This week, Scott Thompson at Hamilton's CHML seems mighty darn skeptical about this whole 3-D TV deal. Canadian retailers started carrying them last Friday. You can pick up a 46-inch, hi-def, Samsung 3-D screen for $2,899.00 at Future Shop--and that comes with two pairs of 3-D glasses.
Panasonic and Sony have their own 3-D home systems in development and they should be in stores soon. Why the rush to 3-D? Because everybody has their hi-def plasma screens by now. TV sales are starting to slump, so manufacturers need a new gizmo to foist on consumers. Billion-dollar Avatar now stands as the No. 1 box office attraction of all time, and with Alice in Wonderland and now Clash of the Titans in 3-D in theatres, everybody is jumping on the three dimensional bandwagon.
So if you rush out and buy one of these sets, what can you see? Well, one of the manufacturers will bundle some BluRay 3-D movie titles with your purchase. ESPN has announced they will have a 3-D channel up and running in less than a year and Discovery also has plans to add more dimension to their programming. Beyond that, there will be 3-D camera covering The Masters in a week and this summer's FIFA World Cup tourney will show all sides of every ball.
Sports will drive 3-D if it does catch on. It was NFL football and the Super Bowl that sold a lot of Hi-Def TV sets. Hockey looks amazing in hi-def and will probably look cool in 3-D, too.
Still, it all seems a bit desperate. After all, 3-D was seen as the gimmick that was going to pry people away from their TV sets and back into the theatres in the mid-'50s. There was "Bwana Devil" and "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and even Three Stooges shorts in 3-D. "Pardon My Backfire"? Soitenly!
Now TV is threatened by the Internet and here we go with the gimmicks again. There are many things on TV you will never want to see in 3-D--Larry King Live comes immediately to mind. The gaming industry sees an opportunity--Nintendo has already announced a new 3-D system--and porn will stick it out there in a few years, unless the whole thing goes bust.
Or something like that. You can listen in here.