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The short answer is that is doesn't work very well. One can tick-off a whole litany of deficiencies, both commercial and technical, that have resulted in a less than stellar acceptance of this feature. Does this mean 3DTV is a "failure?" Not at all. Content is very slowly increasing, production techniques and equipment are continually being developed and refined, but the rate of increase of all these various factors are much slower that they could or should be. Why? Simply, the industry marketers got ahead of the technology. In an almost panic driven effort to prop-up diminishing profits by capitalizing on the "next big thing," they pushed 3DTV technology to market without thinking it through.

Where were the industry leaders – CEA, NAB, NCTA, SMPTE, ATSC? AWOL! The rabbit was guarding the lettuce. Unfortunately, when the standards for 3DTV finally are decided, the fix for the installed base will not be a simple firmware download. Do I smell a massive class action law suite, a free box, or both? I hope not, but I fear so.

Now is the time for the aforementioned industry leadership to get its collective act together and issue standards. Otherwise 3DTV will just remain an undeveloped malperforming cost adder, and the industry will loose a sorely needed opportunity to deliver a truly premium product.


Posted by Ed Milbourn, May 22, 2012 7:51 AM

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About Ed Milbourn

After graduating from Purdue University with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Industrial Education in 1961 and 1963 respectively, Ed Milbourn joined the RCA Home Entertainment Division in 1963. During his thirty-eight year career with RCA (later GE and Thomson multimedia), Mr. Milbourn held the positions of Field Service Engineer, Manager of Technical Training and Manager of Sales Training. In 1987, he joined Thomson's Product Management group as Manager of Advanced Television Systems Planning, with responsibilities including Digital Television and High Definition Television Product Management. Mr. Milbourn retired from Thomson multimedia in December 2001, and is now a Consumer Electronics Industry consultant.