How can an analyst predict the future if the manufacturers accelerate time so much that the future is here before we can even finish our speculation?
That’s about what has happened in the 3D segment of the flat panel HDTV market. I’ve been saying that making a current set “3D capable” really does not add much cost in materials or assembly, and that eventually all but the lowest-priced entry models will be ready for 3D. But for now, the feature is only available in the premium models with the higher prices (and higher margins for the manufacturerers).
Well, not so fast. Engadget has a report that ABC Warehouse is taking orders for a new 50″ Samsung plasma HDTV that is 3D-ready. And the pre-shipment price is $989: under $1,000. Now, one way that Samsung got the price down was to make this a 720p resolution model, but chances are good that you’ll be sitting so far from it that you wouldn’t be able to see the extra detail of a 1080p set from that distance anyway. So you really aren’t giving up a whole lot by going with a 720p set.
To paraphrase Dark Helmet’s minion in Spaceballs, “then” won’t be “now” soon, it’s “now” already. Expect other lower-priced models to start offering 3D ready features in times for the holiday buying season. (At least I can count on Black Friday not arriving until November.)