Sales Get Failing Grade, So Far

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New York — A big fat D. That’s the grade given to the rollout of 3DTV by Tom Galanis, operations vice president for Sixth Avenue Electronics.

In a wide-ranging interview conducted by TWICE executive editor
Greg Tarr at NewBay Media’s “3DTV 2011: What’s Next?” conference
here on Nov. 18, Galanis was blunt in describing 3D’s introduction to
the public. “As an industry, we could have done a better job launching it,”
he said. “We should have had standardized glasses and we should have
presented it to the consumer as a feature of a higher-quality television.”

Galanis described 3DTV sales forecasts of 3 million to 5 million sets
for 2011 as a little high. He said stores with a trained sales staff , like Sixth
Avenue, are better-positioned to sell 3DTV, due to its complicated nature,
which includes explaining why a buyer should spend more on the

This includes the active-matrix glasses required by many models,
which Galanis pointed to as the primary stumbling block. Pricing for
the product is well above what the average consumer is willing to pay,
he said.

“I think $50 to $60 is what people are willing to spend, and aftermarket
[glasses] sales are not going well. People are only taking the bundled
glasses,” he said.

There were a few bright points. Galanis said the average selling price
of a 3DTV is around $1,700, compared with $1,000 for a standard set.
And consumers also have not expressed worry over health issues — like
headaches and seizures — that have surrounded 3D.

Doug Olenick is Web editor/senior editor, computer technology, at