Is 3D for the Home Dead?

A group of experts at a technology conference -- where the subject generated little enthusiasm -- seem to think so.

3D for the home is dead, according to a majority of attendees at the Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat now taking place in Palm Springs.

When the subject of 3D came up at the confab, the audience of about 400 entertainment technology veterans were asked to indicate by a show of hands if they thought 3D for the home was dead -- and roughly 80% of the audience agreed with that proposition.

Jerry Pierce, who served as moderator, said: "The audience saw the trends at the [HPA] consumer electronics sessions, which cast doubt about 3D in the home -- with a follow-up punch by the broadcast panel, which didn't have interest in broadcasting 3D. The HPA attendees, using this and their other knowledge, felt 3D for the home was dead."

The broadcasting panel included representatives from ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox -- all of whom spent little time on the subject of 3D.

"When the industry comes up with a backward compatible system and an approach within ATSC standards [the U.S.' DTV standards], and we can produce content in an efficient manner, then you will hear about 3D from us," said panelist Jim DeFilippis of Fox.

On the consumer electronics side, industry pundit Mark Schubin shared some Nielsen research that suggested that consumer interest in 3D in the home actually decreased after survey participants were shown 3DTV. He reviewed additional research that demonstrated limited consumer interest.

Still, informal conversations proved that there was at least a segment of conference attendees who believes there are multiple opportunities for 3D to serve various niche markets in the home. Games, for instance, are viewed as a key opportunity.

3D-ready TVs began to roll out in 2010. The consumer electronics industry has sold 3.3 million 3D ready TVs worldwide, according to recent figures from Screen Digest.