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9th January 2010
The big electronical consumer show for the year is just wrapping up in Las Vegas, Nevada and the story of the year for home cinema is the big push from electrical companies like Samsung and LG for 3D television.
3D hit the multiplexes big time in 2009 with film studios like Disney and Fox releasing big budget 3D movies like Up and the Billion dollar plus grossing Avatar. The next natural step for 3D technology is the home market, and the hardware manufactureres were there to demo this is force.
Blu-ray and high definition is certainly the right media for picture clarity to make 3D in the home a reality and with no new video format to push on the consumer this year, and also true High Definition 1080p TV's becoming mainstream 3D is the next technology being pushed on us.
There is a problem with 3D that is being asked by many, is it a gimmick? Or can this really be a serious contender for the next big thing in the home? The big problem with 3D is that you need glasses to enjoy the effect, and for a 2hour+ movie this can be a strain on the eyes.
With 3D television the like of Samsung are discussion having 3D broadcast for normal TV programs, but can you really see whole families sitting down for an evenings entertainment wearing 3D specs, and how much are these specs going to be? For a family of 4 this could get expensive, which means were into a niche market now, and to make money from 3D it has to be marketed to the mainstream.
Cost again is where there is a big problem, the hardware companies want us to upgrade all our home entertainment equipment once more for 3D. We willingly did this for DVD because we could see the advantage. We were less willing but again we did it for high def because we could see the advantage, but for 3D, where is the advantage, why should we buy new TV's and players to sit in our houses wearing a pair of silly glasses?
Personally I think there is a place for 3D in the home, but it's for children to enjoy movies like Up on their PS3 with a TV in their own rooms, or the couple sitting down for a couple of hours watching Avatar on a Saturday night, not for television broadcasts for a whole evening, I don't want, or need, Eastenders or Jonathan Ross in 3D!
Moving on the other big thing at CES was the bigger and bigger screen on the TV's that are getting thinner and thinner. There was evidence of OLED but this generally for the smaller screen devices, the bigger sets were generally LCD, and very very thin and light.