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Consumers are not sold on 3D TV

Recently, I was browsing for the latest technology news and I stumbled across an article that exactly reflected my feelings on 3D TV.  Personally, I think the technology is exciting however I’m not convinced that it is something I’d want for my TV lift cabinet.  Between the price and the extra gadgets (namely, the glasses), it just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m perfectly happy with my HD TV. Apparently, I am not alone.

The article I’m referring to is on CNET.com and it discusses why people do not want 3D TV. The manufacturers say CNET hasn’t done enough to convince consumers that this is something they should have.  However according to CNET, the cost of 3D TVs and having to wear the dreaded glasses is proving to be an unfavorable combination for consumers.

When I watch TV, I want to collapse on the couch, turn on the TV and relax. I might have my laptop on my lap while I simultaneously browse the web. I don’t want to have to put on my 3D glasses to watch my favorite shows. I also like the freedom of going back and forth between my computer and TV. The glasses would complicate my ability to multi-task. Prime example – I often watch TV from my kitchen while cooking or doing dishes and the glasses would interfere. The same concerns I have are shared by many consumers, as is evident in the CNET article.

Do you already have a 3D TV?  If so, I would like to hear from you!  I’m curious to hear what current 3D TV owners think and if they’re happy with their decision to move on from HD TV.  Who knows, I could be persuaded…

Watch This Year’s Wimbledon Championships in 3D!

This year you can watch the Wimbledon Championship on your 3D-TV.  Rise up your TV Lift Cabinet, grab your 3D glasses and enjoy the finals as if you were there.  All coverage of the men’s singles semi-finals and the ladies and men’s singles finals will be captured in 3D.

Sony has been working hard with The All England Lawn Tennis CLUB (AELTC) to bring this event to its full viewing potential.  Sony will be handling all the theatrical distributions with the help of their company’s theatrical distribution partner, SuperVision Media.

“We are delighted to be working with The All England Lawn Tennis Club to bring such a high profile sporting event to consumers around the world in 3D,” said Fujio Nishida, president of Sony Europe. “Watching tennis in high-definition 3D is a stunning experience, bringing the speed of the action and the emotions of the occasion to life; it is as close to the atmosphere and excitement of Centre Court as actually being there. With the Live 3D Wimbledon experience available in hundreds of 3D cinemas across the world, many more people will be able to enjoy one of the world’s most iconic sporting events as though they were actually at Wimbledon.”

Don’t have a 3D-TV?  Don’t worry you can go to any 3D-equipped theater throughout the world to watch your favorite matches.  The 2011 Wimbledon Championship begins on June 20 and runs through July 3.

Could Connected TVs End Before Ever Getting Started? 2011 May Tell Us

Connected TVSmart, connected TVs clearly offer more entertainment options than traditional flat-screen TVs, and those who already own them seem to enjoy accessing their apps, favorite websites and watching 3-D movies, all from the comfort of their homes. In fact, smart TVs were (and still are) great companions to an innovative TV lift cabinet, which raises and lowers your flat-screen TV with the touch of a button. But some analysts worry that smart TVs could experience slower than expected growth because of customer “FUD” (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

When the first flat-screen and HDTVs hit the market in the last decade and then dropped significantly in price in the latter half of the last decade, upgrading one’s TV seemed to be an easy choice. Many customers were able to upgrade into a larger screen, better picture quality and a much slimmer unit (perfectly suited for a TV lift cabinet) without emptying their wallets. The features and benefits customers were getting were clear-cut and understandable.

However, with the multitude of smart TVs and 3-D TVs now available, customers are being asked (or bombarded with advertising) to upgrade their HDTVs and flat-screens to something that may or may not have a bigger screen or better picture quality, but it just does more stuff. This is harder sell, and with that comes, rightfully, some hesitance.

Customers might be confused if they will have to upgrade all their movies to either Blu-ray or 3-D (or both) if they want them to work properly on-screen, and will they have to also buy 3-D glasses? Also, savvy customers have come to learn that new electronics products tend to go through several updates in the first two years of their lives (for example, Apple is about to release the iPhone 5!). So many are waiting until all the electronic “kinks” are worked out in these new, “spendy” TVs before purchasing one.

Other things causing “FUD” in customers is that accessing the Internet on their TV sounds confusing. We’ve all been trained to happily use our computers to surf the web, so will a smart TV mean that the computer is on its way out? Most aren’t ready to rely on their TVs to connect to the web.

Some customers are concerned about customer support. Who will they call with questions or issues with an app, or with their Internet, or with their 3-D glasses? Many will be looking for that one customer support representative who can handle all their questions.

