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Television Hardware Entertainment

Hot Or Not — 3D TV 419

Several sources have written to tell us that in terms of hype at this year's CES show, there is none bigger than that surrounding 3D TV. Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG, and Toshiba all have their own flavors of hardware and ESPN announced a 3D sports channel, but Microsoft seems to be bucking the trend with their apparent lack of 3D interest surrounding the Xbox product. "We're yet to see any major brand at CES pushing a 3D TV that doesn't require them. In most cases these aren't the basic Ray Ban style you might have worn to watch Avatar. In many cases they'll actually require power. For example, Sony's 3D TVs use a 'frame sequential' display method, which involves active-shutter glasses that turn on and off in sync with the images. Some TVs come with the glasses and have the transmitter built in, but again, in some cases you'll need to buy the transmitter and glasses separately."
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Hot Or Not — 3D TV

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  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:29PM (#30698568) Journal

    don't you know why this is done? TV manufacturers are running out of ways for being able to insulate the price barrier.

    This has nothing to do with 3d being good or bad, it has to do with how every manufacturer has an agreement on artificially insulating price with a new technology. Same was done with flat panel, then LCD, then high def, then hz wars(120! 240!).

    All marginal technologies that should normal drive the price down. Instead they'll be able to have 52" TV's be in the many thousands of dollars amount for years to come due to raising it back up for 3d.

    Think of it like apple's feature creep, it's the same idea and same reasons, to force price to an arbitrary amount before it eats into their margins.

  • meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by decipher_saint ( 72686 ) * on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:30PM (#30698574)

    Who wants to wear an extra pair of glasses just to watch TV?

    This whole 3D video thing smacks of a industry money grab disguised as a fad...
    Exec: "Well everyone and their gramma has a 'flatscreen' jumbotron at home, what do we do now?"
    R&D: "Gentlemen, we've reached the limits of this plane of entertainment, we must go to the next dimension"

    *dramatic music*

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brandee07 ( 964634 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:30PM (#30698580)

    I just don't see the benefit in 3D TV. I know the technology is getting better, but the 3D in Avatar was just good enough to not be a distraction from the movie- it certainly didn't add anything to it, besides $5 for the ticket. The point is that for most of the movie, I did not perceive anything different than a normal movie, and those moments when I did were distracting and jarring. I have seen a couple imax movies in 3D and I think I tend to mentally flatten the images- except for the parts where the snake jumps out at you, which is just distracting and cheesy.

    So, if I'm going to be mentally flattening the images anyway, why bother?

  • Flicker comes back (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:31PM (#30698594) Homepage

    We finally get a display technology with zero flicker, the LCD, and the 3D crowd has to put it back. Yuck.

  • Killer app: porn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by base3 ( 539820 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:32PM (#30698608)
    It's like those 38-DDDs are right in your face!
  • by cjmnews ( 672731 ) <cjmnews@yahoo.com> on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:35PM (#30698652) Homepage

    Mostly it is due to the glasses and the effect the glasses have on the wearer.

    Having recently seen my first 3D movie at a theater last night, I can say that yes it does look incredible, but I have significant eye strain, that is still bothering me the next day.

    Others I have talked to said they get headaches from the 3D glasses, others just hate having to wear them due to comfort, interfering with their normal glasses or not used to wearing glasses..

    Sorry, no one I have talked to is willing to veg out for an hour or 2 in the evenings with 3D glasses on.

    I am really not willing to do it for games either. I'd rather have a few hours gaming in 2D, than a short duration with headaches in 3D.

  • by electricbern ( 1222632 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:37PM (#30698686)
    It happens to me too and it doesn't go away after 10 minutes as other commenter posted. I watched Avatar 2D and headache-free.
  • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:38PM (#30698694)

    Sure, but compare the price of Plasma displays now and when they were introduced, or even regular old LCD TVs... No one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to buy a 3D TV, you can buy a 40-50" regular HD LCD TV for sub-$1000 these days.

    Besides, I don't understand what your reply has to do with the actual technology behind 3D displays. I swear, almost every other post here on slashdot has become about how expensive something is or how it's not free or extremely cheap...

    Oh wait, I must be new here or something.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:40PM (#30698728)

    Then don't buy it.

    I don't see the benefit in a big screen TV. I don't watch TV and don't watch too many movies. So I don't buy one. It's pretty simple. :)

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D ( 1160707 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:40PM (#30698734)

    You just explained why colour TV and colour movies are useless. Watch a black and white and within a couple minutes you'll forget you're watching black and white.

