At first glance you might think I am pessimistic about the chances of 3D video taking off, but since I am old enough to remember the transition from black & white TV to colour I can see many parallels.
- I was a young child in the 1960s. At this time cinemas had completed the transition from black & white to colour and virtually all movies were released in colour. This is similar to the current situation where 3D is taking off in the cinema, but not yet in homes.
- When I was young, colour TV had been invented, but very few people had purchased them because the cost was so much higher than the black and white version. Most TV stations broadcast the bulk of their content in b/w format with only occasional programs in colour (partly because very few of their viewers would notice). This is similar to the current situation where some but not all movies are available in 3D format.
- Gradually all TV stations converted to colour broadcasting and consumers gradually converted to colour receivers. However even up to the 1980s they had to take into account that a significant number of viewers would be watching in b/w format e.g. if a football match was being broadcast between two teams who had jerseys that looked similar in b/w one of the teams would be asked to change. I wonder how long it will be before a movie will consider it OK to have a key plot line that would be missed by anyone watching in 2D!
Therefore I think that 3D video will eventually catch on, but the transition will take decades rather than years. After all, I don't think that it is possible to purchase a black & white TV anymore.