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Why People Should Stop Being Duped By the 3D Scam

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the go-holodeck-or-go-home dept.

Movies 394

Phoghat writes "The entertainment and electronics industries keep trying to push 3D on consumers, even though a lot of smart people have caught on to the fact that it is a scam and not innovation as the industry would like you to believe. From the article: 'This is a bad experiment that the industry is forcing consumers to subsidize. And since they can’t create a better product, they’ve simply latched on to 3D as a marketing ploy that the entertainment and electronics industries can use to trick people into thinking that they are getting a superior experience. It’s only working because just enough people are falling for the scam to keep it alive.'"

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394 comments

I have to nitpcik TFA: (4, Informative)

pecosdave (536896) | about 3 years ago | (#35914306)

1. The colors in Avatar most certainly were NOT muddled by any stretch of the imagination. I saw it in IMAX the first time I saw it, and my color vision is actually better than most mens, it's actually better than most womens. I have on the other hand been to theaters that poorly maintain their equipment (Deer Brook Mall)

2. The Toy Story movies, depending on your interpretaion were indded originally 3D models rendered for 2D viewing. The movies were "enhanced" in a few places, like Buzz's suit glowing in the dark, then RE-RENDERD for 3D use. This is VERY different than the not shot in 3D but shown that way anyways garbage like the less than stellar all all the way around Alice in Wonderland.

3. When I took my daughter to see the Toy Story movies it was a double feature, I didn't have to pay 3x2 like the author said I should, I paid 3x1.

4. The LED TV's the author is referencing are most likely LED back-lit LCD monitors unless they truly were OLED models (or similar) that you can only see at technology demo's and tech conferences because thay aren't for sale in anything bigger than a mobile phone right now.

All of that being said, I agree 3D is a bit gimmicky at times. I think it is an evolution of things that will probably stick around and continue to evolve (LG is now making 3D TV's with polarization instead of shutter glasses), but it's a technology in its infancy. I don't think the companies are pushing it too hard anymore, they were. I think it's going to be like color and LCD's were. At one time a lot of people thought of those as gimmicks, especially before the color standard was finalized (hint there were competing standards), not to mention remote controls, especially the wired ones (like we had for the BetaMax) or the actual audible clickers. Try to buy a brand new black and white TV without a remote control today. Certain gimmicks have a way to becoming permanent. This is one of them even if the current incarnation dies off.

(on a distantly related note I like to shatter the little worlds the WOW 3D VIDEO GAMES people live in by pointing out that nVidia has support the same basic shutter glasses tech on ALL 3D video games since abuot the mid 90's, with CRTs, the only difference was they had a wire)

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 3 years ago | (#35914310)

why is it even if I re-read what I wrote I don't find the spelling errors until after "submit", indeed originally 3D models, bleh

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

x*yy*x (2058140) | about 3 years ago | (#35914366)

I find it funny that the article calls it 'tricking' people into it. I sometimes play with my nvidia 3d set and I absolutely love the effect in some games (left4dead is a great example). It does trick my eyes into seeing the world in "3D" and makes the infected a lot more scarier. That's what I want, a trick or not.

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914408)

Obviously if you liked something that someone else didn't, it's because you were tricked into it. Haven't you ever been on the internet before?

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (2)

sammyF70 (1154563) | about 3 years ago | (#35914562)

There is a big difference between video games and movies though.
I used to play in 3D in the 90s (yeah .. the tech is THAT old, if not older), using modified directX drivers with wireless Asus shutter glasses, and I absolutely loved it (System Shock 2 or Thief in 3D were amazing), but in a video game, generally, YOU decide where to focus and the extra depth adds a great deal to the way you can apprehend your surroundings which can be virtually vital depending on the game.
In movies, the only thing it adds is a solitary *wow" when, once again, something is thrown or jumps at the camera, along with a lot of "wtf" moments when the director decided to use depth of field blur to force you to look at certain parts of the screen (Yes, Mr. Cameron, I'm looking at you!). Watch "Avatar", "Toy Story3", "Up" or any of the other recent "3D enhanced wow it's so cool" movies in 2D. The movies work as well, if not better (My vision is better than the rest of the universe, Pecosdave, and I *DID* see a loss of luminosity and colors in Avatar 3D when compared to the 2D version) ... Thus, 3D is nothing to kill a duck about, but if it's pushed enough it's a good way to have higher entry fees for movie theaters and sell more TVs, along with additional glasses.

Calling it a scam might be a bit too strong, but you might call it a marketing ploy to sell more shit to the masses, similar, in some ways, to "improved razorblades" or "washing powder" that apparently washes even whiter than their predecessors.

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

bami (1376931) | about 3 years ago | (#35914642)

I call it a scam just because they call it 3D when it's just stereoscopy.

Wake me up when we have hologram projections.

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | about 3 years ago | (#35914710)

apparently we have here [discovery.com] and here [seereal.com] . I'll give you that the first link is a blurry mess, and the second link doesn't even have any pictures, only some weird line art ;)

Focus Control (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 3 years ago | (#35914738)

but in a video game, generally, YOU decide where to focus

That's the problem with this 3D system. You generally cannot focus because your brain is telling you that an object is close to you but the actual image is at a fixed difference so, if you do focus up close everything gets blurry. The result is that you are constantly having to override the instinct that years of living in a real 3D world have given you. This is why people get headaches watching 3D films and I can only imagine it would be a lot worse for games.

