Is 3D TV Just A Gimmick/Fad Or The Future Of HDTV?
I am taking a "wait and see" attitude toward 3D TV. I absolutely love the RealD 3D movies I that I have seen in theaters ... but have not been overly impressed with what I've seen to date of 3D televisions. From what I have seen, 3DTV looks good but is not nearly as impressive as the RealD theater format. The obvious limitations on HDTV sizes quite simply lack the "WOW factor" of the larger theater screens -- although 3D home theater projectors do allow a more impressive 3D experience.
Samsung seems to be taking the lead in the three-dimensional television market. They are among the first to come out with package systems like this 3D starter package bundle from Samsung at Amazon. It includes everything you need for the home 3D experience.
A major drawback to any 3D format is the wearing of the required glasses. Some people find them really annoying but they don't bother me much. What does bother me is the price of the glasses for the home systems (about $150 or more for each unit!!) and to a lesser extent, the required purchase of RealD glasses (an extra dollar or two tacked on the ticket price) at the theater even though we have several pairs at home. That's right, even though they ask you to recycle the glasses as you leave the theater -- I figure I paid for them so I'm taking them home with me dammit.
As I see it the current home version has a major drawback and that is the requirement of refresh rate and shuttered glasses. The RealD format works via polarized images -- but the current home system operates by alternating frames of video with glasses that alternately allow the viewer's left and right eye to perceive the on-screen image to create the illusion of depth.
Whether home 3D systems are a passing gimmick/fad remains to be seen. What will indeed help it stick around is (of course) the availability of content -- which of this writing is very sparse with only a handful of movies currently available and only one 3DTV channel currently on-air with the launch of the ESPN 3D sports channel on 6-11-10.
Current TV technology prohibits the implementation of the format but if RealD could only develop a 3D polarized system for home theater systems I'll be set for life with glasses. ;)
UPDATE!! -- LG Changes the 3D TV Game for Good
LG has taken the lead in 3D TV for the home and it's about damn time. No more clunky, battery powered active shutter glasses = thank goodness! Say goodbye to eye fatigue along with dim, flickering images and say hello to ... LG's Cinema 3D TVs.