Hours before the first live 3D broadcast of an NRL Rugby game in Australia, the CEO of the world’s largest consumer electronics retail group has said that the lack of an industry standard for 3D glasses, and a dearth of content and consumer knowledge are the biggest obstacles to 3D TV adoption.
Mike Vitelli, president of US retailer Best Buy addressed an audience of industry executives in the U.S. overnight, and said that as the format reaches a wider audience, he foresees compatibility issues arising as consumers attempt to use their 3D glasses with other people’s TVs.
According to TWICE Magazine he said, “The issue isn’t, having to wear the glasses — it’s the glasses not working at your friend’s home,” he said. “And we’ll get the first call.”
He claims that there is a need for simplified functionality and enhanced education, which would help dispel consumer misconceptions about 3D technology, such as the sets’ inability to display 2D content.
The challenge is formidable, Vitelli said, as many consumers are still viewing standard-definition content on their HDTVs, believing that it is full HD.
“We have to make sure that all consumers understand that 3D is a top-of-the-line feature on 2D sets, and that 3D TVs are the best HDTVs you can buy,” he said.
He said that adoption rates depend on how quickly content becomes available, and the quality of what’s offered. Key drivers will be “blockbuster events” that draw mass audiences; specialised “mini events” with narrower reach, such as 3D concerts streamed online; and immersive gaming experiences that generate demand for more screens in various sizes in more places.
Bob Perry, Senior VP at Panasonic, told the audience, “It’s too important to get it wrong with bad 3D execution or bad content. We have to thrill the consumer, and we can get twice the adoption rate of HDTV if we do it right.”
Perry added that the 3D transition is completely different from and will happen much faster than the HD changeover, due to the broad support of the CE industry and the nature of the 3D experience itself. “When consumers see the 3D demos at retail, it will rock their world,” he said.