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about 3 years ago | (#35914640)

Yes. In fact all 3D graphics cards are specifically optimized to enhance common ways of "tricking" you (whether displayed 2D or 3D). In fact -- that is all they do, they are not very good at generic 3D, they mostly do "tricks".

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

JamesP (688957) | about 3 years ago | (#35914394)

I agree

In the case of Toy Story the 3D information is already there, 2D is "the wrong way" to view it. (Of course movies have always been in 2D, so 3D is the 'odd man out')

Same thing as Avatar: it was from the ground up planned as a 3D movie.

Apart from that, yeah, 3D is a gimmick and spending money on a 3D TV is probably a good match your SACD player

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

rxan (1424721) | about 3 years ago | (#35914496)

3D can be more immersive than non-3D, especially for action/B/popcorn movies, and TFA completely misses this point. It may have some negative effects, but these will be minimized just like with any other evolving technology.

The major gripe seems to be that the movie industry will make us pay more for 3D. Meh. This was the case when movies went from mute->sound, B/W->colour, VHS->DVD, DVD->HD, not smelly->smelly vision. As a tech writer, he should already be comfortable with paying more for useless flashy features.

So yeah, another tech writer crying for attention

Forget cost, it's focus control (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 3 years ago | (#35914796)

It may have some negative effects, but these will be minimized just like with any other evolving technology.

This technology fools the eye into thinking that objects are close while the actual image is still distant. This means you have to override your brain's real 3D focusing instinct. The only way to solve this would be to keep all the objects at the same distance as the image...which would effectively result in something close to a 2D film again.

The other advances you mention we all real advances. There was no disadvantage to the new system other than the cost. This is not the case for 3D. As for people paying more for useless, flashy features I'm happy to let people do that. However I am not happy when you are forced to pay for flashy, useless features and have no option to avoid them...which is what happens when cinemas only show a film in 3D.

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914536)

i can see from x-ray all the way to microwave, and i don't like 3D vision systems.

so clearly they aren't good.

wait, maybe i'm talking out of my ass as well.

when i saw avatar i had to pay 9.6x3.4/17.2x6.415/root2 cubed.

until screens can cheaply and easily display 3d without glasses, it's just a fucking gimmick.
i'm not buying a dozen sets of glasses for when my friends come round to watch a movie, so (once again) until screens can support 3d natively, it is a gimmick. i've seen and used several 3d still cameras, and they aren't bad, but fuck wearing annoying headsets just to watch tv.

wow, i managed to spell.

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | about 3 years ago | (#35914660)

My vision is as good as the next guy's, but when I saw Avatar, although I thought the 3D effect 'cool' like most people, there was a small portion of my vision that was always on the periphery and which felt 'glassy' or 'haloed' as though a bit on each of the lenses was finely scratched or smeared with Vaseline. It was noticeable enough that I tried polishing the glasses on my shirt several times throughout the movie to no avail. It may have been a dud pair of glasses, and I have not seen a 3D film at the cinema since to compare, but it was an irritating distraction irrespective of its cause.

Re:I have to nitpcik TFA: (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 3 years ago | (#35914756)

I didn't even realize that the color muddling was a known issue with the polarized filter 3D technology, but as I sat in the theater I turned to my friends and said "this isn't nearly as vibrant as the trailer, stills, posters, etc." Then I read online after the fact that polarized filter 3D technology always mutes colors and there is nothing you can do about it. You can insist otherwise, but you're arguing against science.

That being said, I do disagree with the article that 3D is a scam. It is an advertised feature, that works as advertised for 98% of the population (they say 2% can't perceive the 3D effect properly). And you aren't being forced or duped into it. You can vote with your wallet to see 3D or 2D versions.

For my money, the best 3D film I've seen to date is Tron Legacy. The light cycles and such in 3D were amazing. I felt really immersed in the race when the glassy light trails were in 3D. And with a simplistic, dark palette to begin with, the color muting wasn't a huge deal. Though I just rewatched it in 2D on BluRay, and the colors did certainly pop more in that version.

Oh for goodness sake (5, Funny)

samael (12612) | about 3 years ago | (#35914316)

I think that by now people know whether they like 3D or not.

Personally, I do, and telling me that I'm being scammed for something that I actively enjoy isn't going to suddenly persuade me that I don't.

"Oh my, I hadn't realised, but the time when I was completely blown away by How To Train Your Dragon that I was being scammed. In retrospect I shouldn't have enjoyed it at all!"

If you don't enjoy movies in 3D then the simple answer is to not watch them. Telling other people that they're wrong to enjoy something isn't going to gain you anything.

Re:Oh for goodness sake (4, Informative)

pecosdave (536896) | about 3 years ago | (#35914392)

Not to mention most theaters have 2D showings of 3D films, all you have to do is watch for show times and pay attention to the descriptions. Or if you want to see it with people who want 3D there's always these things [time.com] .

Re:Oh for goodness sake (1)

samael (12612) | about 3 years ago | (#35914430)

I think that those glasses are a great idea.

Re:Oh for goodness sake (3, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about 3 years ago | (#35914652)

No, they are a horrible idea. They encourage people to spend money on 3D movies while avoiding the 3D.

Basically, every movie you watch while using those glasses is telling Hollywood that you are willing to pay for the 3D effect. When in actuality, you are willing to pay for the 3D effect to be removed.

