Report: Price Difference Between 3D and 2D TVs is Only $150



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I specifically recall being shocked a little over two years ago when I read an article (I think it was at msnbc) stating that the price of LCD televisions had dropped to the point that they were the same as plasma televisions. So I went straight to BB's website and verified that the cheapest 50" LCD (which was also the worst/lowest-rated) was $600 more expensive than the second-most expensive 50" plasma (which was also the highest quality plasma not called Kuro). The price difference was over $800 when moving up to 54"...again, comparing a low-quality LCD to a high-quality plasma. If you wanted an LCD with comparible quality to a plasma, the price difference was a couple-thousand.

So let's compare apples to apples for this latest bombshell report...BB currently has a 55" Sony 3D LED-LCD television on sale for $2800 (you save $600), and a 55" Sony LED-LCD television on sale for $2160 (you save $340). After the so-called difference of only $150 stated by ITRI, there is $490 that has gone missing.

Now let's take the least-expensive 55" 3D television, an LG weighing in at $2500 (you save $800) and a non-3D LG on sale for $2000 (you save $500). Now we have an even-steven $500 difference.

And this does not include the huge $260-$300 additional price drop applied to the 3D televisions over the non-3D television's sale price!

So the difference is anywhere between $500 and $650, depending on how much you value picture quality, features, etc.

More importantly, if you like watching 3D movies alone, add another $200 for the glasses...which brings the price difference to $700. If you like to share the moment with your spouse and two children, add another $760 instead, which brings the price difference to...

...about $1500.

In other words, ITRI accidentally left off a digit. It's a misspelling. Happens all the time in print. Somebody should call them to do a Cut, Copy & Paste of their information. Otherwise, people may charge down to BB to buy a 3D TV only to find that the price difference STARTS at $700, much less get anywhere near $150.



Sure, the 3D premium is lower than it's ever been, but HDTV adoption is also higher.  The cost of moving to 3D isn't just the $150, but the cost of a whole new set minus whatever you manage to sell your outdated set for.

I also question what brands they're comparing and whether they're assuming a 240Mhz LCD TV is 3D-ready.  That assumption, of course, incorrect.  The average price seems centered around LG & Insignia sets but the gap becomes much greater when you're comparing like models of Samsung or Sony. 

Other factors aren't helping the adoption either - the lack of content and the failure to inform consumers.  I just spotted a package deal on Best Buy's site that sells a 3D-ready BluRay player with a "240Mhz" LED-LCD that's not 3D-Ready (The xxxNX800 versus the xxxHX800 series).  The 240Mhz in that particular case is just for smoothing and the TV won't accept anything higher than a 60Mhz signal.  Best Buy, as an example, will tell you when a TV is 3D capable, but won't inform you when it's not (even when bundling with a "3D-ready Blu-Ray player".



"120MHz 46-inch 2D LED TVs sell on average for $1,143.8"

But I still can find a 46" plasma tv for 600$ too, which is less than half of the price. Most customers will not try to match features exactly before buying, they'll look at the size and price.

While I don't want a gigantic 720p plasma tv, a 750$ 46" ACL is also possible to find if you shop around. 



I think $150 is significant enough.  It's an entire computer monitor, a new video card, most of an xbox 360 or 3 new games (if you buy on amazon and get $20 credits).  These TVs are already expensive enough without tacking on $150 for the inconvenience of having to wear glasses.

You mention the glasses.  Who wants to wear glasses in the house on their couch and get a headache while watching some movie in 3D?  Also, I'm sure the difference between 2D TVs and 3D TVs that don't require glasses will be far more significant than $150.

I personally have no interest in this generation (and probably the next generation or 2) of 3D TVs.  Let me know when that hologram chess game from Star Wars is around and I'll be impressed.  For now, it seems like most movies that are around in 3D are in 3D because they're not really that good of a movie.

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