3D TVs: Will the royal wedding spur sales?

When Prince William and Kate Middleton exchange vows in April, the ceremony may be broadcast in 3D. Will viewers invest in new TVs to see the ring pop out of their screens?

Can't attend the Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding? Try a $3,000 3D television and bring the royalty in to your living room.
(Image credit: Corbis)

Given global interest in 2011's royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, Rupert Murdoch's British satellite TV provider BSkyB is considering broadcasting the ceremony to international viewers in 3D. There's good reason to expect a huge TV audience — more than 750 million worldwide tuned in to see William's parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, tie the knot in 1981, and many in England bought their first TVs to watch Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. So far, sales of 3D sets have been slow, but could a royal wedding jump-start the new technology?

Definitely: This could be just the "stimulus the industry needs," says Lewis Simpson in Good 3D TV. Companies that "have heavily invested themselves" in 3D TV technology, such as Samsung, LG, and Sony, must be salivating at the chance to show off the technology to throngs of royal watchers all over the world. Of course, the price will still give people pause — a 46-inch, LED 3D set costs around $3,000, compared to $1,200 for a high-definition TV.

"Could the royal wedding boost 3D TV sales?"

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Doubtful: It's a bit of a stretch to expect people to ditch their old TVs, says Glen Levy in Time, so they can feel like Prince William's "tears of joy" are falling in their own living rooms. More realistically, "the royal wedding will help drive sales of High Definition sets, which have been on the rise in recent years," thanks in part to Rupert Murdoch's decision to air nearly every Sky TV sports event and movie in HD.

"Coming to a TV near you: The royal wedding in 3D?"

Don't discount the possibility: Many people have never watched 3D TV, says Lisa Jaklitsch in Gather. But, with the technology already in use to broadcast soccer games, concerts, and tennis matches, "it probably won't be too much longer before most people have a 3D television of their own." And "the first royal wedding of our multimedia age" could push things along, at least to some degree.

"3D William Kate wedding broadcast — royal wedding broadcast in 3D — get out those glasses"

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