The Death of 3DTV is Not Greatly Exaggerated - Connected or Smart TV Expected to Rock CES

written by: Richard Kastelein

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It's kind of like one of those , 'I told you so...' moments - after attending IFA in Berlin last year and being surrounded by headache-inducing massive fragmented 3DTV screens being showcased by every major CE manufacturer. Then finding Connected or Smart TVs being tucked away like bastard children in the crannies of the mighty hallways of IFA.

Here's a snippet from my impressions of 3DTV at IBC in 2010 and later headlines included, 3DTV overshadowed by Connected TV - Global Connected TV Shipments Forecast to Reach 118 Million in 2014

The hype around Avatar in 3D and other major 3D blockbusters in the cinemas has undoubtedly build a fire under the CE 3D logpile, but it's a bit baffling as to all the chest beating about it - while Connected TV seemingly lies in stealth mode, as the invisible 600 pound gorilla in the room.

Well the Wall St. Journal picked up the meme today and declared 3DTV rather dead and the Connected TV will be the the new 600 pound Gorilla in the room in at CES in 2011.

Twenty-one percent of the roughly 210 million TV sets sold world-wide last year had an Internet connection, according to DisplaySearch, a research firm based in Santa Clara, Calif. It forecast the portion will rise to more than 50% by 2014.

3D audiovisual experiences are basically cyclical and really a fad - and seems to come roaring back and fail every few decades. It was Sir Charles Wheatstone who in 1833 first came up with the idea of presenting slightly different images to the two eyes using a device he called a reflecting mirror stereoscope. Stereoscopic 3D television was demonstrated for the first time on August 10, 1928, by John Logie Baird in London and continued until the late 1930s to some degree. It did not come back until the 1950s when TV started to replace fireplaces in the family home.

Avatar, the movie suddenly changed the ballgame. But it's easy to get everyone to wear coke bottles over their eyes in a cinema. Subsequently, television stations started airing 3D serials in 2009 based on the same technology as Avatar. In 2010, video games began to utilize 3D TVs as a new way to play the games. Okay - it might work with gaming. But god forbid people wearing 3D glasses in the house.

Ever bought one of those cheesy 3D postcards or what they call stereo photography? Not.

All I could think when I was at IFA (and presumably will be the same at CES this year) was this was all dreamed up by people infatuated with taking the user experience in the wrong direction. 3D is a fad - always has been, always will be. The Internet is here to stay. These companies need more Millennials in their market studies - if they are doing them. Because according to many studies we have published here at, users want control, not gimmicks, they want social TV... and recommendation engines from peers, groups and familys, and sharing the experience. Not gimmicks. They can do that at the cinema.

I will wait for holograms thanks. Give them 40 years and we can all do Star Trek's holodeck. Until them, I am happy with having a connected TV that gives ME control over what I want to watch for now.

My quote of the day from the WSJ ...

Manufacturers risk that their products will be interchangeable, though, and that the real money will go to app developers. And technical challenges remain in the relatively new arena.



About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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