3D-TV is not going to be the next big thing. In a previous post, I looked at different factors that drive innovation diffusion to commercial success. Using that same model, it’s pretty clear that current 3D-TVs have a tough road ahead of them.
Testing 3D-TV against the diffusion of innovation framework
Let’s look at the 7 factors of innovation diffusion, and do a back of the envelope analysis to see what I mean:
|Relative Advantage||POSITIVE||Watching a movie in 3D looks better|
|Compatibility||NEGATIVE||New TV equipment (incl. glasses) and new DVD formats — not to mention new techniques for sudios|
|Complexity||NEGATIVE||This does not make my home theater situation easier at all|
|Observability||NEUTRAL||While anyone can see a demo, its hard to notice the difference in anything but the standard demos of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs|
|Trialability||NEUTRAL||I have to go to a Best Buy, or a rich friend’s place to try it out|
|Social Acceptability||NEGATIVE||Be honest, wearing glasses makes you look like a dork|
|Regulatory||NEGATIVE||While “regulatory” is used loosely, here, the point of this factor is all of the ecosystem changes that need to occur, from studios to broadcasters, new equipment and transmission methods, as well as cable companies|
The net effect: slow growth projection
The net effect is that I believe 3D-TV will have a slow ramp, based on the model above.
Additionally, the macro trend of video consumption is toward video “snacking”, and “cord cutting”, with the advent of YouTube and social video. Mobile technologies (like the iPad) and new devices (like Roku, PS3, and AppleTV) are making it even easier to consume what you want, when you want it, and on whatever device.
So the real need to have an immersive in-home experience revolve around sports, live events, and movies; I think in-home 3D may have a place in those three areas. However, the complexity and expense of the setup, limited availability of content options, and the overall inconvenience of having to wear glasses impede the diffusion of this technology…oh yeah, and apparently harmful to drink and watch a 3D-TV, so I certainly won’t buy one :)
[UPDATE Nov 1, 2010: It seems TechCrunch has caught on to this trend as well with this post]
[UPDATE June 12, 2013: …and ESPN kills 3D broadcasts kills 3D broadcasts]