A better idea is would be to ask the ticket clerk 'do you have a showing in 2D? No? Oh, well, we'll go somewhere else then. Bye.' Enough of those and it'll get reported to the manager. Enough of those and it'll get reported to the theater owner. Enough of those and it will get reported to the distributer. Enough of those and it'll get reported to the film studio. (Of course, the theater owner has long since been supplying the local demand for a 2D movie at that point.)

Then the'll stop making them, and you won't need those glasses.

Re:Oh for goodness sake (1)

samael (12612) | about 3 years ago | (#35914690)

I don't want the glasses. But if there's six of us going to a showing, five who want to see it in 3D and one who gets a headache from 3D, then the glasses are very useful.

Re:Oh for goodness sake (1)

John Bresnahan (638668) | about 3 years ago | (#35914620)

What a terrific idea! I have no interest in watching 3D movies (watching Avatar gave me the worst headache I've had in years), so if theaters start showing movies only in 3D, I'll have to get me a pair of these.

Re:Oh for goodness sake (3, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#35914472)

come back and tell us how much content you watch in 3d over the years and how many times you replay the few selected titles.

its about software. there is none, to speak of, in 3d.

deal ends there. if the software is not everywhere (its not) then its still just a novelty.

plus, selling the idea of wearing glasses when you already wear them - total non-starter for me. 100% non-starter.

the story is 80% of the movie. the visuals and sound the other 20%. I leave no room for 'stupid effects' as its already included in the visuals. 3d is just another way to try to pump more money in a creatively stale world.

Re:Oh for goodness sake (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about 3 years ago | (#35914666)

I think that by now people know whether they like 3D or not.

Yep. I love how the advertisement has been inversed now.
The new movie "Rio" from Disney, had on the poster: "Available in 2D in select cinemas".

It used to say 3D, THX or digital. Now 2D is a special feature for "select cinemas" :D

3D Thor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914318)

Not enough boobage - that's the scam!

Loop (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | about 3 years ago | (#35914322)

3d takes cinema by storm every time there is a sales lul. Wouldn't it be great if it stayed around as an optional form of TV on everyone's machine? I think the new high refresh Japanese televsions do this fine.

Titanic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914328)

I know you probably know this, but James Cameron is investing a lot of money to have Titanic converted to 3D. I wish he'd spend the money fixing the huge list of mistakes [paullee.com] instead.

Re:Titanic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914606)

I can't believe they used the wrong font on the "C" in Titanic!

Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

Re:Titanic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914624)

Personally, I think he's better off spending the money adding 3D if even 20% of the audience will like it, rather than on the <1% who actually give a shit about the nitpicky errors.

Re:Titanic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914742)

Wow, most historical movies have some inaccuracies, but I am amazed that Titanic only has such amazingly trivial details wrong.

"Jack and Rose's meander along the promenade is missing one small detail; as can be seen on the real Titanic, the vertical posts had small metal hooks to allow a metal line through to allow a horizontal "bar" along which a canvas screen could be affixed. "

Stop the film, the whole movie is a fraud! The metal hooks on the vertical posts were missing!

Avatar looked great (1)

wallyh010 (1736650) | about 3 years ago | (#35914330)

Call me a sucker, but Avatar looked pretty damn good to me.

Re:Avatar looked great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914346)

I missed out on the glasses, so my experience is probably closer to the DVD view-at-home experience.

It's not a scam if people like it (4, Insightful)

Zironic (1112127) | about 3 years ago | (#35914332)

The movie industry are selling entertainment, people pay for what they find entertaining, if they pay more money to watch the 3d version then the 2d version, then that means that they think that the 3d version is more entertaining.

Just because you don't like it doesn't mean that everyone else is getting scammed. (However it's worth noting that some movies are scamming in that they're doing really shitty 3D just to get the higher ticket price, but just like anything else shoveled out the door for a quick buck word catches on quick and their sales become abyssmal)

Re:It's not a scam if people like it (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about 3 years ago | (#35914378)

Here is the trick though. current 3D tech doesn't work for something like 15% of the population.

3D tech is like those magic pictures where if you stared hard enough you saw another picture. the problem is since they are optical illusions a lot of people see right through them.

Fake3D is just that Fake. it is an illusion trying to trick your simple mind into seeing things that just aren't there(depth).

i can see real depth just fine. broadcasting fake depth on a 2D surface is just play confusing for too many people.

Re:It's not a scam if people like it (4, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | about 3 years ago | (#35914492)

A very poor optical illusion, at that.

Having played 3D games back in the 90's, I knew exactly what to expect, and even then I was disappointed. The fact that so many 3D movies focus on special effects rather than immersion is a big part of that disappointment. Even in Tron Legacy, they had to do that one shot where some weapon jumps right at the viewer; idiotic pre-teen bullshit that only serves to give viewers headaches and insult their intellect. Actually, that entire movie was an insult to intellect, but I digress...

In comparison, 3D gaming is a lot more satisfying, because the entire scene is 3D, not just some director-focused gimmick in the background, and since you can adjust the depth effect, it is possible to dial it up to a more convincing level and really lose yourself in the scene. I don't think any of that is even possible in a movie theatre, not unless they start handing out active glasses with their own built-in LCD screens and per-user adjustments... but then it's just a bunch of cyborg weirdos in a dark room, paying too much for popcorn and soda.

