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  1. #1
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    Is 3-D TV Doomed?

    According to a recent New York Post article that quotes several TV pundits and industry insiders, few are optimistic about 3D TV's future. So far 3D TV is proving such a bomb with consumers that the first victim may be ESPN's sports-in-3-D channel.

    The problem is plain, tech analyst Phillip Swann told The Post. Most of the advertisers on ESPN 3D are the set manufacturers themselves. And of sales of 3-D TVs show no signs they are going to pick up anytime soon. Swann believes 3-D has scared and confused consumers -- and is now tanking the entire retail television marketplace.

    Sagging 3D sales are already weighing on profits at Best Buy and other large chain stores, Swann notes. "The industry knows what's going on. They just don't want to acknowledge that defeat yet. They have a lot at stake personally, professionally and with shareholders."

    ESPN's 3-D TV channel may fail; 3-D TV set sales show no signs of increasing - NYPOST.com
    Last edited by Smokey; 10-11-2011 at 08:05 PM.

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    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Well until they make 3d more attractive and have more movies and programs for it it will die, not to mention that I have those damn glasses and people who already wear glasses can't even enjoy 3d because of their own glasses being in the way. Until they take the glasses out of the mix and get the movie and program people on the 3d thing its going to fail every time.

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    I guess if you really want 3D, one should actually get out of the house and see a Play, Concert, or Sporting event.

    And Yeah, Harley, glasses are a big enough problem for some of us let alone another goofy pair on top.

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    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    There are several issues here.

    First off, "we" have just about converted from bulky old CRT based systems to sleek flat-screen technology. Granted, this did result in a magnitude of improvement in PQ and "we" are happy. Many of the new sets are still functioning and, given the economy, most of "us" are in no position (or inclination) to jump out and invest in new,expensive technology.

    The reason Blu-ray is gaining ground is that is t isn't a major investment and is a good augmentation to an already existing technology. Now, whether most of sixpack America can actually realize the benefit of Blu-ray over a SD DVD is another matter but, in any case, the investment isn't that major and there is virtually no inconvenience.

    Maybe when the current hardware starts to die out and needs replacement things might change but, for now, the timing is not there.

    3 D requires a new TV and a new Blu-ray player, which many people just bought. Two strikes.

    Now, the glasses. To watch a 3 D TV, everyone needs these glasses. They come with two as a starter set. If you want more, you're gonna have to pony up some case. So much for party night unless one is feeling magnanimous and owns several pairs. Plus, they are uncomfortable and can interfere with those vision-challenged peoples who already wear optical enhancement devices (glasses)

    And, anyone with kids knows these are gonna be the first casualty and will need replacement, sometimes many times. Who wants that added expense?

    You need to wear special glasses. Until they give away those cheapo red/blue cardboard glasses with every movie, strike three.

    That's just my opinion, but others may disagree.
    Last edited by markw; 10-12-2011 at 07:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Thanks guys

    Good points regarding 3D TV. Glasses and added expense (and other factors Mark mentioned) seem to be nemesis to growth of 3d TV. And other factor mighht also be that one really need a big screen TV to get full effect of 3D. I don't think watching the same 3D program on smaller size TVs vs bigger screen (or theaters) will have the equal effects.

    And harley .guy mentioning lack of programing is also a valid factors (that make it five strikes ). Filming programs and movies in "true" 3D is expensive and time consuming affair.

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    As a 3D owner it's just another feature but a very interesting one. The fact that it came standard on my plasma was just an added bonus. Had my plasma not been competitively priced with non-3D I wouldn't have bought it. It's one heck of a good grandkid magnet. If more 3D titles with the technical beauty of Avatar are released it should survive.

  7. #7
    RGA
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    Of course it's mostly a gimmick - borderline useless given all of the above mentioned reasons and a total lack of titles. But capitalism is built on one-upmanship whether there is value in it or not. Maybe I am just becoming more crabby to the shopping mentality of society and living in Hong Kong certainly doesn't help since the entire place is one big shopping mall. But if the average Joe six pack can buy a 40 inch TV that looks pretty damn awesome - you have to beat him somehow so spend 4 times the money and get a 3D even if there are only ~100 titles and ~5 any good. The point is you have a thing Joe six pack doesn't have so I guess "you win." It's like the folks I know who dropped $5K-$15K on Rolex watches that gain several minutes a year. Not exactly a great watch if you stop to think about it. A Timex at $70 tells better time and is arguably more durable. But the name "Rolex" has some sort of appeal.

