Do you have 3D TV capability in your home theater or living room? Enjoying sports and other programming on your lovely multi-dimensional HDTV, are you? If so, you’re in an infinitesimal minority. According to a study by Ryan Nakashima of the Associated Press, audiences enjoying 3D at home are so small that they can’t be measured by Nielsen’s rating system. “Fewer than 115,000 American homes are tuned into 3D channels at any one time.”
That figure is about in tune with my experiences. The only people I hear talking about 3D programming exist on a web forum devoted to it. They’re a crazy bunch of folks who are heavily invested in the experience. They’re first in line to buy 3D movies on Blu-ray when they debut, and they obsessively share their thoughts about the varying quality of 3D cable programming. They’re a small group, but they’re certainly passionate. I guess that’s the way most new technology gains traction—a high-energy cult group embracing it at first, followed by the larger attention of the masses. But 3D isn’t exactly new, and in its current digital incarnation—easily the highest-quality, most technologically promising incarnation in the history of 3D—it’s still showing no sign of gaining traction among home consumers.
In this column two years ago, in “Why 3D Home Theater Should (and Will) Fail”, I wrote about the prospect of 3D in the home. In the two years since, widespread adoption has eluded the technology, as predicted.
I have a fairly techy group of friends, and even today—as digital 3D programming for sports and other events continues to improve, and as 3D Blu-rays are dropping in price to compete with their regular Blu-ray counterparts—none of these techy friends are really interested in bringing 3D into the home. One friend purchased a new HDTV that happens to offer 3D capability, as well as a Blu-ray player that happens to offer 3D capability, but he never uses those devices to watch 3D video. He sees no point in it; it’s just that the TV and the player were the same price as the other sets. Even after having the TV for a year, he says he’s glad his components have the 3D capability just in case he ever sees the need to upgrade. But mostly when he speaks of 3D, he just shrugs.
The problem is, not many people are feeling that need to upgrade. Most people are shrugging.
Read the rest at Residential AV Presents: Connected Home.