Is It Time to Invest in 3-D Television?

| About: AT&T Inc. (T)
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This earlier post looked at when consumers might want to buy 3-D TV sets. Now, let’s look at opportunities for investors.

We’ll all eventually be watching some form of 3-D television at home [but for] now look at 3-D television as a technology of tomorrow that still needs a few years of baking before it’s fully ready for mass consumption,

says technology and media analyst Carmi Levy

For one thing, Levy says most

consumers have just completed the transition to HDTV flat panels. They don’t necessarily relish the prospect of doing it all again, and will wait until things settle down and the future path of 3-D TV is more known.

Nevertheless, over the longer run, there “is no significant hurdle for mass distribution of 3-D content,” argues a UBS Securities investment research team in a recent report, 3-D TV is here to stay.

Prices will come down further.

3-D TV sets will be sold at the same price as their 2-D equivalent; the only extra cost for the consumer would be the 3-D view glasses. Dual 2-D/3-D TV will eventually replace 2-D during the normal replacement cycle.

Judging from the amount of resources invested in 3-D, Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) may, in time, emerge as a main beneficiary. The company is betting big, not only on the hardware but also in content distribution and the equipment required for producing 3-D entertainment. And its dominance in console games may help: PlayStation sets will give avid gamers a reason to buy Sony sets and this could help with establishing early-mover status.

If there are any investing opportunities at the moment, it might be DirecTV Group (NYSE:DTV): in June, DirecTV is expected to begin offering three 3-D channels to subscribers. “The pay-TV industry would be the main beneficiary,” declares the UBS report. “They should enjoy a boost in average revenue per user (ARPU).”