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Porn not relevant to 3D TV adoption

21 Dec

One of the topics that came up during discussion yesterday while I was part of the taping for the BBC’s Digital Planet (which I believe will air Jan. 4) was what sort of effect the porn industry will have on 3D television sales. I’m obviously a believer in adult entertainment having a big influence on the adoption and development of new innovations, but as I said during the talk, I don’t think it’ll have much of an impact on this particular technology.

That’s fairly counter-intuitive given the industry’s reputation for driving new technologies, but the thing to keep in mind is that porn companies only get behind new innovations that will somehow expand or improve their business. Many major new technologies in the past have done exactly that. The VCR, for example, was a huge step forward – for the first time it allowed the consumer to easily enjoy smutty video in the comfort of his or her own home (mostly his), rather than the alternative, which was watching it in some slimy peep show booth in a shady part of town. The internet and smartphones further personalized that capability, so naturally all three technologies were seized upon by porn very quickly.

DVD was a similar story; not that it made the content necessarily more personal, but it was a large improvement in quality. High-definition was more of the same, although its arrival was perhaps not as welcomed by some members of the industry.

3D television is different. It doesn’t offer a heightened level of personalization nor is it a stunning leap forward in quality. If 3D has anything going for it, it’s the gee-whiz factor. When done well, it certainly is cool, but it’s not something viewers can’t live without.

There have been some reports out of Japan that 3D porn is doing well there and that it’s helping to fuel sales of enabled televisions. Perhaps, but the most reliable reports seem to indicate that 3D sets are selling poorly overall. In writing about them over the past year and seeing readers’ reactions, it’s pretty clear there are several reasons for this: nobody wants to wear the glasses, many people recently just bought expensive new HDTVs, and there’s a serious lack of 3D content out there.

As luck would have it, I also interviewed Steven Hirsch yesterday, the head of Vivid Entertainment, one of the largest adult entertainment companies around. We talked about a bunch of stuff for a story I’m working on, but I did ask him what he thought about 3D TV. Here’s what he said:

Traditionally people like to take their glasses off when they watch an adult film rather than put them on. Until we get to the point where we have 3D without glasses you’re not going to see the industry really get behind 3D. That’s part of the problem. I think that’s coming within the next several years, the technology is really moving quickly. Once that happens, ultimately I expect all movies to be shot in 3D.

I’ll be heading to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas again this January, where I’m expecting to see some advancements in these sorts of glasses-free 3D TVs. I’ve heard that some manufacturers have managed to get them up in size to around 20 inches. That means we might only be a year or two away from proper-sized sets that don’t require glasses. As it stands though, it sure doesn’t look like porn is doing much to help this technology along.

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 21, 2010 in 3D, CES, sex, vivid

 

2 responses to “Porn not relevant to 3D TV adoption

  1. Misaow

    December 21, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Article back in Oct on 3d TVs without glasses:
    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/10/04/toshiba-3d-television.html

    Also some dating back to August:
    http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/08/24/con-new-3d.html

    Misaow

     
 
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