Where do we stand with 3DTV?
Jeannette Howe, Specialty Electronics Nationwide
One of the things that will hurt 3D as an
event this year is the fact that the “Avatar” 3D disc is
now tied to a Panasonic television set. There is still no
ability to create an event around “Avatar” 3D, which
would be a huge driver. [The Consumer Electronics
Association] has research showing that when a hot
Blu-ray Disc comes to the marketplace, sales increase.
When “Dark Knight” came out, a lot of people went out
to buy their Blu-ray player and possibly a new television
set. We need that kind of event for the 3D side. Without
content, it was hard to move those boxes [during
Dave Workman, PRO Group:
The biggest objection
for customers going to 3D at this point is the glasses
and actually having to wear something. The glassless
3DTV will probably come first in small screens
because the object will be whether or not they will be
able to get the resolution to a point. It will be interesting
to see what that does to 3D.
Bernard Luthi, Newegg.com:
I wonder how quickly
3DTV will become just an expectation, where people
just expect to buy a TV with 3D technology, so it becomes
a feature and not a branded message.
Rick Souder, Crutchfield:
We can get it there in
There was also such a concerted effort
to shove the 3D message to the consumer that we may
have stepped over some of the more sellable technologies
like IPTV and LED.
Going back to that content issue, the industry made a decision that every set would leave the door fully
ready. My experience in retail is that bundles only work
if the bundle represents something the customer really,
We needed those upper-end sets to sell in great
quantity, which they probably would have done had
we stripped out the bundled product and reduced
the price. Quite frankly, the customers would have
been better off if they had stripped off that stuff and
then came back to repurchase the glasses when
they need them, or the Blu-ray player when they need
it. But the industry was so concerned at the front
end about having this poor user experience where
people saw fuzzy images and returned the sets, that
possibly the bundle was overplayed through the
holiday season. This could have hurt the industry in
some of those step-up sales.
Fred Towns, New Age Electronics:
were talking a lot about the 3DTV, which, by the
way, is a great TV. But to justify the purchase, and
because content was so limited — people are tired of
watching “Avatar” over and over again — people were
exploring the other features and saw that it can do all
these other things, too. There’s a big need, again, to
educate that customer.
As much as we drink the Kool-Aid of the manufacturer,
the need at the retail level is to clear up a lot of
the confusion out there. The 3DTV is the best in the
house, and it has the ability to do many, many things.
There are also many companies out there adding accessories
— the boxes that are connecting to TVs to
enable all these different features — and all these other
products will come in and try to connect in. The consumer
wants to know how it works and what they will
need. That is the next wave. There are the tablets, the
phones and the sets, and the question will be what will
make them all share?