It is probably fair to say that 3D TV technology adoption among the general public has been sluggish to date, be it due to a relative paucity of 3D content, high prices, or compulsory eyewear. However, according to an analytical piece in a recent report from market research firm DisplaySearch, LCD TV panel manufacturers have come up with a four-pronged approach to stimulate 3DTV uptake among consumers.
Every three months, the California-based company publishes a Quarterly Large Area TFT LCD Shipment Report which provides insight into the global shipments of large-sized LCD panels. In its latest Advanced LED + 3D version that (obviously) focuses on LED-backlit and 3D-capable LCD televisions, DisplaySearch identified four methods that 3D LCD television makers have devised to drive sales.
The first is a gradual reduction in price premium levied upon tri-dimensional models. The market research company claimed that LCD panel manufacturers have been revising their 3D price premiums downwards over the past few months: for example the 3D premium in 240Hz LCD TV panels has halved from more than US $50 (around £30) in 2010 to US $25 (around £15) this year. TV makers are hoping that this will tempt potential buyers to choose a 3D-ready set over a comparable non-3D HDTV for not much extra outlay.
New technologies have been introduced to improve the 3D viewing experience, such as ramping up the driving frequency of LCD panels to reduce crosstalk. Another example of innovation in this area is LG Electronics’ proprietary film-type patterned retarder (FPR) passive 3D LED LCD screens which purportedly eliminate flicker, as well as allow for more affordable and convenient polarized 3D glasses that do not require batteries, synchronisation nor charging.
On that note, 3DTV manufacturers have also sought to make their 3D glasses more user friendly, with particular emphasis on style and comfort. Some efforts have gone into achieving interoperability (especially as far as the active-shutter camp is concerned), either through the release of universal glasses, or the development of a standardised communication protocol.
Perhaps crucially, TV manufacturers are now shifting their attention back to the 2D picture quality on their 3D displays, as they’ve come to realise that most viewers will spend more time watching 2D material compared to extra-dimensional ones. This year, television brands are positioning 3D capabilities as an attractive feature for the purpose of futureproofing, instead of as a must-have technology.