this year and beyond.