    The short answer is "because we can". It won't be too long before 3D technology brings prices down so that it's as cheap as 2D is now. Just like when colour first came out, people were initially using it for whiz-bang "look what we can do" effect and it took a few years before it just became nothing special. So it will go with 3D.

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:45PM (#30698792)
    they should focus on content delivery. Hooking your TV up to the internet and making it easy to find content is a way to differentiate your hardware and sell it at a premium.
  • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:47PM (#30698824)

    I know the technology is getting better, but the 3D in Avatar was just good enough to not be a distraction from the movie- it certainly didn't add anything to it, besides $5 for the ticket.

    Your tastes are not universal. Considerable experience has demonstrated that a commercially-significant number of people do find that 3D adds to the entertainment value of various forms of visual entertainment.

  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:49PM (#30698848)
    Well, sure, innovation is supposed to spur new sales. Sony released the PS3 so people would want to give them money, including people who already bought PS2s. So long as there's value for the consumer, how is this bad? You could argue it will displace what would have been cheaper options, but I don't think that's true. A couple months ago I got a 20" 1080p LCD monitor for under $100. Even after decades of maturity, CRTs were never that cheap (except perhaps in their waning days after the assembly lines had been sold off to generic manufacturers). The PS2 has enjoyed a long & cheap life on the market, post-PS3. Now, at some point, it will be almost as cheap to make a PS3 as a PS2, and at that point the PS2 will disappear. But it's not like the price of the PS2 could ever have dropped much further anyway.

    I think 3D will end up being an almost free feature you can use or ignore. And since having somewhat of a 3d revelation watching Avatar, I'm looking forward to it.

  • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:58PM (#30699018)

    I don't see any manipulation unless these companies were making an a lot of money over the manufacturing cost of the sets...

    Technology improves and most of the time the new technology costs more money to implement.

    People need jobs and something to work on, so they spend their time improving the technology. I hardly doubt it's some grand conspiracy.

    Yes the manufacturers want to push 3D as the next new thing so that they can continue to sell expensive TV sets, but it's not as if the new sets don't cost more for them to manufacture. Nor is anyone forcing you to purchase a newer TV. The OPs view is one from an individual who is ignorant of the engineering and development that goes on in the world. Not to mention the continued economic growth necessary to maintain a large economy.

  • Re:Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:00PM (#30699060)

    30 years ago, you could hardly buy a television that wasn't a CRT, and if you wanted something over 30", you had to be very prepared to bust out your wallet. Today, a 30" LCD costs $750 (or whatever, I'm probably within $250, which is fine when you consider that the 30 year old television probably cost $2,500, and those numbers don't bother to account for inflation).

    You are delusional.

  • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:04PM (#30699106)

    Are you implying in your example that they didn't improve the antenna? Or are you trying to imply that they already had the design for an improved antenna but decided to wait to push the technology? Or are you cynically implying that they had the technology and capability to introduce the improved antenna at the same price point but decided to create an artificial barrier?

    Because I would say all of that is Grade A BS spoken from someone who has no knowledge of actual engineering and product development.

    Yes, there are only a handful of LCD manufacturers, one of them being Sony, LG, and Samsung... All of whom are trying to push 3D. However a clueless individual like yourself might assume that since there are only a handful of manufacturers, that every LCD that comes from these manufacturers is exactly the same. That would be a highly ignorant statement. Companies who purchase the Liquid Crystal Displays for usage in TVs for example have the choice of purchasing high quality or low quality components. Usually the components will be run through an automated QA process and the best components will be sold for the highest prices. Also, companies can ask for the components to be produced with higher quality components and tighter manufacturing tolerances.

    To assume that all LCDs from one manufacturer are the same is foolish.

    You know what's happened with electronics over the past 20 years? They've improved tremendously.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorbaTHut ( 126196 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:19PM (#30699314) Homepage

    See, I think this is actually a sign that the 3d was done well.

    I've seen movies where the 3d jumped out at me. Boing, giant monster in my face, sproing, 3d gizmos in the face, hey look at how many things we can jam in your face.

    Avatar didn't do that. It wasn't a 3d tour de force, it was a movie that happened to be in 3d. Most of the time, you're right, I just didn't notice - and that was its strength. Instead of being a pile of 3d special effects, it was a movie that just happened to be deeper and realer due to the use of 3d.

