With all the advertising and marketing push for 3D, this holiday shopping season the question to go 3D or not is a big one. There’s a few simple questions you can ask yourself to determine if you should get into 3D TV.

1) Do you watch a lot of movies?

If you use your TV to watch a lot of movies, 3D may be worth it. There should be over 30 3D Blu-ray titles by year’s end (either for sale individually or in manufacturer’s bundles), and a lot more next year. There is some 3D content on some cable and DirecTV, but at the moment the amount is minimal. DirecTV is the leader with three exclusive channels and ESPN3D. The situation should also change next year, but like the initial roll-out of HD, there isn’t a lot of 3D content right now.

2) Can you afford it?

The current crop of 3D TVs are more expensive than their 2D counterparts. In addition to the new TV, you’ll also need a new 3D capable Blu-ray player. Adding 3D programming to your cable or satellite will likely incur additional cost. Most TVs only come with one set of glasses, and each pair is about $80 to $150 depending on make and model. When first introduced last Spring,  if you have a family of four, you’d expect to add $450 to the price of any TV so the whole family can watch together.

TV manufacturers realized this was a big turn-off, so they made a change.  From now through Christmas, 3D set makers (LG, Samsung, Panasonic , Sony, Toshiba and Sharp) are offering bundles through select retailers which include two to four pairs of 3D glasses, a 3D capable Blu-ray player and 3D disc(s) depending on the deal and the vendor. Check out our highlighted links for some of  the latest deals.

3) Do you want the best TV available?

Silly question, right? The fact of the matter is, all 3D TVs are likely also the best 2D TVs available from each manufacturer.

4) Do you mind the glasses?

All 3D TVs need special, and often proprietary, 3D glasses. Non-glasses large screen 3D TVs, also called auto-stereoscopic, are at least 5-10 years away. Keep in mind they’ve been saying “5-10 years” for over a decade. So if you’ve got the 3D bug, there’s no point in waiting. Make sure you really don’t mind wearing the glasses while you’re watching TV. That said, modern “active shutter” glasses are far less tiring on the eyes than the 3D systems of old.

5) Do you have kids?

Children love 3D, of course. I’m sure if you have kids, you’ve already thought of the $150 glasses and given pause. Additionally, if you have a really big family, LCD 3D TVs (and to a lesser extent, plasma 3D TVs) have a narrower viewing area. So if you have a big couch, the people on the edges may not have a decent picture, or 3D at all.

3D for you?

The fact of the matter is, for the foreseeable future 3D is here to stay. Next year, 3D TVs will be cheaper and there will be even more content. But if you love the idea of 3D, getting a 3D TV now certainly isn’t a bad idea, as even in a worst case scenario, you’ll end up with a fantastic 2D TV.

By Geoff Morrison
Edited By Gary Merson
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