Samsung, Panasonic Go 3-D, Will Consumers Join Them?

If you want a taste of technology's latest trend, make friends with a Jonathan Duffy.

When the first 3-D TVs hit the market – even if the highly-hyped 3-D channels, 3-D broadcasts and 3-D Blu-ray discs aren't yet available to accompany them – the 28-year-old from Irving, Tex. says he plans to bring one home.

Given the lack of content and the cost (not to mention, the unfamiliar glasses), some might call it brave to lead the way into TV's third dimension. But Duffy said that, for him, this is nothing more than business as usual.

Jeffrey Katzenberg

"I pretty much am the first person to get the latest tech stuff," he said. "I was the first person to get a PS3 [PlayStation 3] and make the Blu-ray switch. This is the next step for me."

The instant he learned that 3-D TVs were on their way Duffy, a supervisor forTime-Warner Cable, said he started doing his research and readying his credit card. When he recently took a 3-D TV for a test drive at a local Sony Style store, he said he was impressed.

Panasonic to Officially Introduce 3D TV This Week, Sony, LG and Vizio to Follow Later This Year

"I was amazed at how great the 3-D appeared and flowed with you as you moved across the room. It surpassed all my expectations," he said. "I did see "Avatar" and I have just seen "Alice in Wonderland."… I really look forward to being able to watch those at my home."

VIDEO: 3-D Movies Like Alice in Wonderland Are Just a Headache for Some

After much anticipation, this week, TV makers Samsung and Panasonic are expected to officially unveil their new 3-D capable television sets. (3-D capable means the TVs can display 2-D TV shows and movies but, with the necessary accessories, could also display 3-D movies, sports broadcasts and other content.)

Though two Samsung 3-D TVs have been available on Amazon and through Sears for the past couple of weeks, the company's official U.S. launch is today. Panasonic will make their official 3-D push Wednesday. Other TV manufacturers, such as Sony, LG and Vizio, are expected to be hot on their heels.

VIDEO: Professor Martin Banks warns that eye strain could hit some viewers of 3-D.
3-D Danger to Your Vision

But recent consumer research shows that 3-D early adopters like Duffy are few and far between.

According to a February report from research firm NPD Group, while consumers say they're interested in 3-D TVs, most aren't interested enough to bring them into their living rooms.

Research: 3-D Cost, Convenience and Content Are Concerns for Customers

About a third of consumers were "somewhat interested" in having 3-D-ready TV, but indicated that cost, content, availability and convenience were major obstacles to adoption.

More than 60 percent of consumers surveyed said they were concerned about the cost of a 3-D TV and the cost of getting 3-D content for their TV. About 39 percent said the limited amount of available content was another concern.

VIDEO: NFL football broadcast in 3-D.

And then there are the glasses. For 53 percent of consumers, the inconvenience of the 3-D glasses was yet another obstacle.

But Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at NPD and a columnist, said the adoption of 3-D TVs could resemble the adoption of HDTVs.

"Consumers will have to accept that the glasses are just kind of a reality of the technological development at this point," he said. "They do provide a convincing 3-D experience in terms of what consumers have come to expect from modern digital cinema 3-D."

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