    I suppose it's a jewelry thing that I just never understood and still don't since it's all artificially inflated by a wholly sleazy industry.

    But it's about beating the other guy even if it makes no sense from a "value" perspective. I win if I spend more - nothing to do with whether the item is actually any better or not. I would far rather spend less and have it beat something that costs more. Sometimes things ARE better and they cost more - so be it - That is how it should be but I am rarely convinced by most of the stuff out there. Cologne, Perfume, Hand bags, shampoo (people should demand real poo) and most clothing items. I remember looking at mediocre stitched Versace jeans at $250 a pair thinking and knowing the things would fall apart in half the time of a $40 pair of Levis (which would be no better than a $20 pair of Wrangler). The Versace buckle with the name says Versace so I guess that's what you pay for but better quality - I hardly think so - and the Design is not exactly anything special either.

    But it's about "I spent $250 on jeans" so that makes them "better." The audio community has this problem as well. Some things are better when you spend more - but some of it is just expensive with no reason whatsoever for being priced highly. The Gallo 3.5 at $6k is simply not big enough or expensive enough to be take seriously but it sounded a lot better than a number of speakers retailing at $40,000 and up in the same room design and layouts. Some expensive speakers did beat it mind you so there is value there. I suppose like cars - you pay more you get more performance - usually - though not necessarily reliability or safety.

    But to defend 3D a bit here - not everyone watches movies with 8 people. If you have your glasses and you don't mind them and you take care of things - that is not really a fair negative comment. I have worn the same pair of glasses for roughly 11 years - they are cheap - paid about $149 for the frames and lenses. I have a second pair about 3 years old. Wear them everyday. Had to replace the screws but you simply have to be careful. 3D glasses would be used a lot less so they should last even longer. Also, if you spend the big money on the 3D TV you could probably find some way to get prescription 3D glasses.

    The only problems really are a lack of movies, the price, and the slowness of ever getting a lot of titles out (by the time there are enough good titles on 3D your present day 3D TV will be a pile of outdated crapola) . It's not just transferring prints over - it requires work and money and time. And of course getting people to dump their old TV and Blu-Ray for new machines.

    Perhaps that is the hope - advertise and keep pushing and then when Joe's TV break's he will buy a new one with 3D.

    I bought a 37 inch Samsung 2 days ago - not 3D - but it was 1/4 the price of the model with 3D. Optional extra for $30 sure I'd buy but an optional extra at multiple times the price is not worth it to me for a handful of titles. If you sit closer the screen looks bigger - so I suppose it depends on the size of your room. I almost bought a 46 inch Samsung and I'm glad I didn't. The 37 looks small in the store compared to the others but at home here it is quite massive. But I only sit about 6-8 fee from it. 37 is plenty big. Even the premium for LED seems high to me. Sure the screen is thinner and it's energy efficient but even that seems to costs 70%-100% more money. Maybe the picture is better too but I didn't really see it as better.
    Last edited by RGA; 10-13-2011 at 06:52 AM.

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    My 55 inch Panasonic plasma with all it's apps, wireless dongle, 3D capability and free glasses at $1500 was cheaper than a non-3D Samsung of the same size. Which would you buy?

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    RGA
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    Nice deal - I would have done the same thing you did - what store is carrying such a beat. The Panasonic store here carries several 3D models all of which seem to be above $3k US. But I didn't look too close nor for plasma.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    But to defend 3D a bit here - not everyone watches movies with 8 people.
    Remember, not all of us go through life alone. Some of us do have friends and family who like to get together and enjoy the big screen and big sound.

    You probably find the second seat in a two-seat car and a double bed a wasted expense.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    If you have your glasses and you don't mind them and you take care of things - that is not really a fair negative comment.
    Spoken like someone with abolutely zero real world experience with children or grandchildren. If you did, you would know that they rarely sit still for the length of a movie and "things happen" in spite of all one does to try to avoid them.
    Last edited by markw; 10-13-2011 at 10:48 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...and living in Hong Kong certainly doesn't help since the entire place is one big shopping mall.
    I was there last year and loved it! I felt like an ant but the pace and lifestyle in HK was right up my alley. Also got to audition several speakers I never would have been able to here in the states.

    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    ... they rarely sit still for the length of a movie and "things happen" in spite of all one does to try to avoid them.
    Ain't that the truth. My best friends kids break anything that has an on/off button in about 15 minutes time.

