5 Reasons 3-D Video Will Come to Our Living Rooms

3dLet’s face it, there are some skeptics out there when it comes to 3-D.  Some point to competing standards, others to the kitsch factor, and almost all point to the glasses. But not everyone’s a hater. In fact, Sony and Panasonic see the technology as a savior for their living room business. So will 3-D make it in the home?  Chances are it will, and here are five reasons why:

1. 3-D will become a standard feature. TV makers will put a premium price on anything 3-D in the next few years (much as they did with HD), as Alfred Poor points out in his new 3DTV report at GigaOM Pro (subscription required); but over time, the technology will become just another standard feature. Chances are in five years we’ll see $799 50-inch 3-D TVs from Vizio at Costco.

2. Invasion of the 3-D movie theaters. 3-D movies are bringing in higher per-screen revenues than their 2-D counterparts, and by the end of this year there should be 7,000 3-D screens worldwide. Hollywood has caught 3-D fever, and it’s logical to think the big focus on 3-D in the theater will migrate over time to the living room.

3. Those crazy gamers. Gamers have been enjoying crude 3-D effects since Wolfenstein 3-D, and more and more are being pulled into a new dimension with the latest 3-D technology.  Sony has stated that existing game catalogs will be 3-D upgradeable through software, which could build the library of content quickly and justify the cost of accessories such as glasses.

4. Cheap glasses. While active shutter glasses would set you back at least 50 bones today, prices will fall through the floor once they’re manufactured at scale.  Think four-packs at Wal-Mart for $25 in about five years.

5. Kids. 3-D’s secret weapon, really. I have to wonder how many 3-D skeptics are child-less. Just as tens of millions of parents came down with Wii tennis elbow in recent years, so will they be donning 3-D glasses in the future.

3-D in the home will continue to be a source of both skepticism and excitement in the coming years. But make no mistake, as both the DVD and HDTV gravy trains continue to slow to a crawl, TV makers and Hollywood are seeing an extra dimension.

It’s 3-D week over at GigaOM Pro. So come over to read our report on 3DTV, and tune in tomorrow for a new report on 3-D virtual worlds in the enterprise.Subscription required.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Woodvines.

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