3D was one of the major buzzes at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, thanks in no small part to the wild success of the movie “Avatar,” which has sparked a wave of demand for 3D content in the home. In fact, 3D is the cream at the top of the home electronics revolution that will redefine what constitutes a home theater that also includes next-generation Blu-ray players, such as Samsung’s new HT-C6730W, which received a CES “Best of Innovations 2010” award and features Internet connectivity and true 1080p resolution. Both technologies gained relatively fast traction in the consumer market—Blu-ray is expected to capture nearly 30 percent of the video player market share for 2010 and garner $14 billion in sales, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. As a result, some builders will need to reconsider what constitutes a home theater going forward.
Jeff Click, president of Jeff Click Homes, a boutique production builder in Oklahoma City who uses technology extensively in his homes, says that new entertainment platforms are already influencing his designs: His newest model home’s media room is designed with enough space to swing a Wii remote or flail a controller for the video game “Guitar Hero.” “I’m curious to see how 3D is going to further change how we design entertainment spaces in homes,” he says. “Will we need to accommodate that third dimension?”
3D may seem like a novelty now, but television makers are betting heavily on it. Samsung predicts that 10 percent to 14 percent of the roughly 35 million TVs sold in the U.S. this year will be 3D-capable, mostly in the high-end of the product range. LG will introduce 47-inch and 55-inch flat-panel TVs with 3D capabilities in May. Both companies plan to sell 3D Blu-ray disc players later in the year.
Click notes how the flat-panel display changed the game for builders. “It liberated design because it freed up so much space,” he explains. “3D might be the next phase of home design and how we market that change.”