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    3d

    well I have a samsung 3d plasma but I bought if for the pq not the 3d

    I do not wear glasses and really have little interest in 3d but it does work. A movie buff friend has brought over 3d blu rays to watch at parties and appears to love it but of course with only 2 pairs of glasses not everyone can watch

    IMO until they get rid of the 3d glasses it will not go mainstream

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    According to a recent New York Post article that quotes several TV pundits and industry insiders, few are optimistic about 3D TV's future. So far 3D TV is proving such a bomb with consumers that the first victim may be ESPN's sports-in-3-D channel.

    ESPN's 3-D TV channel may fail; 3-D TV set sales show no signs of increasing - NYPOST.com
    I hate to say it, but the primary leading indicator if a new entertainment media will take off is: It's wide use with Porn. If you think of VHS (instead of Beta), DVD, Internet, etc. they were all embraced by porn.

    Sad but true. So my take of it is: Porn has not probably embraced 3D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manlystanley View Post
    I hate to say it, but the primary leading indicator if a new entertainment media will take off is: It's wide use with Porn. If you think of VHS (instead of Beta), DVD, Internet, etc. they were all embraced by porn.

    Sad but true. So my take of it is: Porn has not probably embraced 3D.

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    Interesting thoughts, and most likely on the money.
    Next best thing to being there. Hopefully they will contain the splatter if it happens.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by manlystanley View Post
    I hate to say it, but the primary leading indicator if a new entertainment media will take off is: It's wide use with Porn. If you think of VHS (instead of Beta), DVD, Internet, etc. they were all embraced by porn.

    Sad but true. So my take of it is: Porn has not probably embraced 3D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    Interesting thoughts, and most likely on the money.
    Next best thing to being there. Hopefully they will contain the splatter if it happens.
    Eeeewwwwwaaaa........
    What's next? Smell-o-vision.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael View Post
    Eeeewwwwwaaaa........
    What's next? Smell-o-vision.
    Scratch and Sniff

  18. #18
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Sorry, but this is just a dumb click trolling type of topic. Consider the sources -- the NY Post and Philip Swann. In the linked article, the photo caption on the NY Post article refers to HD as a "gimmick."

    And Philip Swann has a long history on passing opinion, rumors, and just plain ole false information off as fact. I used to regularly read his TV Predictions site until I saw how often Swanni got it wrong. His comments about ESPN 3D are nothing more than speculation, and the NY Post predictably runs with it. Swanni speculates that ESPN will "bow out" -- I speculate that he's pulling crap out of his backside.

    I've been stating all along that 3D TV will become standard issue within a few years, simply because the implementation is nothing more than a refinement of existing standards. There are no issues with obsolescence or incompatibility, because everything is built around the MPEG-4 standard. The MPEG-4 MVC format for 3D is already being added to the newest video processors, or simply updated onto the firmware for consoles, set top boxes, and Blu-ray players. As these newer processors make their way into updated devices, those will all be 3D ready. And any device that plays 3D will be just as adept at playing 2D sources.

    The market issue at play is whether consumers are willing to pay ~$100-$300 extra for the 3D feature. Under current conditions, with limited broadcast and movie choices, the answer has been no. But, with successive generations of HDTVs, the 3D compatibility will already be built into the processors. Once that happens, there will be little to no real cost to activating the 3D feature, especially if the implementation is something akin to LG and Vizio's passive 3D TVs that don't require shutter glasses or synchronizing sensors.

    On the programming and production side, my understanding is that 3D productions can be compatible for 2D viewing by simply using only one of the two alternating video signals. This implies that there doesn't need to be separate 3D broadcast or even Blu-ray sources. If this is true, then dedicated 3D channels won't be necessary.

    As with HD, I would expect that adoption will occur by simple attrition. In much the same way that you can hardly find non-HD TVs out there right now, the same thing is likely to happen with 3D. It will simply be a feature on your TV, whether you use it or not. There were plenty of doomsayer articles about HD, and this is just more of the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post
    Sorry, but this is just a dumb click trolling type of topic.
    PCworld used the same topic headline

    Is 3D TV Doomed? | PCWorld

    I really think the article was about the current state of 3D on the market. As you also mentioned in your post, as to whether cosumers are willing to pay ~$100-$300 extra for the 3D feature--so far the answer has been no.

