3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

Summary: Remember the good ol' days of last March when 3D TVs were the next big thing? Fast forward several months and one iPad later, and it looks a little like they may be the next big flop.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware
27

Remember the good ol' days of last March when 3D TVs were the next big thing? Fast forward several months and one iPad later, and it looks a little like they may be the next big flop.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, manufacturers are already pulling the trigger on price cuts in order to prop up weak sales on 3D sets (40 percent to 50 percent since the first ones went on sale). Market research firm Display Search has already adjusted its projections that 5 percent of TVs sold this year would be 3D models, slashing that number to 2 percent.

Expectations may have been unfairly raised by the runaway box-office success of Avatar in 3D, which was hyped as ushering in a new age of 3D anything and everything. But offering the first sets without any 3D content was a sticking point, especially since you were paying a price premium for the technology compared to a conventional HDTV. There's also the matter of wearing 3D glasses in your living room on a regular basis, something young kids might not think twice about, but something that requires a fundamental shift in viewing habits for adults (who are going to buy the things anyway).

Though trying to strike while the 3D iron was hot may not have worked the way Samsung and Best Buy had hoped, 3D may not be a flash-in-the-pan over the long term. The feature may just become a part of spec lists on future sets in the same way an Ethernet port is, instead of the main selling point. Display Search still projects that by 2014 41 percent of TVs sold will be 3D sets. By then, there will be far more 3D content available, and you may start to see units offering 3D images without the viewer needing to wear compatible glasses.

Think about how long companies have been trying to introduce the Internet to TVs and are still struggling (just ask Google). That gives you a more realistic picture of how 3D TV will be adapted -- in fits and starts -- rather than all of the revolutionary talk we've been hearing for most of 2010.

Topic: Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

27 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Nope

    Still not gonna buy one.

    And the only reason they predict that 41 percent of TVs sold by 2014 will be 3D is because many TVs will make it a standard feature. How many people will actually use it is the real question.
    bobiroc
  • Bought an HDTV about 4 months ago and passed on 3D

    And YOU'RE WELCOME!
    ericesque
  • My old B&W works just fine!

    Color? HDTV? 3D?
    No thanks!
    ;-)
    kd5auq
    • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

      @kd5auq Come on B&W are you serious??? I don't think that you have a right to comment considering that you haven't even dabbled in today's fundementals of television. Can you even connect a blue ray player to a B&W set?......that is what they call them isn't it "set"
      viggen2020
      • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

        @viggen2020
        I think he was being sarcastic :P
        kevintxu
  • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

    Frankly, BestBuy couldn't pay me to put one of their 3D TVs in my living room yet.
    tech_monster
  • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

    Wear dorky glasses, or have all the kids fighting to sit in the "sweet spot" -- no thanks.

    They forget that a non-zero fraction of the population has vision issues that make the separate eye image merge 3D effect just not work or be down right nauseating to them.
    wkulecz
    • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

      @wkulecz EXACTLY...are they going to issue a barf bag dispenser by the couch?
      cyberslammer2
    • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

      @wkulecz
      I doubt that they forget about those people. They just don't include them as probable adopters of the technology. The people affected by that don't purchase or use 3D features of a TV. I wouldn't avoid a feature just because some people can't benefit from it. So why would the manufactures even care about that portion of the population?
      readydave
  • marketing hype for nascent product

    Someone in an A/V forum was complaining that you can buy 3D HDTVs and not use the "3D" feature -- that it's a perfectly fine HDTV. They aren't DEDICATED 3D HTVs. That it only costs an extra $50 - $100 for manufacturers to install the circuitry that makes it a "3D" set. So, people should buy the 3D HTVs and not worry about it so much...<br><br>If I understood the post, he was complaining about the constant complaining about 3D HDTVs -- the requisite glasses and lack of content. <br><br>======<br>Problem is the manufacturers aren't just charging $50 - $100 more than "regular" HDTVs. They are charging more. Plus they are price gouging on the proprietary silly glasses, which are not interchangeable among brands. To all my friends: "Hey come over to my house and watch a movie that only I can see!"