Re:It's not a scam if people like it (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 3 years ago | (#35914530)

The current coherence of story telling due to modern design by committee script rewrites requires me to turn off my brain 85% of the time to enjoy a movie ... I make do, those 15% of the population you belong to can make do as well for stereoscopic movies.

Theaters should supply glasses which supply the same view to both eyes though.

Re:It's not a scam if people like it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914544)

Perhaps I am one of those 15% as "3D" just gives me a headache. It is annoying to watch as the colors seem to separate and blur the edges of everything and it all seems out of focus. After watching for awhile it is headache time. I refuse to go to them anymore; they are just terrible. I don't go to the theater as punishment, so 3D is out.

Re:It's not a scam if people like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914648)

> Here is the trick though. current 3D tech doesn't work for something like 15% of the population

And some fraction of the population is deaf. Or color blind. Yet we still have talkies in color.

The few rarely hold back the many in such matters.

the experiment with "talkies" has failed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914342)

Bring back black and white silent movies where actors had to entertain us with their nonverbal expressions, while the old guy entertained us with live piano music.

Re:the experiment with "talkies" has failed (4, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 3 years ago | (#35914508)

"Consumer"-types had as much vitriol in the 1950s, when they too insisted 3D was the Next Big Thing. Flopped then, too. Fake 3D doesn't work for everyone, and causes massive headaches. It is a scam, in that the companies pushing it know very well it will never be adopted on any meaningful scale. But they'll happily sell you expensive, jittery, eyestrain-inducing "3D" equipment, and you'll masquerade as an "early adopter" and be surprised when the "3D" titles remain rare and finally vanish for a few decades (again).

In case you haven't figured it ut yet, 3D is not at all in the same category as color or sound -- because actually we have very good tech for producing sound and color that work for everyone who can see and hear. Duh...

Re:the experiment with "talkies" has failed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914566)

All change is good change. Technology never makes a misstep. You can always make an improvement. Content producers and providers never push inferior products to prop up their revenue streams. People who question the usefulness of new (or not-so-new) technology are always luddites that want everyone to live in caves. Half-baked pseudo-3D is technically equivalent to the introduction of sound and colour.

Wow, this sarcasm thing sure is enjoyable!

Re:the experiment with "talkies" has failed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914574)

bring back idiots with pointless arguments. oh, wait, they're already here. do you use thalidomide? it's a huge advantage, until it turns out that it isn't.

They push 3D every 20 years or so... (3, Insightful)

slasher999 (513533) | about 3 years ago | (#35914348)

3D gets a push every couple of decades and can be likely traced back to popular stereoviews of the later half of the 19th century. It's a fad that hangs around for a year or two, then it's gone. The reason it goes away is because it's simply inconvenient compared to 2D movies and television. Glasses, special viewing angles, etc. are not something people are willing to commit to on a large scale just to watch a film or sitcom.

Re:They push 3D every 20 years or so... (2)

Jiro (131519) | about 3 years ago | (#35914404)

The reason it went away the other times is that the studios needed to go through too much effort to make it.and it couldn't make money except for the first couple of movies when everyone went to see it as a novelty.

This is no longer true; modern 3D movies use computers. The technology just wasn't around for the 50's or 80's fads.

Re:They push 3D every 20 years or so... (3, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | about 3 years ago | (#35914506)

Actually, the movies would probably be better if they DIDN'T use computers so extensively. Stereo video recording provides a much more realistic 3D experience than any digital editing (ab)used for campy effect.

It's entertainment. (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about 3 years ago | (#35914352)

It's entirely subjective. If people believe that they are getting a "superior experience" then they are. If you like it watch it. If you don't like it don't watch it. If many people like it there will be more of it. If not, then not.

Re:It's entertainment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914554)

Not entirely subjective:

The biggest problem with 3D, though, is the "convergence/focus" issue. A couple of the other issues -- darkness and "smallness" -- are at least theoretically solvable. But the deeper problem is that the audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen -- say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what.

But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before. All living things with eyes have always focussed and converged at the same point.

Entire article: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011/01/post_4.html

This is a deep problem, which no amount of technical tweaking can fix. Nothing will fix it short of producing true "holographic" images.

remember the HD bandwagon? (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 3 years ago | (#35914356)

someone marketed HD sunglasses around 2003:

http://consumerist.com/2009/09/hd-sunglasses-use-the-power-of-stupidity-to-increase-real-world-resolution.html [consumerist.com]

because, you know, we only saw the world in NTSC before HD, our European friends saw the world in PAL

so i'm just waiting for 3D sunglasses. because, you know, until "Avatar", the real world was 2D

Re:remember the HD bandwagon? (3, Interesting)

JimboFBX (1097277) | about 3 years ago | (#35914750)

Actually you could have 3d sunglasses - using mirrors to enhance your depth perception. The glasses would widen the distance between the eyes which in turn would exaggerate the perceived distance something is without having to rely on isometric visual cues. Such glasses could be really useful for games like baseball where a ball in flight has no isometric visual cues to help you determine it's speed/trajectory.

I've done some experimentation after playing games in 3d and found that my brain consistently underestimates the distance something is on pure depth alone.

*sigh* (5, Insightful)

ultramk (470198) | about 3 years ago | (#35914362)

Typical geek blither-blather. "I don't like it therefore everyone who does is an idiot who's being duped." Here on /. I've seen this argument used against: Apple, craft beer, very spicy chiles, tablets in general, 3d film and TV, hybrid cars, wind power, solar power, drug laws, Democrats, Republicans and organized sports.

