3D HDTV may not have consumer depth yet.

With the Consumer Electronic Show right around the corner – Tomorrow Jan 7th – there is a lot of talk that 3D HDTV’s for the consumer will be the next big thing in home entertainment. In fact there is quite a bit of speculation that nearly every major HDTV manufacturer will announce a 3D HDTV or plans for a 3D HDTV at CES.

So are consumers ready for 3D HDTV? The technology really only hit theaters in the past couple of years and has been a real hit with some titles such as Avatar and UP. Previous 3D attempts – think back to Jaws and those old Red and Blue paper glasses – were lack luster and often troublesome for viewers. So while the technology of 3D has improved it is not ready for wide spread home adaption.

The main reason for my argument against 3D HDTV now is basic economics. For the average Canadian family an HDTV has been a recent addition to the home. My own parents still use a 36” tube TV from Hitachi that renders fantastic image quality even 15 years after it was first purchased. So while people are replacing their old long lasting tubes with LCD and Plasma displays, they are also investing significant cost for such screens. The average cost for a 42” LCD is still in the $1200 range. To quickly turn around and replace that set with an 3D HDTV, with the often prohibitive new technology price, is a great recipe for consumer rejection.

So while 3D HDTV is coming and CES is a great chance to show consumers what is coming down the pipe. Don’t expect to see the 3D experience in your local sore anytime soon.

What do you think? Will the home version of 3D entertainment catch on or will it be regulated to the theater experience?

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