Too many options: Which 3-D is for you?

Like to watch 3-D movies? Well get ready to research like mad trying to figure out a home system that will work best for you. There are seven types of display decoder technologies that deliver stereographic 3-D on at least 13 platforms, including common ones such as TVs and cinemas, making for 91 possible combinations, according to a study out Monday from Jon Peddie Research.
The analyst firm notes that because not every platform can use every decoder there are actually only 29 practical combinations, which is slightly less daunting. It delivered a handy chart to indicate what those options are (see below). Surprisingly, despite all the options and confusion different technologies can create, the firm believes there is a real opportunity in 3-D, although much of that is outside of movies.

The biggest growth in 3-D may well come from mobile handsets using technology such as augmented reality for games or even mapping. The report notes that the development of new 3-D sensors for mobile handsets could propel growth of 190 percent over the next five years. Industries where 3-D may gain ground are manufacturing and in medicine. And yes, the movies will see 3-D growth as well, although the report is quick to caution that the days of using 3-D as a gimmick are gone.

S3D is a component, not an industry. Like color, sound, motion sensing, it is a feature that augments content and makes it richer, but if the content isn’t good in the first place, S3D is not going to help. The industry is well past the stage of novelty and it’s time to start exploring the potential of S3D.

Maybe the entertainment industry will take those words to heart and avoid any Smurf movie sequels.