3-D (Your Comments)First off, Ben Younkins sent in a terrific bit of analysis concerning the adoption of 3-D television.
I was talking with a few people at work yesterday about the problem with current 3D technology (glasses) versus HD. For both, sports were a big seller, but I think the key thing to consider is the bar scene. Many places were early adopters for HD TVs in order to attract patrons. These viewings then drove sales for home viewership.
3D with glasses is a much more difficult proposition for the bar scene. Where an HD TV is a one-to-many relationship, 3D with glasses is a one-to-one relationship: Each viewer must have a pair of glasses.
That's an excellent, excellent point, and it's not unlike what I mentioned about consumers in retail stores--they can't be wowed by the display unless they're wearing glasses. It restricts people from experiencing the technology--they can't just wander by and be blown away.
Also James Prendergast pointed out that for much of the world, HD is not as much of a visual upgrade as it is in the Americas, because the PAL video standard is 576i compared to the 480i of NTSC. PAL also has more accurate color reproduction.
Roughly, that works out to a 20% improvement in resolution, but HD is still a huge improvement in resolution, although the rule always is that the larger the screen, the easier it is to see the difference. On a smaller display (37" and below, and isn't it amusing that 37" is now "smaller"?), the detectable difference in visual quality between 576p (if possible) and 720p would not be very noticeable.
Colin Fletcher brought up another interesting point. He mentioned that his wife wears glasses, sort of:
She wears glasses. Or rather, she should; she has a fairly minor prescription which means that for most things they're more of a pain to wear than a benefit. So the TV looks slightly blurry from where she sits regardless of the definition.
Actually, that's an excellent point, because I'm sure a decent percentage of the population doesn't have 20/20 vision, even with correction. And if everything else looks blurry, so will HD.