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3D Televisions: What They Are, and if They’re Worth the Cost

As if there weren’t enough options and features available in the television industry today, now many manufacturers have produced 3-D televisions that allow viewers to watch 3-D content in the comfort of their own homes. You will need special 3-D glasses to view the content, so depending on how many people are in your household, you could end up spending quite a bit of money on extra glasses. Many of the larger TV manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic, are manufacturing 3-D HDTVs, and you can demo them at many electronics stores. You’ll most likely be impressed when you demo the equipment as the 3-D adds depth and makes you feel like you are a part of the movie. It’s without a doubt that these televisions are fascinating, but you’ll have to determine if they are really worth the expense. A 55-inch 3-D television will easily set you back nearly $2,000 right now… and you’ll still need to get a 3-D Blu-ray and some extra glasses!

If you are ready to enjoy 3-D movies at home, there are several models of 3-D TVs to consider. It’s important to realize that there are a few different technologies, so you’ll want to check out some demos to determine which technology you like best. There are several things to consider before making your purchase.


There are several different 3-D technologies currently being used in 3-D television sets. Some of these technologies require the use of expensive, battery-operated glasses, while others use less-expensive glasses similar to those used at movie theaters. If you buy a 3-D television now, you may end up selecting one of the technologies that will eventually become obsolete. While your television will still work, you may have difficulty purchasing additional glasses in the future.

3-D Programming Availability

When the first 3-D televisions went on sale, there were only a handful of 3-D Blu-ray discs available. Today, there are quite a few titles available on Blu-ray as well as some 3-D television programming on select networks. While more and more 3-D content is being released on a regular basis, you will still be watching the majority of your programming in 2-D for quite a while.


You’ll spend approximately $1,000 more for a 3-D television than you’d pay for a comparable 2-D TV. Additionally, a 3-D Blu-ray player costs about $400 and glasses cost about $150 per pair. Typically, only one pair is included with the television, so outfitting a family of four will cost an additional $450 in glasses alone. Many of the glasses are battery-operated, which means you could have to replace rechargeable batteries at some point as well. Televisions that use the less-expensive glasses are typically more expensive than those that use the battery-powered glasses. You’ll have to determine whether the added television cost is worth it based on how many pairs of glasses you need.

What’s the bottom line? 3-D televisions are certainly exciting… But are they really worth the added value? Before you even consider buying one, make sure you spend plenty of time trying one out in the store. Is it something you’d seriously like to invest in, or does it feel more like a novelty? Try it out and decide if the 3-D experience is really worth the $3000 – $4000 price tag. Also, keep in mind that glasses-free 3-D is right around the corner, too – but that’s a different article altogether.  With that in mind, if you’re not someone that needs the latest-and-greatest product, it may be best to wait until the technology goes down in price.

~ Chad Stetson