3D TV – Buy Now or Wait?

This is a guest post by Andrew Johnson, an expert in electronic consumables. If you would like more information on televisions and other techie toys please visit Ebuyer.com.

With the amazing success of 3D movies such as Avatar and more content now available on Sky and Virgin, it’s pretty much impossible to get away from the hype of 3D TV these days. But how many of you have actually considered buying one? Is it better to buy now or wait?

Cost of 3D TV

There is no other way of saying this: being early adopters of any new technology always means having to pay the price. Plus let’s not forget that to complete the setup you will also need a 3D Blu-Ray player which will set you back an extra £200, or a 3D package from Sky or Virgin, and additional pairs of glasses if you’re planning to enjoy the new TV with friends and family. However, the good news is that 2011 will see the average 3D TV set getting closer to the £1000 mark as well as offering more choice in terms of screen size and features.

If you have the budget and enjoy having the latest gizmo then a 3D telly is definitely for you.

3D TV Content

As well as cost, it seems that the availability of content in 3D is one of the reasons stopping the entry of 3D TV into the British living rooms in a big way.

Although I do think content is still a major limitation right now, 2011 sees both Sky and Virgin expanding their range of 3D programs and hopefully a further expansion of the titles available on 3D Blu-Ray.

The latest in terms of 3D content takes us to the green lawn of Wimbledon with Sony announcing that this year’s tennis tournament will be filmed in high definition 3D. Broadcast deals are still being sought but this is definitely something to look forward to.

According to Digital Spy, sports fans still seem to prefer high definition to 3D. However, the London 2012 Olympic Games will really push 3D TV demand in the UK with 62% of UK sport fans surveyed seriously considering upgrading in time for the event.

Sports not your thing? Well, if you’re more of a gaming geek you will have heard that 3D gaming is on the rise with PlayStation 3 releasing 3D games thorough the PlayStation Network back last year and the next Xbox featuring full HD stereoscopic 3D visuals.

Glasses

With the average cost of a 3D television expected to come down and content availability to grow over time, 3D glasses are perhaps the one long term barrier which makes people hesitate when buying the latest generation of 3D TVs.

There’s a lot of experimentation going on with glasses-free 3D at the moment but I reckon it will be at least a couple of years before more affordable and truly effective options will be available on the market. Therefore I wouldn’t rely on these new technologies if you’re wanting to enjoy the 3D experience in your living room fairly soon.

So…?

So if you’re looking to get into the 3D game at some point, should you buy now or wait? It’s obvious that the technology still has some way to go before it’s affordable, or widely adopted, but if you’ve had a go of a 3D TV in the showroom you’ll know how impressive it is.

To be honest, the decision to buy now or wait is entirely a matter of personal choice. If you have the money and the desire to be an early adopter, go for it. Just be aware that, much the same as with DVD players when they were released, the prices will continue to drop and the technology become more refined over the next few years.

What do you think? Are you hankering after a 3D TV now? Or are you minded to wait a while and see how things settle down? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Here’s a third alternative to consider – NEVER!
    Let me go on the record again, 3D is stupid.
    I’m all over every new technology that comes down the pike, but 3D has ZERO merits. Name a movie that 3D added any value to. Don’t say Avatar either. Wearing those glasses for three hours made that movie go from OK to lousy.
    3D has been around for 50 =/- years and nobody liked it. It’s just a scam to get us to dump our 2 year old $1,500 TVs for new $2,000 ones.
    When a technology adds no value and forces you to wear stupid glasses, plus costs more, it will surely perish.
    Let this passing fad go the way of the dinosaurs and then laugh at your idiot friends that got suckered in.
    Just my opinion,
    Chris

    • Thanks Chris. I’ll be honest and say I’m not in the market for a 3D TV. The glasses are too expensive, unless you use the cheap polarised ones you get at the cinema, and when I watched Avatar in 3D I found I held my head so still I got a crick in my neck!

      I do disagree with you on 3D’s effect on Avatar, though. I think 3D took a terrible film and made it OK. Not good by any means, just OK. I tend to think of Avatar as a technical demo for 3D, rather than anything else.

      I don’t think 3D will go away, purely because of the sheer weight of marketing being thrown behind it. But I’m not desperate for a 3D TV and wouldn’t even consider it until they’re around the same price point as current LCDs. Oh, and my current TV would have to break, too… I’m not replacing it for no reason!

  2. All great technologies. But at the moment cost is a huge factor in many, including myself, in purchasing one.

    The technology sure has come a long way. Those cyan and red glasses used to give me a headache. But the newer tech is so much clearer and easier on the eyes.

    Although it is better to watch 2D TV in the dark. Because the glasses oscillate, the light from florescent tubes or similar lighting can give you headaches.

    • Thanks Robert. Yes, I think the active shutter glasses need some work.

      I did see a computer monitor last year that used the Real3D polarised glasses instead. These cost a couple of pounds and don’t oscillate, so may end up being the more popular option… especially if you have small children in the house who like to play with glasses!

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