3D Exclusives: Because the Format War Was Just Too Much Fun!

Yes, 3D is upon us and with it has come a surprising promotional turn of events. To grab your 3D dollars TV manufacturers are lining up as many hot titles as exclusives as they can get their hands on, including four of the hottest 3D titles of the holiday shopping season: Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, and Shrek Forever After (and really, how far behind can an announcement be for a 3D exclusive on Toy Story 3?). All of these Blu-ray 3D titles, and others, can only be obtained by consumers who buy a 3DTV and Blu-ray 3D player in a bundle from certain manufacturers.

My own impression of this practice is not favorable. Reminds me of a mini version of the format war, which alienated consumers to no end. But I’m curious for your take on this. Are you more likely to go with Panasonic so you can get Avatar on Blu-ray 3D? Do you like that Samsung set a little more if you can get your hands on How to Train Your Dragon and/or Shrek? Or does the whole practice make you want to wait another generation or two when buy whatever 3DTV you want when you’re able to buy your Blu-ray 3D titles on the open market? Or, do you not care as much about Blu-ray 3D as you getting ESPN and other sporting events in lower resolution 3D?

Ed Martin's picture

This is ridiculous. If you want to buy Avatar you need to buy Brand X. Now if you want toy story3. Are you required to buy Brand Y? Whoever thinks of this marketing styles should think of the long term plans rather than the short term gains. If I am the consumer. I would still buy based on the 3dTv and not the bundled movie. Hurray if I like the movie, ho hum if I dont like it. I guess the biggest loser here is the one who made the movie, because their sales wont be as broad if it is available for everyone.

Scott's picture

In a word pointless. I could care less about 3D. I won't be purchasing or supporting the format. In addition, the movies that have focused on 3D appear to push special effects and action, rather that quality writing, acting and direction.

David Vaughn's picture

Shane,As long as the exclusives are for a short period of time, I don't think they'll kill the new format but if they last for say, 12 months, there's a problem. Avatar may be the one film that would make people want to jump to 3D and if it isn't available for a long time, that will certainly hurt adoption (although Panasonic will love it). David

Jacas Grant's picture

How do they expect 3d to excell with this kind of marketing.It really pisses me off.I was going to get a mitsubishi 3d ready dlp,but now im not sure.Now how many people hvae probably said the same thing all because you can't get a certain 3d movie unless you spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to buy ones product.They expect sales in this bad economy,they should be ashamed of themselves.

Jarod's picture

I am very excited for 3D. Because it is so early in the process of getting the format all lined out I plan to wait until next year to purchase a 3D HDTV. I love bleeding edge technology but I want to wait until the kinks are worked out. Hopefully by next year they will be or I will wait another year. I have demoed most of the 3D HDTVs that are available now and the set that looked the best, both 2D and 3D wise, is the Panasonic Plasma VT25. I plan to buy next years Panasonic plasma model that replaces the VT25. I do hope that Avatar and other 3D Bluray titles will be available for all to purchase by then.

David Vaughn's picture

Jarod,I agree the Panasonic VT25 is the best demo I've seen as well, but I'm waiting to see what front projectors are available. I should note that I'm not a huge fan of 3D, but I'm hoping the added oomph for the 3D processing will improve 2D performance.

Seth G.'s picture

All this hype around 3D! I really could care less at the moment. There is simply not enough content available right now to be so shortsighted as to be locking it up in exclusive deals. If you really like the 3D and want more unfortunately right now the majority of it coming you might want to buy is locked up in exclusive deals - which doesn't really help anyone. Manufacturers exclusive deals will only turn initial buyers off and frustrate them after the purchase. Which slows adoption, but I don't think Manufacturers care if they can find an angle to get you to buy their premium sets when the market is becoming increasingly commoditizied... though they are ultimately shooting themselves in the foot and slowing adoption

Mike's picture

First off, I see 3D as nothing but a gimmick. The industry needs a new one each year, as a way to convince us to upgrade more often.Next year, it'll be Glass-less 3D viewing. The following year it'll be Glass-less 1080p 3D viewing. Then I in a few years, I'm guessing it'll be 4X capability, which will mean another format war as well.I could care less about 3D. I'll admit it's kind of cool on some movies in the theater, but in my home, wearing glasses, cutting the HD in half, dimming all the colors, no way.And with the newly added exclusive's war, I refuse to buy into this crap. No more early adoption for me.One thing good has come from all of this. For those of us with No interest in 3D, this 3D war is helping to drop the prices of Non 3D sets. You can get a Great 55", led for under $2,000. That's pretty cool. By X-mas time, the prices on NON 3D sets should be very affordable.

