Monday, February 01, 2010

3D TV...A Whole New Ball Game

The dust has settled. The conversion to digital TV is behind us. Most of us have made the switch. We plunked down our hard earned cash and purchased that flat screen HDTV. All is well with the world. We are “state of the art.” Right? Not so fast quimo sabe! Sony, Panasonic and Samsung and the other manufactures and purveyors of all things electronic have different plans.

At the the recent Consumer Electronics Show, the Las Vegas annual bazaar of things we don’t really need but really want, one of the hits of the show was 3-D TV. Building on the HDTV platform, 3-D is touted to “bring the viewer into the action like never before.”

For sure, the extraordinary popularity of the movie “Avatar” has renewed interest in 3-D but the producers of 3-D material have much bigger plans then having blue people flying through the air mounted on animals that recently escaped from Jurassic Park.

Broadcasters like ESPN have promised a dedicated channel of 3-D programming. I have to admit the thought of watching football or basketball in 3-D sounds cool. Other offerings promise to include movies from some of the pay services like HBO or Showtime. The game guys are salivating at the possibilities of expanding the already popular interactive gaming platforms like the Wii to a 3-D experience.

Well, now that I have you all excited, I will give you the bad news. Most all of the new stuff you now have will need to be replaced for you to enjoy any of this 3-D material. That new HD flat screen will not display 3-D. Also, just like at the movie theater, each viewer will need special glasses. Right now they are priced at about $75 each. The cable or satellite service you use or the over the air broadcaster also must make expensive modifications to their technology. In many ways we are back to square one.

It will be interesting to see how long this technology takes to get out of the early adopter phase. It may be faster than we think. We are becoming more and more accepting of the things we buy becoming obsolete before they are paid for. I recently retired a 35 year old Sony TV that still had a great picture. Having a TV serviceable for 35 months may be a challenge in the future.

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Blogger Ricardo Ang II said...

Sony plans to release a free firmware update to the current PS3 (Playstation 3) this summer. This is to coincide with the release of their 3D Bravia sets.

4:54 PM  

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