Just accept that people like different things and move on. I realize this is a strain to the borderline Asbergers types who are rife around here, but come on. Sometimes there isn't a "right answer" for everyone.

Re:*sigh* (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 3 years ago | (#35914498)

I notice Microsoft wasn't on your list, not that I'm reading anything into that particular omission...

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914668)

Strangely enough, you just helped prove his actual point...

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914552)

I've seen this argument used against: Apple, craft beer, very spicy chiles, tablets in general, 3d film and TV, hybrid cars, wind power, solar power, drug laws, Democrats, Republicans and organized sports.

Don't forget religion, higher education, and voting. :-)

Re:*sigh* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914588)

drug laws

I'll concede some of your points, but not this one. Drug laws affect everyone. If drug laws were optional and applied only to members of the Republican or Democrat party (since both parties vote for those laws anyways), then it would be fine.

Re:*sigh* (1)

pommiekiwifruit (570416) | about 3 years ago | (#35914632)

Also, don't forget slashdot is a US based board so until a US marketing company got British people to design and Taiwanese people to build a mobile phone a couple of years back it was all the time "why on earth would people want to use a mobile phone? They will never take off! They are only used by yuppies and fancy pants foreigners. My 8KHz copper wire phone from Ma Bell has all the connectivity I would ever need". At least that trend seems to have stopped recently!

Re:*sigh* (1)

ultramk (470198) | about 3 years ago | (#35914722)

To which phone are you referring? I had a Motorola MicroTAC (which is pretty damn American) way way back in the early '90s, and the only people who were dismissive were those who hated the idea of being reachable 24/7. Most everyone else just lusted after it. Especially geeks, because it looked like a trek communicator.

Re:*sigh* (2)

maraist (68387) | about 3 years ago | (#35914680)

Actually - I think you're being short-sighted about this. It isn't that people prefer it or not.. It's that there are billions to be made, forcing people to re-purchase their $10,000 DVD action-movie library in blue-ray.. Another billion in repurchases of blue-ray-3D. So we needn't worry about us being 'duped' into these purchases, we need to instead worry about exclusivity. You like revenge of the nerds, but you don't subscribe to netflicks.. Sorry, only available purchase for you (5 years from now) is to buy the Blue-ray + DVD + digital-copy + 3D edition that also couples 5 editions.. Bundle cost - a BARGAIN at $30. Considering this is like a $2 marginal value - the frustration and impulse purchase made an incremental profit of $28 by throwing tons of 'perceived value' at the otherwise non-interested customer.

For example, I wanted mega-mind - and figured I might want to put it on my android so my daughter can watch it in the car.. But, unlike the 5 other DVD's I purchased with this combo, the ONLY one available to me on discount day (the day the DVD is released and thus sells for $8 under retail) was the full on 3D + Blue-ray + DVD + digital-copy.. It was only like $4 more, but I felt a certain anger that I was being force to subsidize this.

Part of the reason I personally have a problem with 3D.. It's speculated that it's bad for adults eyes, and very bad for children's eyes. Further my wife happens to not be able to see 3D - so it's actually a detriment for family viewing overall. Personally, in the theater I enjoy the 3D experience - but I'm almost never there by myself, so overall, I worry about the overall leaching of the lower class through malicious bundling and marketing.

Re:*sigh* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914698)

So what you are saying is that slashdot writers are hostile to stupid stuff.

Re:*sigh* (1)

Loosifur (954968) | about 3 years ago | (#35914736)

Actually, I think you have that mixed up. I believe he's saying that stupid slashdot writers are hostile to stuff.

Frankly, and not without reservations, I tend to agree.

Re:*sigh* (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 years ago | (#35914730)

Sometimes there isn't a "right answer" for everyone.

Agreed, but in some cases there is one answer, like with 3D. Its a scam, for everyone.

In the land of 3-D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914372)

... the one-eyed man claims scam!

I hate it when people overuse the word 'scam'! (2)

TheGodxxxx (1752138) | about 3 years ago | (#35914400)

It is by the very definition of the word scam not a scam! The industry offers u stereoscopic video and that is exactly what u get! And by the way, I for one really thinks that watching a movie in 3d can be a superior expirence. If u don't, go watch the 2d version!

Dangerous (1)

android.dreamer (1948792) | about 3 years ago | (#35914406)

I have a condition in which 3D puts me at risk for seizures. Even without my condition, 3D isn't exactly good for your eyes, especially long exposure. There were plenty of people who came out of Avatar nauseous or dizzy. If 3D doesn't bother you, then fine. But why won't I get to see Thor that won't be coming out in 2D in theaters?! Boo 3D!

This is journalism/blogging? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914410)

OP's point: if you don't like 3D don't watch it. Oh, OK. Thanks for that. Add a bunch of histrionics and you have his article.

Yep, I agree (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 3 years ago | (#35914440)

3D is just a scam, I didn't really watch Avatar in 3D and enjoy it far more than when I watched it in 2D, nope, that was all just part of my imagination.

Really, this is one of the more fucking retarded Slashdot stories I've seen in a while, the article can be summed up entirely as:

"3D is a scam, because I, Mr Random Nobody, says so. End of."

