3DTV 2010 Event: Vitelli, Perry: Standards, Education Critical To Adoption

The lack of an industry standard for glasses, and a dearth of content and consumer knowledge, are the biggest obstacles to 3D TV adoption, according to two of the format's earliest marketplace proponents.

Mike Vitelli, Americas president of Best Buy, and Bob Perry, senior vice president at Panasonic, made the observations at a 3DTV2010 Event, at the Roosevelt Hotel, here this morning that was presented by TWICE and fellow publications from parent company NewBay Media -- Broadcasting & Cable, Digital Video, Multichannel News, TV Technology and Videography.

In a one-on-one session with TWICE editor in chief Steve Smith, Vitelli said Best Buy, just weeks into its launch, is pleased with initial 3D TV sales and is encouraged by enthusiastic consumer response.

But as the format reaches a wider audience, he foresees compatibility issues arising as consumers attempt to use their 3D glasses with other people's TVs.

"The issue isn't having to wear the glasses -- it's the glasses not working at your friend's home," he said. "And we'll get the first call."

A related, albeit short-term, challenge for retailers is shrinkage, which he compared to theft of remote controls and headphones from early live displays.

In opening remarks, Perry, whose company partnered with Best Buy for the first major rollout of 3D TV earlier this season, implored broadcasters and content providers to "please do it right," or risk slowing the adoption rate.

"It's too important to get it wrong with bad 3D execution or bad content," he said. "We have to thrill the consumer, and can get twice the adoption rate of HDTV if we do it right."

Perry added that the 3D transition is completely different from and will happen much faster than the HD changeover, due to the broad support of the CE industry and the nature of the 3D experience itself. "When consumers see the 3D demos at retail, it will rock their world," he said.

Read more at TWICE here.