3D TV – the next dimension

3D TV sets are available in SA but at a price – from R23 000 to more than R80 000. They bring the action on sportsfields and battlefields right into your lounge, with footballs and fighter jets seeming to fly right out of the screen at you.

Three-dimensional action – first popularised 120 years ago – is hot news again. 3D cinemas have opened in many cities; the films tend to earn up to three times more at the box office than standard 2D movies.

Some stores have waiting lists of people eager to buy 3D TV sets. But are they worth the cost?

Some critics think the craze will blow over. ‘‘Some films work better in 3D,’’ movie critic Leon van Nierop says. ‘‘And it’s fun to be in a cinema with others and be swept away by the magic of 3D.’’ But he won’t be buying a 3D TV because ‘‘some things should stay in the cinema’’.

The SABC is looking closely at sustainable 3D technology. Pay channels are also wary, although they’re watching the development of 3D broadcasting, says Jackie Rakitla, general manager of corporate affairs at MultiChoice, owners of DStv. ‘‘Unfortunately there are no 3D broadcast standards yet and it will be some time before all the elements for mainstream 3D broadcasting are in place.’’

As with BluRay and DVD machines, 3D TVs will gradually become cheaper as demand increases, she says.

‘‘My bottom line advice is do not rush out to buy the first generation of 3D TVs to hit your local store,’’ says Arthur Goldstuck, a technology guru at research company World Wide Worx. ‘‘They still have some growing up to do.’’

South Africans are used to paying less than R3 000 for a TV set and paying up to 10 times that amount is asking a lot, he says.

But suppliers are positive. ‘‘Sales of 3D have been much better than anticipated,’’ says Corrie Labuschagne, product marketing manager for Samsung SA.

Read the full article in the 5 August issue of YOU.