Customers who may have a degree of “FUD” are not timid because they lack knowledge. On the contrary, these are smart shoppers who are properly cautious of smart technology because they understand that the world of electronics can be fickle and they are looking more for a product’s benefits, not just its features.

What about you? Are you waiting to buy a smart TV?

Creatures of Comfort: Choose the Right 3D Viewing Glasses

Sony TDGBR100B

Sony TDGBR100B, courtesy Sonystyle.com

First, everyone at ImportAdvantage would like to wish you happy holidays and a Merry Christmas!

3D TVs are more than a trend; they reflect a substantial shift in television and movie-making technology and an opportunity for new investments in the home theater experience. 3D TVs have been flying off the showroom floors during this 2010 holiday shopping season, just in time for the 30+ 3D movies coming out during the next two years. And with 3D-capable Blu-ray players becoming more readily available and dropping in price, many families will be enjoying more 3D movies in 2011 on TVs popping out of their TV lift cabinet.

The one caveat, however, is that 3D TV- and movie-viewing requires the use of 3D glasses, and with any profitable business model, television manufacturers have found a way to make their 3D TVs specialized to their own brand of 3D glasses. So a Sony 3D TV requires Sony 3D glasses, and a VIZIO 3D TV requires a pair of VIZIO 3D glasses. Where this seems to cause the greatest inconvenience among 3D TV owners is that it limits the number of watchers to the number of 3D glasses one owns, and it may mean that you can’t go over to a buddy’s house to watch Monday Night Football in 3D if you don’t have his TV brand’s glasses. This may change (and has already begun to thanks to “universal” 3D glasses being produced by companies like XpanD and Monster) since the Consumer Electronics Association, an industry group, is still finalizing standards for the emitters in 3D TVs.

With that said, another important factor in promoting 3D-watching is finding the right pair of 3D glasses that are comfortable to wear for two or more hours in one sitting. Before listing a few of the front-runners, it should be known that anybody who wears prescription glasses for TV-viewing may have more difficulty finding the right pair of 3D glasses, and it is highly recommended that you try on several pairs before purchasing.

From Sony, the TDG-BR100/B is a pair that allows viewing on Sony 3D TVs from a wide viewing angle, perfect for those with large entertainment rooms. Also, its battery life is up to 100 hours before needing replacement batteries, so about 20 movies worth.

From VIZIO, the XPG201 Theater 3D Glasses are battery-free and compatible with RealD 3D movie theaters, so you can bring your own to watch the re-release of the Star Wars trilogy.

Lastly, Samsung’s SSG-2100AB 3D Active Glasses are battery-powered features a “staggering” effect, blocking the left lens, then the right lens, which achieves a far more lifelike 3D effect. They are also sleekly-designed and fairly light, which adds to their comfort.

Do you already own a pair of 3D glasses? Please leave your own review here for others to read!

The Future of 3D: ESPN Knows

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup this past summer, which drew 24.3 million viewers during the final match, ESPN conducted a survey asking viewers to share their thoughts about 3D versus HD stations. The result, though not as hotly contested as the match between Spain and Netherlands, clearly showed that viewers were not only comfortable watching sports in 3D – they even preferred it over HD.

ESPN Research + Analytics, the sports network’s research arm, used an experimental survey design in its study, which included the use of perception analyzers, eye gaze and electrodermal activity. With these new methods, ESPN was able to include factors such as overall viewing enjoyment, fatigue, novelty effect and advertising impact into its results. For fairness among 3D TV makers, the study also included five different manufacturers in its testing.

The results are said to reflect what has already been said in the industry – 3D TV-viewing is more enjoyable and does a better job of engaging fans in event-based viewing (i.e. sporting events). ESPN says it will be using the results to further developing ESPN 3D as a leader in the 3D viewing industry.

Advertisers expressed excitement for the future of 3D advertising, as the study also revealed that those who watched the same ad in 2D and 3D could better recall the advertisement in 3D than 2D, as cued recall jumped from 68 percent (2D) to 83 percent (3D) and the intent to purchase a product based on a 3D ad jumped from 49 percent to 83 percent. The “enjoyment” of an ad also rose from 67 percent (2D) to 84 percent (3D).

The spark for the study was prompted just as news reports were starting to question whether 3D TV programming, and 3D TVs, is a worthwhile investment. ESPN 3D was one of the first large-scale 3D channels on the market, which ESPN is clearly using as a “test case” for other stations considering offering 3D programming.

To address any concerns over the safety of viewing 3D TV and wearing 3D glasses for long periods of time, participants were tested before and after the survey, and the study found that there no adverse side effects on depth perception and participants adjusted well to 3D over time and under normal use.

So it seems that 3D TV is around to stay. Good news, given that 3D TVs are on everyone’s holiday wishlist in 2010!

 
 
 
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