Poll: 3D Just a Fad or Just Needs More Content?
Two-thirds of the nearly 4,800 polled on major home theater website AVS Forum put 3D into the category of fad, while the rest are waiting for more content or better format standards.
June 10, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

Just how big will 3D be? The Hollywood studios are obviously betting on it. So are display manufacturers.

So how about you, the home theater enthusiast? Based on a poll posted on the extremely popular AVS Forum website of enthusiasts, DIYers and even some custom electronics pros, the answer is resoundingly skeptical.

The poll—“3D Television - Fad or Here to Stay?”—asked forum readers:

Do you think that 3D TV is just a fad pushed more so by current movies and thus hype or do you think it is here to stay and will become what people will purchase when they go to buy a flat screen? Considering that their currently are no standards for home 3D viewing, you may still think it is here to stay or even is still a fad. Can it really only happen with standards? (Example ... My glasses will work on my friend’s display.) This is just a general simple question poll without getting deep into it. What is your thought? Fad, Hype, Got to have Standards?

Open for voting over a two-week span, the poll garnered 4,766 responses:

  • Fad - Current Theater Hype! 3,227 (67.71%)
  • Here to Stay - Bring on the content! 641 (13.45%)
  • Can only happen if we have standards! 898 (18.84%)

Despite its being a very informal poll, we respect the AVSers as a group of knowledgeable home theater fans, and generally early adopters when it comes to technology. Judging from the 600-plus comments elicited along with the votes, though, it looks like the majority will be late or non adopters of 3D video. Then again, many are also expecting to be force-fed the technology, with 3D simply becoming commonplace in new TVs much like 1080p high-def has grown.

Here’s a sampling of the many comments, both pro and con:

“I’m pretty confident it’s the way of the future, however I’m not too sure it’ll take off this time around. Needs standards.” —apexdown

“I am not a fan of wearing glasses to watch a movie. Besides that the going rate of $150 for each additional pair of glasses is ridiculous. If I did have a 3D system it would be BYOG. (bring your own glasses)” —Jon_B

“I think it’s a fad to sell more TV’s. There used to be a time when the average US household bought a television once every 10 years, maybe longer. And the manufacturers found a way to survive on that. Then HD rolled around and the companies loved seeing the profits from new TV’s that they decided they wanted to see those profits every few years. I believe they embarked on a campaign to make it seem like even for HDTV’s, that you needed to get a new replacement every three or so years. To do that you need some kind of advancement.” —pappy97

“It’s here to stay. Like any new technology, the early versions are not great, but the potential is being realized. In 5 -7 years DVD will be a thing of the past giving way completely to Blu-ray, and 3D won’t be a gimmick, it’ll just be part of the viewing experience. 3D capable TVs will be like 1080p. Every new set will have it. I do think the glasses will have gone the way of the dinosaur in favor of autostereoscopic screens.” —bigeasy70075

“If it’s developed without glasses its not a fad. I’d love to play video games in no glasses 3D. Some movies might benefit but touting the 3Dness of something won’t affect revenue in the near future. The market is already pretty saturated with the term.” —detached

What do you think? If you didn’t get a chance to vote in the AVS poll, or aren’t an AVS member, we’ve attached the poll below and want to know your opinion.

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Is 3D Just a Fad?

Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

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