I would predict that 3D will gain some followers when it enables something that is not otherwise possible. The first time that 3D imaging makes it possible to understand how someone won when they appeared to have lost or it enables the creation of a virtual reality from the player's viewpoint that was otherwise impossible to achieve, there will be interest in the technology. As it is, the technology adds cost and technical baggage without a quantum step of payback to the consumer.
That sounds much better than the experience I've had with NBC in the United States. I did use my iPad and HDTV to watch the game simultaneously, but coordinating the two (looking for deeper information while watching the game, for example) was an arduous task.
I mostly watched different sports on two screens as two separate experiences.
I vouch for that. I found the BBC IPlayer service a joy to use: All live and past events at your fingertip with a rich set of search and customisation capabilities and supporting information e.g. you could be watching a boxing bout and you want to know more about the boxers involved, you just click on the side and ooops, the boxers' bios are shown. Marvellous!
PS. I hear all content will remain online until early next year! It's free to access for people living in the UK (well, we pay for it through our licence fee!). Folks outside the UK can subscribe for a (small) fee.
"..I have never seen a single example of consumer demand for 3DTV."
Let me give you a single example - myself. I'm sure I an mot the only one.
I have been a still stereo photographer for many years, using film.
I have been following digital stereo technology technology since I saw a Tektronix stereo monitor with LC shutter glasses some 20 years ago.
I have yet to purchase a stereo digicam or monitor or TV because current offerings are either too expensive or not good enough or not standard enough. And I am still looking for software to convert my stereo film photos to compatible stereo digital files and continue my still stereo photography in digital form.
That is, I have a strong consumer demand, but there is a lack of satisfactory supply.
As to the glasses issue, I have checked out the 3D TVs that do not require glasses, and the image quality is just not good enough. I demand excellent image quality, and AFAIK LC shutter glasses is the only way to get it. I am willing to wear glasses to get good image quality.
As to resolution, I love my HDTV, both cable and broadcast. It is so much much better than SDTV. As screen sizes increase there is an argument for a higher resolution. Given the cost/benefit trade-off, I would prefer 4K (8 MPix) for consumer use, and leave 8K (32MPix) for movie theaters.
As a first order of magnitude estimate, you can assume that 20/20 human vision is capable of resolving detail down to approximately 1 or 1 1/2 minutes of arc. This first order estimate suggests that HDTV screens are "good enough" if viewed at approximately a distance of three picture heights.
So for most living rooms, and even relatively large sets, 1080p ain't half bad. However, that is a first order estimate, and the human eye-brain system can get exceedingly clever about detail perception. So I'll grant that there might yet be something cool about UHDTV in homes.
Yes, I'm well aware how stereo vision or audio work.
This is the scheme I'm referring to:
I watched some Olympic events here in the UK both in UHDTV and 3D and I have to say that I was blown away!! It was as if I were right by the athletes' side, simply stunning!
Although UHDTV with passive 3D was not bad at all, Active 3D was a much better experience to me. I believe this technology will catch on in the near future.