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Why is 3D TV failing to gain momentum?

3D TV in the UK has failed to capture the imagination of the public and sales figures in recent months indicate that the buying people are quite happy with their ‘regular’ high definition LCD and Plasma screen.

We ask the big question. ‘Why?’.

Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you are using Sky TV or Virgin Media that the content online is very limited right now. Certainly not enough to tempt Joe Public into parting with his credit card for the pleasure of a new screen. Telecoms and Media Forecasts also say that fewer than half of the 11 million 3DTV ready homes in the UK by 2016 will be able to actually watch the content.

Sky have been pushing the platform hard, even hiring public darlings such as Steven Fry to push the product to the public. We don’t imagine it would have taken a big cheque to persuade Stephen to pimp out the products. A few iPads and maybe a new 11.6 inch Macbook Air and he would have been happy to extoll the wonders of 3 dimensional television.

The BBC are also slowly jumping into the fray, with announcements recently that they plan to show the Wimbledon final in 3D. The first time in history. Yet very few people are talking about it.

I recently asked a Curry’s sales manager about his views, focusing on on sales (Curry’s are part of the DSG Retail group and one of the largest electronic retailers in the UK). He said that the adoption rate was very slow and that his particular branch maybe only sells a couple of screens every month. We both agreed that the inconvenience of wearing glasses also may be a hindrance for many.

I know, that I wouldn’t want to be sitting in my living room watching a screen while wearing glasses. I tend to wear glasses now anyway for TV, so we can quickly see how messy the whole setup can get. I personally feel that a portion of the audience, like myself, are waiting on the Lenticular (or similar) technologies which allow 3D TV without the need for glasses.

Toshiba created 3DTV without glasses a while ago, and it went on sale in Japan – with 12 inch and 20 inch screen sizes available. The prices were high and obviously it was only targeting a small user base who wanted to adopt the technology early. The REGZA no glasses 3DTV may lead into new models later this year with much larger sizes and hopefully reduced pricing. Rumours indicate that 2012 will be a big year for this sector.

Parallax Barrier technology is also an exciting technology as it uses a system of tiny lenses which are integrated into the TV screen, layered liquid crystal displays. It works by targeting different sections of the brain. Each layer contains small stripes that hide specific pixels – some of which can only be seen by the left eye and other pixels by the right eye.

Of course, the ultimate technology may be based around holographic implementations and with this system there is no concern about viewing angles. This is many years away from mainstream adoption. Imagine how good this would be for a football game however! We expect the porn industry to be embracing this sooner, rather than later.

Kitguru says: 3D TV good enough for you right now?

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