kelsci's picture

You do not have "exclusives" on a fledgling format. I certainly would not buy just one brand of television just for one movie. And has Mike mentioned,drastic upgrades or improvements to this format may be made in the next few years. Of course if you have money to blow and want a bunch of 3-D sets in the house to play each variety of movie, fine with me, but you as a purchaser are just being suckered into this.

Shane's picture

There are some updates. Alice in Wonderland will apparently be made available in wide release in December in addition to being included in the Sony 3D Starter kit.Another point is raised in discussing the Panasonic VT25 series. In addition to being 3D capable, it's one of the best flat panel TVs you can buy, period. While it's more expensive than some it's hardly outrageous in price and is still vastly cheaper than the last generation of Pioneer KURO plasmas.It's possible if not likely that 3D will be a force in the market simply because the best flat panel HDTVs will have it.

jp's picture

Right now I could care less about 3D TV. The blu-ray demos that I have seen look like those old 3D paper pop-up books, especially Panasonic's demo of Italy and the train station.

Shane's picture

Some of the sequences on the demo discs are not full 1080p at each eye. If you really want to see 3D look at Monsters v. Aliens, Coraline, or any of the feature film clips that are guaranteed to be full 1080p.

John Nemesh's picture

You can get the "exclusive" movies from amazon.de. They are REGION FREE and in ENGLISH! Yes, they will cost a few more dollars, but if you really cant wait to see Alice in Wonderland, go buy it overseas and have it shipped over here!

Cal's picture

I can't understand why someone would buy a 3D TV for one movie. There are only a handful of 3D movies available, and you are going to limit yourself to one depending on the brand of TV you buy. Absolutely ridiculous! Personally, I don't care for 3D and will not be spending any of my money on it. But for people who are interested, they should wait at least another year or two until there is more content available.

Pure-Evil's picture

just another reason 3D will fail...and any idiot who BUYS a tv just to get the crap movie Avatar on BD 3D deserves what he/she gets.

JackDCD's picture

Shane,This is just great. 3D will fail and it will take forever to get past this. I'd rather see the studios concentrate on putting out better titles for release in BluRay then this 3D crap. Look it's cute...but really who wants to be yelling at their kids "Where are the glasses and when your watching sports, do you really have to have the player running right at you???I think not!

Lennykp's picture

Before there was bluray 3D spec at the begining of this year, computer animated movie "Caroline" was already release last year on bluray in 3D with the colour paper spectacles. What's the difference between the technology of this movie and the new 3D blurays? Can I watch this 3D "Caroline" on a 3D TV and 3D bluray players and get the same 3D effect?

Shane's picture

Lenny- our recent issues spell out the difference. The older Coraline was primitive anaglyph 3D with colored glasses. This process destroys color purity and provides a primitive 3D effect. The new 3DTVs and Blu-ray 3D discs and broadcasts use separate images flashed for each eye and active shutter glasses. The experience is night and day better than anaglyph, regardless of whether you're a 3D fan or not.

Doug's picture

Who cares? For the occasional movie that is well made and done specifically I'll go to the theater.

Shane's picture

Doug- I guess I do. Home theater to me has always been about replicating the theatrical experience at home. So eventually, for the movies that use 3D effectively I'll want that capability too.

JohnsonBrewer's picture

3D? I don't think so. I'm waiting to upgrade my early HP 37" ( which still looks great in 720p ) to a 1080p LED backlit set. Prices are going down on some rather large screen sizes -- 55"+. 3D in the home will soon go the way of the 50's 3D in theaters. Nope, no way, no how.

Justin's picture

I disagree with some here that 3D will fail. It's a technology that has its merits and when many of us are ready for an upgrade it will receive a fair hearing and probably a good amount of our home theater budgets. That said, it looks to me that far too many CE marketing people got their way with this whole 'bundled exclusives' nonsense. It screws the consumer in the short term -- but there's no way these shenanigans can persist without great detriment to the primary goal of selling 3D.