    It's like HDTV or, as some have mentioned, color. If you don't notice it, it's doing its job. Sometimes its job is just subtle.

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:36PM (#30699578) Homepage

    3D photography is almost as old as "normal" one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereoscopy [wikipedia.org]

    And it's largely irrelevant.

  • Re:Competition (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:47PM (#30699716)

    You said:

    Go look at a specific size and/or brand of TV for the last 30 years. Go watch how little has actually changed. like I said, small resolution leaps, and such. Meanwhile, the price has remained very consistent with inflation regardless of things being cheaper to produce. Oh you will notice one thing though. The TV's actually got smaller when switched from a standard measurement to widescreen.

    Meanwhile, over here in reality, prices have fallen in nominal dollars, plummeted in inflation adjusted dollars, and resolution has increased more than 4 fold (that's spatially). Sure, those things aren't as true in the 20" TV space, but no one cares, 35" TVs have become quite affordable.

  • by Berkyjay ( 1225604 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:49PM (#30699762)
    His point is that there is collusion to keep the price at the same relative point ad infinitum.....which is pretty much true if you look at the history. The simple fact is that you may refuse to buy the 3D TV now for 2000-3000$. But 5 years from now you will be forced to buy a 3D TV for 1500$ when all the TV manufacturers stop making TV without 3D capabilities, instead of selling todays 50" LCD for 500$. But really, it will be todays LCD but with a 500$ 3D feature included.
  • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:58PM (#30699922)

    I am claiming that a small oligopoly of companies would rather maintain artificially high prices through ridiculous and undesired 'features' than let the prices fall naturally

    Those features aren't forced onto consumers however, again I have to point out that one can purchase a 45"+ TV for less than $700 these days, and the advent of 3D TVs will not increase the prices of those cheaper sets anytime soon. These features aren't added to the exclusion of cheaper lower cost TVs, if there is a market that desires featureless TVs, then cheap featureless TVs will be made.

    You see, there is no profit in providing commodities. There are nice, high profits in snaring the 'early adopters' of technologies. And so, companies will not allow TVs to become commodity items, and they will do so by adding a never ending stream of useless and undesirable features, and then using the black magic propaganda of marketing to convince people they want what they don't actually want.

    I don't believe that is the case, I believe it's more of an issue of saturating a market with a product. Once a market becomes saturated, a new reason is required to drive growth in that industry. For example, once everyone has a 55" 1080p HDTV, what happens to those companies that produce the TVs? They are required to downsize and reduce operations significantly so that they only produce enough TVs to replace broken sets. When they do that, people get laid off and the economy suffers as a result. Companies are constantly looking for new avenues of growth in order to maintain a high level of manufacturing.

    How can you say that some people have no meaningful work to perform when people the world over have no homes, no food, and no clean water? This is a serious disconnect in our economic system. By claiming that there is no meaningful work for some to perform, you are claiming that we have no hunger or homelessness and that is clearly untrue.

    I'm not particularly in the mood to argue this question, but I will state that I did not claim there was no hunger or homelessness in the world. However, you do have to take into account the geopolitical distribution of where the hunger and homelessness is. In most developed western nations, hunger and homelessness are minor issues compared to countries like India or China.

  • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @05:18PM (#30700198) Homepage

    Are you implying in your example that they didn't improve the antenna? {...} You know what's happened with electronics over the past 20 years? They've improved tremendously.

    I think the parent is trying to say, that although constant "improvement" are happening, none of these was called for in the first place.
    The new antenna is better that the older, but older one already did pretty well the job.

    Lots of these improvement are only solutions trying to find a non-existing problem to fix. They are used by the marketing department, so they have something to present as "new" on their product line and sell at an increased price. Otherwise we would all still use the same technology from 5 years ago - it was already good enough back then and 5 years later the prices would have dropped dramatically. There's a conflict of interests between consumers who look for something "good enough" and constructors which are looking for pretext to continue selling their equipment at the same price (...but this one has the "brand new" XyZ gizmo !)

  • Re:Active glasses? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday January 08, 2010 @06:10PM (#30700868) Homepage Journal

    porn has neer pushed tech. Pornographers just grab any media type and put porn on it. People don't remember the failure, only success. SO in hindsight it appears as if they are a driving force in tech. They are not,and never have been.

    Everymedia that has failed has ahd porn on it, every one that was a success , has porn on it.

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