    Plus, you have to buy new 3D Blu-Ray players to go with the new 3D HDTVs. I just bought 2 new Blu-Ray players in the last year. I'm not going to buy more anytime soon.

    I have a 2-year old 60" 1080p HDTV I'm very happy with. I have a smaller 1-year old office HDTV I'm happy with. I have two 1-year old Blu-Ray players I'm happy with.

    3D HDTV came along at the wrong time in the "upgrade" market. It should have been there when the FCC mandated change from analog to digital, or even when most cable systems (like Comcast) went digital only. That's when a lot of people upgraded to HDTVs. They aren't going to pay that kind of money + a extra hundreds of dollars so soon to get "3D" effect of dubious value.

    In 4 or 5 years, if someone like Sony, Samsung, LG wants throw 3D in for free to sweeten the feature pot, that's fine. but they better throw in free BD players too... Having 3D won't PREVENT me from buying their TV, as long as the 2D HDTV picture is awesome (and inexpensive). But I'm not going to seek out 3D HDTV until glasses are no longer needed.
    ChazzMatt
    • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

      @ChazzMatt Yes they do make fine regular HDTV sets. You don't HAVE to watch 3D content.

      Universal glasses are now being made. They work quite well on different systems.

      The price premium is not that much these days, and you don't HAVE to buy a new Blu-Ray player. If you have a PS3, it now has a firmware update to let you view 3D content. If you use a computer with ArcSoft Total Media Theater, they have a new version which supports it as well as a plug in for the older version to support it. But a new Blu-Ray player isn't that expensive either.

      If you want to watch the occasional 3D movie, unless you are one of the few unfortunate people who have a legitimate medical problem, the glasses are comfortable enough and the viewing angle is wide enough that 4 people can easily watch a movie together in our living room. Those of you who crab about the shortcomings are just not interested enough to look past your own nose or else the new technology scares you and you want to make sure no one knows you're scared of it. :) It's cheap. It works. It's bitchin when you want to watch 3D and it's awesome 2D when you don't. No brainer.
      JoeFoerster
    • Agreed

      @ChazzMatt
      They missed the upgrade cycle by about two years or so. They are also a little expensive for mass adoption. But it'll work its way in when it's standard on all HDTV's and all you have to do is pay for the glasses, which also need work IMHO.
      oncall
  • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

    And with over 15 million people unempolyed and the rest of the people getting their wages cut in half so companies can make a profit.

    And they wonder why no one is buying anything!

    If they are going to cut peoples pay in half they better start cutting consumer prices in half or no will buy their products!
    InsiteFX
    • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

      @InsiteFX And THAT is the real reason these babies aren't selling. NOT because it's bad technology or difficult to use.
      JoeFoerster
      • Sorry, Joe, I just don't buy it

        There are few movies worth watching in normal 2D, and nothing so far that even slightly interests me in 3D. The technology is mildly interesting, but the content is severely lacking.

        Besides, I am through buying physical media only to have it outdated every few years. I fully intend to give BluRay a pass altogether.
        itpro_z
      • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

        @JoeFoerster agreed with u right says <a href="http://www.theharvardwriters.com">Custom essay writing</a>
        Jamesbee
  • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

    No consumer demand.
    james347
  • What does this have to do with the iPad?

    [i] Fast forward several months and one iPad later, and it looks a little like they may be the next big flop.[/i]
    Tigertank
  • 3D isn't gonna be a flop...

    It will be just another added feature on every set come this time next year. The price of having 3D in the set is nothing, and since TV networks are being setup and content made available... it wont be long until it is everywhere. The problem right now is they want to get double the price for the set and include some crazy expensive glasses. When the glasses are either not needed, or cost 2 dollars a pair.. then it will be a different story for 3D.
    condelirios
  • RE: 3D HDTV prices plunging thanks to weak consumer demand

    as long as glasses are required to view 3d contents, i wont pay a premium to buy a 3d hdtv, one with an inferior technology embedded
    gundam_0083