3 Problems Affecting 3DTV Adoption

Nielo Gan

Putting the technical aspects aside, there are three key obstacles presently affecting the 3D TV realm: the lack of content, compulsory eyewear, and deficiency in expertise required to produce immersive 3D content.

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The lack of content can be patched by converting existing 2D materials to 3D, but the depth of field may not be as effective in comparison to true stereoscopic 3D (SS3D) unless such materials can be re-rendered; which was later validated by Panasonic’s very own 3D composition for the press that contained a mixture of true SS3D and 2D-to-3D conversions.

3D TV Composition @ Panasonic Convention 2010

The contents converted from 2D to 3D appeared to have the effect of a pop-up storybook as if the depth was composed of multiple layers. It certainly provides the illusion of 3D, but can be somewhat distracting and artificial at times.

The compulsory eyewear doesn’t seem to sit well with the consumers (as one would expect). The idea of wearing a pair of glasses to experience 3D in 2010 seems preposterous to select group of individuals. However, the 3D glasses have been improved and trimmed to a satisfactory level, though the diminished luminance remains the biggest dent of all. After all, both Circularly Polarized and Active Shutter Glasses do block 50% of incoming light as each eye is blacked-out for 8.3ms (120Hz), which ultimately increases the power consumption of the display devices (possibly double) for viewing 3D in comparison to 2D. Thankfully, flicker was nowhere to be seen, which was truly a delight.

3D picture as seen from 3D glasses

Sadly, wide-angle auto-stereoscopic displays are likely to remain mere prototype for some time and such displays require several major technological breakthroughs especially in the field of transparent display technologies (such as the TOLED).

Regardless of the effectiveness of the 3D hardware, we believe the primary quandary with 3D TV uptake lies within the content itself. Obviously Panasonic applied great deal of effort into creating the demos for their sets, and their Frame-Sequential SS3D professional camcorder was truly spectacular.

Panasonic 3D Camcorder

Having stated that, 3D TV is still in its infancy and it will take time for us to learn how to shoot, edit and master in 3D. It will also take time for us to become accustomed to 3D TVs.

In addition, 3D experience can be highly subjective (due to the incongruity of individual’s perception of stereo depth). We do understand the reluctance of some users towards the acceptance of 3D, but there is no time like the present to launch 3D TVs as it will take time for the feature to become commercially viable and to be implemented into the mid-range sets. After all, it has taken nearly two decades for HD to become widely adopted among the developed nations.

So on that note, we are fairly certain that in few years’ time, users will start to appreciate the true value of 3D displays and 3D-enabled eyewear (also known as Head Mounted Displays). However, for the time being, 3D will remain something of a feature than function.

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