Sure 3D isn't brilliant everywhere, some attempts at it are pretty naff, sure sometimes it's misused, but so is audio particularly the likes of surround sound, so are special effects, so is colour. It's a tool, and like any tool, when used right, it can be pretty effective. But a scam? That's like saying a hammer is a scam because you can't screw screws into the wall with it when you try. It'd help if there was anything in the article other than his mere reiteration of his personal opinion that it's a scam and absolutely nothing more than that backing up his point.

The guy is a douche of the highest order, but the Slashdot editors moreso for letting such utter shite through. If someone is going to suggest something is a scam, they at least need to explain why. People spouting unfounded shite without an ounce of evidence to back up their point is what I expect from the comments, not the story... I know, I must be new here.

Re:Yep, I agree (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 3 years ago | (#35914590)

Opinions are like rectums: everyone has one, and usually they're full of crap.

Re:Yep, I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914718)

Actually, rectums are not usually full of crap; they act as temporary storage of fecal matter.

When the rectum is full, you'll feel the urge to defecate. For the majority of the day it's essentially empty.

I'm surprised that a farmer isn't more au fait with this kind of knowledge. I presume you're arable-only.

As Bill Maher Says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914452)

It’s only working because just enough people are falling for the scam to keep it alive

People are stupid.

And this whole "fire" thing... (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about 3 years ago | (#35914482)

Total hype. Nothing will ever replace raw meat right off the bone! You mark my words. Cave paintings and mammoth blood should be good enough for anyone!

Theory of Economic Selection (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 3 years ago | (#35914522)

"...just enough people are falling for the scam to keep it alive.'"

Free market capitalism FTW!

Re:Theory of Economic Selection (1)

euroq (1818100) | about 3 years ago | (#35914584)

Exactly. I'm not sure you were being serious or not, but if people are buying the 3D stuff then the market will continue to create it. Maybe it's just a fad, but I don't see the idea that it's being pushed on consumers who don't want it as being valid. Some people buy 3D TVs, and some people don't. So what? The article says "Avoid 3D wherever possible". Well guess what? Some people, like myself, already do! And if other people want to continue to see 3D movies, then let them.

Been there done that YMMV (5, Informative)

Sir_Kurt (92864) | about 3 years ago | (#35914542)

I have been into 3D photography since my Grandfather gave me his Realist Stereo camera sometime in the 1970's. I have added many other stereo/3D cameras to the mix since then. I also have a 3D slide projector that uses polarized light to separate the images, as well as an 1890s stereo card viewer.

3D has been really big since the 1890's.
3D was big in the 50's - both movies and photography
You could get 3D comics in the 60's
Disney has had 3D movies at least since the late 70's
Viewmaster has been around since -forever-
NASA has been taking 3D images also since -forever-
And lets not forget the hologram.

Bottom line however is that 3D is a novelty and will forever remain a novelty, because viewing a stereo image is a perceptual trick that gives our brains all the clues that we are viewing an image in 3D EXCEPT that you cannot shift your point of view as you can with a real image.

This combined with the inappropriate manipulation of the apparent interocular distance by the photographer and parallax problems and other off-axis viewing problems make viewing 3D images problematic for a lot of people. And they always will. You can't fix these problems although they can be somewhat mitigated if you know what you are doing.

I enjoy 3D movies because I have been into for a long time, know where to sit in the theater, (dead center vertically and horizontally) and know how to hold my head. (level, on axis and still)

So is it a marketing scam? Sure, yes it is. Arguably 2D is much better for most content and situations. Is it fun or informative. Yes, it can be.

Will I buy a 3D TV? No.
Kurt

Mod parent +5 informative (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | about 3 years ago | (#35914672)

Anybody with a modicum of photography history knowledge should know this already, but you're the first to write it so clearly. 3D is a fun novelty, and has a couple of useful applications (in map drawing). Pushing it in the general consumer market, on the other hand, is a scam.

Re:Been there done that YMMV (4, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about 3 years ago | (#35914734)

Will I buy a 3D TV? No.

Actually, you probably will. I don't like 3D movies and I ended up with a 3D capable TV just because most of the really good new TV's have this capability. If I could have bought the exact same model without 3D, I would have.

Not a 'scam' (3, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | about 3 years ago | (#35914546)

The effects are self-evident, there isn't some unfulfilled promise of what it is or some sort of placebo effect making people think things look different, it just is different. It's a feature that one can evaluate and decide for themselves what they think. I personally am waiting because I recognize the flaws in the current system and will see if they get better.

Now he does hit upon some points of interest:
-Adding 3D after the fact. For rendered movies, it's not too hard to do right (add 'camera' with offset, re-render), but live-action stuff is indeed awkward and I hear the biggest source of complaints about headaches.
-Less defined picture. With polarized lenses, this is true. You are effectively halving the resolution of the screen. On the other hand, shutter glasses will preserve the resolution at the expense of refresh rate, but that's compensated by 240 Hz displays. However I do find shutter glasses a tad awkward with the battery and cost. Instead of 1920x1080 displays with 240 Hz and shutter glasses, I'd prefer 1920x2160 with 120 Hz and polarized lenses (or double the column count).

However, his gripe about TVs supporting 3D is off the mark. A TV isn't magically 3D only if it has the *capability* of doing 3D. You can still do it fine and sometimes the requirements for 3D drive enhancements that up the quality standard for 2D viewing. An exception to this could be auto-stereoscopic displays, which would cause me concern depending on how much resolution they provide.

