As the more sceptical among us have always maintained, 3D in the home has been a way for panel manufacturers to bump up their bottom line and turn lacklustre TV sales back into a cash-cow.
The US, where selling in has become difficult for other sectors in the wide-reaching technology industry, is enjoying a flat panel TV price hike sequentially. As 3D LCD becomes common in more and more sets, there have been three consecutive months of price increases since April.
Compare that to four of decline and manufacturers must be cheering for the stability. Although the gains are slight, maintaining stability is incredibly important to keep the stock sheets balanced.
Prices for LCD TVs rose by $5 to $1,050, while the average price for flat-panel TVs in June was up $10 to $1,133. Plasma stabilised at $1,590, according to the latest figures from analysts at IHS iSuppli.
Despite display analysts themselves saying 3D as it is now is mostly a novelty in the home – which you’re unlikely to use more than, say, once a week at most – people are buying the sets. Mostly because they have to. Cleverly, TV manufacturers are slow-dripping the technology into all of their newest products, so if you’re a new buyer you’ve got a 3D telly whether you want it or not.
Again, 3D helps prop up every corner of the industry – from the panel makers who put the stuff together right up to film studios and Blu-ray retailers. Sony earns a big chunk from 3D because its fingers are in every pie.
Within 3D itself, there is a mini price war brewing between active and passive 3D televisions.
Basically, active 3D is the expensive sort with pricey eye-wear and passive is cheaper to buy but the resolution handles only 540 lines per eye.
Expected price drops for active’s lazy little brother means it should win out, compared to the dominance active holds now.