I have been beating up on 3DTV, and now surveys strongly support my position. NewTeeVee reports that surveys of consumer interest show only 15% interest in 3D at home, with 63% not seeing the need. In contrast, the interest in online (Internet) TV is 51% higher.
The third strike against 3DTV (after lack of content and those darned glasses) is the GoogleTV announcement, with Android-powered online TVs and blu-ray players been launched by Sony.
This launch is huge since the TV now joins tablets and smartphones as the next connected device, which I see as the foundation for the next tech boom. The price increment for an online TV is fairly small, and I expect it to largely disappear as Internet becomes a requirement in future TVs and blu-ray players.
While online is gaining strong interest, estimates for 3DTV shipments are decreasing from earlier optimism in spite of chirpy optimism normally seen in market research firms trying to sell reports to manufacturers. (A key to understanding these reports is that the “higher numbers win”, meaning the ones trying to promote the market will buy reports with higher numbers, so when the chirpy researchers drop forecasts the market is really weak and they are scrambling to regain credibility rather than sell reports.)
The biggest differentiator of online TV vs 3DTV is: it’s the content, stupid. For many viewers, it is a simple as getting Netflix online, which looks like an online subscription movie service with much broader selection than HBO or Showtime. There is also keen interest to add new channels (especially special interest and international) as well as to watch social videos from YouTube and other sources. Sports viewing gets enhanced as well with additional viewing angles and commentary, and it is possible to watch NFL games online despite the blackout on local TV.
There is still much to be worked out. Sony bet their strategy on 3G back at CES, and now seems poised to make a new bet on online TV. They need to fix a few things, like this overly complicated remote. TV is a leanback experience …