Will consumers jump into 3-D TVs?

Mitchell Hartman Jan 5, 2010
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Will consumers jump into 3-D TVs?

Mitchell Hartman Jan 5, 2010
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Kai Ryssdal: As if flat screen televisions and high definition weren’t enough, 3-D TV is coming soon to a home entertainment center near you. With the mega-entertainment industry gathering known as the Consumer Electronics Show set to get going in Vegas in a couple of days, ESPN announced today it’s going to launch a 3-D channel in June.

The schedule will include World Cup soccer, the summer Olympics and college basketball, just for starters. Also today, the Discovery Channel said it’s going to have 3-D broadcasts going 24/7 by sometime next year, which distressingly raises the very real possibility that we’re all going to need new TVs and set-top boxes sometime real soon. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports.


ANNOUNCER: He gets the first carry, he’ll walk to the end zone. Trojans regain the lead.

With USC’s Trojans winning in the final minutes, September’s football game at Ohio State was exciting enough. But it was even better for USC fans who got to watch it on a big screen in 3-D.

Media analyst Jack Myers has watched some of these test broadcasts of 3-D TV.

JACK MYERS: It blows you away. You see the experience from the perspective of the rusher coming through the line and at you and being tackled.

Myers says 3-D is ideal for watching live sports. But he thinks networks will eventually roll out everything from movies, to musicals and nature shows in three dimensions.

MYERS: That next wave of consumer excitement around new television purchases will be 3-D.

Yep, he said “television purchases.” With a current high-def set, you’ll be able to get about 2.5-D. But to get the full 3-D effect, you’ll need a new TV. On sale soon, at around $10,000 for those who can’t wait for prices to come down.

Caroline McCarthy follows media at CNET. She thinks avid sports fans, at least, will take the plunge.

CAROLINE McCARTHY: People do, despite the economy, want to one-up each other with who can have the best home entertainment and that sort of thing, and considering movie ticket prices just keep going up, some people may even find it a more economic investment.

The 3-D glasses, they’re a minor investment. And at least they’re not as dorky-looking as the ones they used to hand out in theaters back in the ’70s.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

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