Cleopatra The Musical in 3D (3, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | about 3 years ago | (#35914560)

Steven Soderbergh's new musical version of Cleopatra proves an incredible box-office same-old same-old. Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as the fishnet-clad vaudeville jazz empress and Hugh Jackman as the mutant self-healing Roman general — in 3-D! —the film carries the Ocean's Eleven franchise somewhere beyond its ultimate extent.

"I've always wanted to do a musical," Soderbergh said. "All the ones that were coming along just weren't for me. This one, however, involved dumptrucks full of money backed up to my house."

And All That Cleopatra — In 3-D! opens with Pompey (Richard Gere) coming to Egypt to recruit Cleopatra to the cause ("Mister Cellophane"). Antony leaves Cleopatra to go back to Rome and not shag Octavia (Anna Paquin) ("Funny Honey"). Cleopatra, furious at the news, kills Richard Gere — in 3-D! — because, frankly, he deserves it ("All I Care About"). Meanwhile, Antony, having first conspired with Octavius (Magneto), falls out with him and uses Cerebro to take control of the western third of the Roman Empire with Cleopatra — in 3-D! ("Cell Block Tango")

Antony. "But Octavius knows about Cerebro?!"

Caesar. "Of course, Antony. I helped him build it."

In a 3-D musical tour-de-force, Caesar (Patrick Stewart) dies at the Senate at the hands of Brutus (Popeye) (“We Both Reached For The Gun"), Cleopatra fakes her death to get Antony to like her (";Razzle Dazzle"), Antony fakes faking his death to get over Cleopatra and dies in her arms ("I Can't Do It Alone" — with zither solo on Jackman's adamantium claws) and Cleopatra dies of an aspidistra ("I Move On"). All die. Oh! the embarrassment.

This ending having been rejected by test audiences, a finale is tacked on with one thousand Agent Smiths engaging in CGI sword-fu — in 3-D! — while Brad Pitt gets out of the casino with his haul intact. Since this makes no sense even to the drooling lackwits they manage to find for test audiences, Cleopatra starts a new 3-D vaudeville jazz act with Octavia which is vastly successful ("And All That Jazz"). A happy ending!

Soderbergh pooh-poohed suggestions that the film would be some sort of low-rent exploitation quickie that would insult the intelligence of any creature smarter than a flatworm. "I can assure you this will be the most artistically satisfying creation in my entire career as a director," he said, lighting a cigar off a hundred-dollar bill before laying back on a great big bed made of money.

"DUMPTRUCKS!" Soderbergh emphasised. "FULL OF MONEY! BACKED UP TO MY HOUSE!"

A troubling soundbite in TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914576)

It’s only working because just enough people are falling for the scam to keep it alive.

Oh, nothing to see here, move along.
We'll easily "kill" it the same way we eliminated SPAM decades ago.

Not to point out the obvious but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914596)

If this author wants good 3D, it's called the Broadway theater show.

ROFL (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 3 years ago | (#35914598)

I think it's hilarious how much hate I see for 3D stuff here on Slashdot...

I wasn't around for the silent vs. talky motion picture transition... Or the mono vs. stereo music recording transition... But I have to assume there were similar arguments being made.

It's a new technology. There are some bugs to be worked out. There aren't a whole lot of standards and interoperability yet. It is being used in some places purely as a gimmick. But that doesn't mean it's all a scam.

When I go to the movies with folks they don't generally talk about whether a movie was 3D or not - they talk about whether it was good or not. There are good movies in 3D, and there are bad movies in 3D.

Is this really important? (2)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about 3 years ago | (#35914618)

Of course the movie industry tries to claim this is innovation. Lots of other industries do the same sort of thing. That doesn't make it right, just reality.

The real question is, are they pushing something consumers like and want, or are they just pushing another wet noodle, like Blue Ray? Let people make their own choice, which will help decide if 3d movies are around to stay this time, or if they die out as they did in the 1950s, when the technology just wasn't quite there.

I liked 3D in the 1950s, and I like it even better now, with some of the bugs worked out. I hope it stays, but if it does or doesn't, the world won't end. At least, not from the presence or absence of 3D.

new things bad (1)

fermion (181285) | about 3 years ago | (#35914622)

I wonder if people complained about talkies. You that the well made one often had intense action sequences, followed by cards that had to be read. This, IMHO, let the audience process without the need of artificial filler like we see in talkies. I mean the gratuitous panoramic or fake banter.

Same thing with black and white. Color was not needed in these flicks. All good movies present a selected slice of the world, and this slice was simply without color. Color in many moves provides a crutch for filmmakers who are incompetent. Put in some vibrant color and no one notices that the movie sucks.

To me there are two things that people have to realize. The first is that in good art, the medium and the product are fused. In other words, the way the art is going to be presented in an integral part of the process. Sometimes the product can be adjusted, but very often that adjustment will degrade the product. At the very least the new product will be a disappointment to those who have seen it before and are expecting a similar experience.