    Looking at future and not withstanding the glasses issue, IMO two main things about nature of 3D will prevent it ffrom being a main attraction feature on new a TV. The first majore issue will be the viewer need to concentrade on screen to see effect of 3d, and that will cause eye strain whether wearing glasses or not.

    The second issue is that home viewers tend to drift in and out of watching a program on TV, or watching TV laying on the couch, or with large grioup of family members or friends which tend to be off viewing axis. So 3D will be more of gagdet than reguraly used TV feature.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    PCworld used the same topic headline

    Is 3D TV Doomed? | PCWorld
    And all to the same ends -- click trolling. As I stated already, this is an idiotic topic because how can something be "doomed" when it's already well on its way to becoming a standard feature? I understand that rationality and logic don't attract page views, but the stuff being written up about 3D is ill informed even by the already low standards of the tech press.

    IMO, 3D is analogous to how the industry adopted DTS. It's a new feature that gets added onto an existing standard. At first, it was considered a premium feature that only came with high end Laserdisc and DVD players, and audio processors. The initial DTS DVDs were separate releases. Eventually, DTS was added onto all of the new audio processor chips, despite less than 20% of all DVD releases including DTS tracks. Ubiquitous hardware and niche programming -- pretty much the same place that 3D is headed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    I really think the article was about the current state of 3D on the market. As you also mentioned in your post, as to whether cosumers are willing to pay ~$100-$300 extra for the 3D feature--so far the answer has been no.
    The article was also a bunch of sensationalized BS, based on not much more than the mindless speculation of a blogger with a long history of getting things wrong and just plain making stuff up to feed his rants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    Looking at future and not withstanding the glasses issue, IMO two main things about nature of 3D will prevent it ffrom being a main attraction feature on new a TV. The first majore issue will be the viewer need to concentrade on screen to see effect of 3d, and that will cause eye strain whether wearing glasses or not.

    The second issue is that home viewers tend to drift in and out of watching a program on TV, or watching TV laying on the couch, or with large grioup of family members or friends which tend to be off viewing axis.
    But, again how does this mean that 3D is "doomed"? We're not even in a situation yet where 2D and 3D are at cost parity, and audiences can choose one or the other, without cost as a consideration. When something becomes a standard feature, it becomes virtually mandatory for manufacturers to include it at the risk of losing sales.

    Using the logic of these articles, HD was "doomed" because it required the purchase of a new TV and had limited programming choices for many years after its introduction. DTS was "doomed" because less than 20% of all DVD released included a DTS soundtrack. The list goes on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    So 3D will be more of gagdet than reguraly used TV feature.
    But, you're just speculating here, not knowing the effect that glasses-free 3D TVs will have once they hit the mass market, and not knowing the effect that growth in 3D programs will have on viewing habits.

    And by "regularly used," what % of viewing time are you talking about? 3D comprises about 20% of overall movie theater box office revenues. If that translates to TV viewing, does that not qualify as "regularly used"?

    A decade ago, plenty of comments said the exact same thing about HD TV -- how it was a gimmick, how it would remain a niche product, how it wouldn't take off due to lack of HD programming, how slow sales were "dooming" HD, etc. A lot of tech writers got it wrong on HD, and the articles being written now about 3D are recycling the same talking points.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post
    Using the logic of these articles, HD was "doomed" because it required the purchase of a new TV and had limited programming choices for many years after its introduction. DTS was "doomed" because less than 20% of all DVD released included a DTS soundtrack. The list goes on.
    That might be comparing apple and oranges. DTS is superiour to Dolby due to higher bit, but one can not say 3D is superiour than 2D in terms of viewing enjoyment. It might look cool the first few minutes, and then the effects will wear off as the home viewer get tired of concentrating on screen to see where the next effect will come from as they have much shorter attention span than theater viewers.


    But, you're just speculating here, not knowing the effect that glasses-free 3D TVs will have once they hit the mass market, and not knowing the effect that growth in 3D programs will have on viewing habit.
    I really think at this point all us are speculating about 3D

    A decade ago, plenty of comments said the exact same thing about HD TV -- how it was a gimmick, how it would remain a niche product, how it wouldn't take off due to lack of HD programming, how slow sales were "dooming" HD, etc. A lot of tech writers got it wrong on HD, and the articles being written now about 3D are recycling the same talking points.
    This might be speculating in your part. I don't think I ever read an article that said HD was a gimmick or it will fail. Most seem to indicate that it was way over due.

