CEA / ETC Say Home 3D’s Time is Now

The CEA and the Entertainment and Technology Center (ETC) at the University of Southern California just finished a study on consumer attitudes towards 3D. Suffice it to say they conclude that 3D is a force that will only grow with exposure. The more 3D content consumers see, the more people want to continue watching 3D. Along with this is the corollary assertion that "today’s 3D technology is positioned to move into the home and is becoming a major purchasing factor of TV sets."

That assessment is based on the following findings:
- 16% and 14% of respondents wanted 3D films and video games (respectively) in the home.

- More than 26M households are interested in having a 3D content experience in their own home.

- 50% of U.S. adults said having to wear special glasses or hold their heads still while watching a 3D TV would have no impact on them purchasing a 3D set for their home.

- 15 % of consumers said they would spend roughly 25% more for a 3D TV.

- 30% of U.S. adults said having access to 3D content though cable, satellite, fiber-optics or over-the-air broadcasts would positively impact their decision to buy a 3D capable TV.

The point to this study may just be that 3D technology has transcended the novel / hobby stage and is on a true vector toward mainstream home adoption. The reason for this perhaps is that 3D technology sufficiently overcame a major obstacle to its adoption: 3D content.

And content is no problem, as the ETC’s David Wertheimer noted. "In the past few weeks alone, we’ve seen college football’s national championship game, multiple Super Bowl commercials and an hour-long TV show, all broadcast in 3D." He forgot to mention the NBA All-Star game that was broadcast live in 3D to over 80 theaters on Feb. 14 to a paying audience. Successful events like this are creating a demand for 3D in the home.

While there is still much to learn in content creation the industry is taking an iterative approach. Much like Edison who discovered 10,000 ways NOT to make the incandescent light bulb, both the film and live broadcast industries are learning the best way to deliver 3D by simply doing and evaluating the results.

The fact is, 3D content is booming for the simple reason that studio’s can charge more for seats, and digital movie theaters can leverage their recent investments in digital cinema technology – not only with films, but live 3D events that have captured the mindshare of the next generation. There is now so much content in the Hollywood pipe that moviemakers are beginning to worry about the availability of enough 3D theaters venues. And as in 2D film distribution, after the cinema the home becomes the next target market.

So don’t get too attached to that big flat screen TV you just bought, thinking it would serve the next 10 years, as your living room portal to the digital millennium. You may just find it relegated to the bedroom (or garage — wow!) when your new 3D set arrives.

By Steve Sechrist, DisplayDaily