The second is that consumers get accustomed to a certain presentation style. Someone who has only seen Toy Story in 3D may be disappointed with the original version even though it may be inferior. A person who is used the minimimal instrumentation of Rap may not tolerate the over production of classical. A person who like the production value of Hip Hop may not like the old school Rap. People who are used to the immersive experience of video games may not tolerate the relative flatness and lack of interactivity of movies.

why not 6 dimensions? 36? 256 exponentiated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914658)

why so stingy? keep the riffraff down? we're certainly doing a great job taking care of this one? good thing there's more than we know about almost everything. like how many monkeys it takes to screw in a light bulb. what's a 'good' # for the planet's total population, in any given century? are all of the other billions of dimensions all so tiny, stingy & so almost ruined, like ours? no wonder we may need more than before. couldn't god's chosen ones pick their favorite dimension, then all of us unchosens, queers, non-god religions etc.., could each get to choose (finally) from the remaining possibly less perfect dimensions, which would be much better than being exterminated by our own, our rulers' & earth bound deities excesses & regresses, in this dimension?

The big problems with 3D (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 3 years ago | (#35914662)

1.Finding a 2D session can be hard. I live in a major Australian state capital city with at least 14 different multiplexes (each having at least 4 screens) and there was ONE session of Thor in 2D anywhere in the city that was at a time suitable to me (and this was on opening day, the rest of the week wasnt any better). It was in the crappiest theater in the place too. No problems finding a 3D session at all times of the day.

2.Far too many "3D" films (including Thor) are really 2D films converted into "3D" in post processing with digital effects so the studio can make more money. The ONLY 3D films that work are live-action films shot in 3D (e.g. Avatar) or CGI films rendered with proper left and right eye frames. Yet the industry continues to spend this big bucks on these crappy "3D" conversions just so they can make more money on ticket sales.

and 3.I have eye problems that prevent me from viewing 3D films properly. I am sure I am not the only one who has problems with 3D (eye problems, headaches, issues with the 3D glasses not working alongside their regular glasses etc).yet the industry continues to (per point #1) make it hard for those who can't view 3D films to enjoy the films they like and want to see. Eventually, it will be to the point where there is no 2D version at all or where a suitable 2D session is not available anywhere convenient. This will lead to me not seeing the film in the theater at all but instead either pirating it or waiting for the DVD.

As for 3DTVs, the biggest problem is that the industry cant agree on a spec for the active-shutter 3D glasses. 3DTVs that work like movie theaters (including home theater projectors) do exist but they cost a fortune and no-one is really seriously exploring that avenue or trying to bring them mainstream/bring the cost down.

There is also a complete lack of 3D content for these 3DTVs unless you count a handful of 3D blu-ray disks, a few 3D PS3 games and some sporting matches.

3D Blu-Ray is also destined to fail thanks to the stupid decisions by studios to make certain films exclusive to certain TV manufacturers (Avatar being the most notable example). If the studios released every single piece of 3D content they have as a full release for everyone to buy then there would be more reasons to buy 3D kit (leading to more sales of 3D content)

Converting existing 2D movies... (1)

John Bresnahan (638668) | about 3 years ago | (#35914678)

Now that they can convert existing 2D movies into "3D", I'm eagerly waiting for someone to convert my favorite movie into "3D": "My Dinner with Andre".

i love these topics. (0)

yodleboy (982200) | about 3 years ago | (#35914692)

gotta love these topics. full of posts that basically boil down to:

"I'm too cool for 3d, i won't come out and say it, but i'm a snob and look down my nose at the masses seeing jackass 2 in 3d, REAL connoisseurs see it in 2d"
"5/10/15% of people can't see it, so it's a scam, the rest of you are out of luck, stop the cameras now"
"I'm cheap, yet I ignore the 2d version playing in the same theater so I can complain about 3d (that I won't see) costing me more."
"Get off my lawn"

We get it already. Hey if it's not for you, then don't see it. No one is twisting your arm and making you see a 3d movie or buy 3d hardware for home use. Yeah it can be gimmicky, but it can be amazing too.

Hah! (1)

Retron (577778) | about 3 years ago | (#35914708)

LOL at that rant.

The technology is nothing new, of course (I still have a Pentium3 PC from 1999, set up with a GeForce2 GTS (purchased in 2000), 120Hz 17" CRT and tethered, active 3D glasses). Exactly the same technology as used today was available over a decade ago, it's just that it was quite expensive and back then it didn't take off. I still remember playing Quake 2 and Black and White using that 3D setup and yes - it was very impressive.

11 years on and I have a 3DS. I've taken pictures of wolves at a wildlife centre with it and the 3D effects really work. They also work on that same old PC, which I fired up for testing. I've taken the 3DS into work and yes, most people can see the 3D effect (and seem quite impressed by it too).

It's not a scam at all, it really works and - over a decade since it appeared for PCs - it seems to have caught the attention of the mainstream rather than nerds like me with a fancy graphics card. I'm sure the author of that article will have a great time sulking while the rest of the world enjoys the 3D bonanza we're currently experiencing.

Citizen Kane: Colorized and in 3-D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35914740)

What more needs to be said....

But it's not 3D (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 3 years ago | (#35914792)

Maybe they should just stop calling it "3D" - it is 2D with simulated 3D.

If it were truly 3D, there would be real depth of field that our eyes would have to focus to.

True 3D is years away (if it's coming at all -- holographic viewers?), but when it comes it should take care of everyone's 3D complaints. Well, except for the complaint that filmmakers make 3D a central element of the film rather than the storyline.

Easy Fix (1)

merky1 (83978) | about 3 years ago | (#35914798)

Don't like 3D, wait for the blu-ray. Added advantages, thousands of dollars saved on concessions.

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