Ready or not, 3D HDTV is going to take the television scene by storm in the coming decade, at least according to our buddies over at HDGuru. Here's why they think the future is more Avatar than anything else:
First, even though manufacturers might be rushing things, considering their last lovechild, Blu-Ray discs, hasn't really taken anything by a storm, let alone a slight tropical depression, there are some consumer-friendly caveats to consider before grinding those teeth in anger.
Take price, for example. HDGuru predicts set prices will be largely in line with current HDTV offerings. Initial pricing for a 40-inch 3D-ready 240Hz LED LCD will check in at about $1300, whereas a similar non-3D set from Samsung is currently for sale is $1,250.
The other elephant in the room, as least when it came to HD, is programming. While full-time HD programming has been around since HD Net launched in September 2001, it took until the end of the decade before this particular TV watcher could safely say all he watches on TV anymore are HD-only channels. Luckily—if you like where 3D is going anyway—that shouldn't be a problem for 3D in the 2010s. HDGuru assures us that the influx of PS3s on the market, coupled with 50 DirectTV 3D channels before the end of 2010, will ensure there's ample 3D TV available for the new sets that Sony, et al, will demand you buy for the best viewing experience. Sports, the original driver of HD content, will also come into play here, no pun intended.
As for HDTVs, 3D aside, the future is unsurprisingly cheaper, thinner and more portable. That's kind of how tech works, and beyond 2010 you can expect to see an influx of thin, LED edge-lit TVs that go larger than 60-inches. On the opposite end of the spectrum, expect more Zunes. That is, "Zune" in the sense that portables sporting HD visuals will become ubiquitous—who knows what fate will befall Microsoft's shiny player.
Lastly, this one's for Mark Wilson, who got headaches watching a great Avatar flick in 3D: HD glasses might eventually become unnecessary. At an expected $70 a pair, they won't be missed, but this prediction may take a while and will arrive first in the form of a single-viewer laptop at the end of 2010.
Again, predictions all. Nothing firm, but nothing too unbelievable either. There are more at HDGuru to parse and dissect and flame. Why don't you leave a few of your own in the comments? [HDGuru]