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Vol. 4, No. 3 | March 2012

 

 

 

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Where Have all the 3D TVs Gone?
3D, Is It For You?

 

US MED Gives BackWhether the first 3D movie was scenes of Niagara Falls in 1915, the Power of Love in 1922 or one of the cult films of the 1950s, the technology has had an off and on history.

 

While current 3D efforts have far surpassed the low-budget flicks viewed in theaters with a pair of cardboard, red- and-blue-lensed glasses, they have not met with an overwhelming appeal.

 

The market achieved its most success in 2010, but the expectations of glasses-free 3D did not become a major reality for the 2011 holiday season.

 

Some of the complaints about the glasses versions of 3D are:

 

* Viewers don't like wearing glasses or other affixed devices for long periods of time.

 

* Some viewers say they get headaches after watching a lengthy film.

 

* There are still not enough 3D films to warrant the prices of the 3D-capable television sets and the extra costs of add-on glasses for group viewing.

 

By 2011, Toshiba had developed a process to achieve glasses-free viewing in larger format flat panels and small screen models. And new 3D cameras were being marketed by a handful of manufacturers. However, when the 2011 holiday season arrived, the sets were still not available.

 

While companies like Sony, LG, and Samsung were leading in sales of 3D sets with glasses in 2010 and 2011, it was reported that Sony may be pulling back on all of its 3D efforts.

 

Toshiba has promised to begin shipping glasses-free, large format models to dealers this year. But many experts wonder if the entire concept will ever be embraced by the masses or rather be doomed to a cult following much like the 3D movies of the 1950s and 60s.

 

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