    The photo caption on the NY Post article does refers to HD as a "gimmick.", so we call the editor a dumb ass

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    That might be comparing apple and oranges. DTS is superiour to Dolby due to higher bit, but one can not say 3D is superiour than 2D in terms of viewing enjoyment. It might look cool the first few minutes, and then the effects will wear off as the home viewer get tired of concentrating on screen to see where the next effect will come from as they have much shorter attention span than theater viewers.
    Well, this is not entirely correct. With 3D today, you are constantly immersed in visuals. It is not a moment by moment event. While some may tire of watching it after a while( those with eye issues), you stop thinking that you are looking at the 3D, and just enjoy the view.

    DTS is not superior because of the bit rate. It is the encoders goal that makes it superior. The goal of the Dolby encoder was to throw away as much data as you can without degrading the audio to distortion(efficiency first, sonics second). DTS encoders goal was to keep as much data as you can, and keep the audio quality as high as you can[audio quality first, data reduction second). The higher bitrate helped the encoder achieve that goal.




    I really think at this point all us are speculating about 3D
    This I agree with.



    This might be speculating in your part. I don't think I ever read an article that said HD was a gimmick or it will fail. Most seem to indicate that it was way over due.

    The photo caption on the NY Post article does refers to HD as a "gimmick.", so we call the editor a dumb ass
    LOLOL!! Wooch is right. When HD was rolled out, everyone said it was a gimmick that would ultimately fail. They also said that HD DVD would win, and streaming would render the physical disc obsolete. None of these panned out to be true, so I think we should just wait until all of this plays out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    None of these panned out to be true, so I think we should just wait until all of this plays out.
    This is probably the best advice as predictions do go wary. But it is always fun to speculate

    I only wish manufactures instead of introducing new feature would prioritize to improve their current flat panel technology (especilly Edge LED LCDs), or push for better display technology (such as OLED)

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    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    That might be comparing apple and oranges. DTS is superiour to Dolby due to higher bit, but one can not say 3D is superiour than 2D in terms of viewing enjoyment. It might look cool the first few minutes, and then the effects will wear off as the home viewer get tired of concentrating on screen to see where the next effect will come from as they have much shorter attention span than theater viewers.
    No, what you're talking about is the apples to oranges comparison, since you're simply presuming your personal biases take precedence over historical patterns of format adoption.

    I chose the DTS example without saying anything about its presumed superiority -- only that it was introduced as an enhancement to existing standards and became widely adopted as the feature got added at the commodity component level.

    You're basically claiming that 3D is "doomed" because you don't like it. Your presumption about how 3D "might look cool the first few minutes" and how "the home view get tired of concentrating on screen" is irrelevant, since (aside from being a broad and unsubstantiated claim) it has no bearing on the fact that the 3D MPEG-4 MVC standard has rapidly become standard issue with the latest video processors. It's only a matter of time before every new video source and display component will have some level of MVC support built in. The only question will be how it gets implemented.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    This might be speculating in your part. I don't think I ever read an article that said HD was a gimmick or it will fail. Most seem to indicate that it was way over due.
    It's not speculation. There were plenty of articles and posts on this forum that I recall reading about how HD was a gimmick and a failure. All the while, the authors of those articles were every bit as ignorant of what was going on behind the scenes with digital video standards and the component markets.
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  25. #25
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Smoke,
    I have to agree with Wooch on this. The manufacturing infrastructure of 3D is developed, and already improved upon. In every area of 3D from the glasses(passive and active), to the television(and everything in between), from post production to video and broadcast, they are already working on how to improve it in every way.

    The studio side is a different story. They need to change their focus from releasing everything in 3D, to making 3D a special event. It is apparent that the consumer is reaching a tipping point. It has now settled into a consistent 60-40 ratio with 2D versus 3D, so 3D is beyond the gimmick stage, and shows no sign of failure. What is certain on the studio side is 3D is not the success they wanted it to be. One thing is for sure, certain studios are doing better with their 3D releases than others, so this may not be an industry wide trend, but just a reflection on how the studio is handling their 3D releases. Bad post production 3D will get panned and not do well on the market. Good 3D, story, and overall experience will make money.

    One thing is certain, the studios and the consumer electronics industry really made a goof up on this one. In this economic climate, you cannot charge a hefty premium, and expect folks with little or no money to buy it up. This was the right technology released at the wrong time.
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