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Makers Keep Flogging 3D TV, Viewers Keep Shrugging

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-it's-got-three-dee! dept.

Television 457

A Wired article (as carried by CNN) attempts to answer the question of why 3D television hasn't caught on. The reasons listed there (high price, paltry content, the need for 3D glasses for typical sets, headaches and strain) all seem to be on the money, in themselves, but I think don't go far enough. 3D on a set small enough for home use outside a high-end home-theater rig seems to me like a clever novelty that I can't even enjoy unless I've given it my full attention. It's nothing like the jump from black-and-white to color, or even the jump from my old (circa 1993) 19" Trinitron to a flat-panel display. On the big screen, it's another story — there, 3D can be arresting and involving, even when it's exaggerated (and it is). On home sets, even quite large ones, to my eye 3D usually looks phony and out of place. Never mind that the content is limited and often expensive, or that there are competing standards for expensive glasses to wear — I just don't like that the commitment is greater than that required for casual, conventional TV; I can't readily scan email, skim through a magazine, or keep watching out the corner of my eye from another room. (I'm hoping to find some actually watchable no-glasses 3D sets at CES next week, but I'm skeptical.)

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scam (4, Insightful)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600508)

3D tv is just a scam. tried every 20-30 years and they just don't learn...

Re:scam (0)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600976)

For a scam it seems to work pretty well for me. Will work even better once I buy good tunable glasses instead of the cheapos I started with. That and SimulView is also a feature I will definitely use at my friends house once he gets his setup straight.

I don't know what industry forces are behind the persistant stream of articles declaring 3DTV dead, what will 3D televisions actually having decent market penetration. It's either payola, or just journalists who personally resent being among the minority which it gives headaches to.

Re:scam (2)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601218)

If it is having 'deep market penetration' as you say, it has got to be because you can't seem to buy a new quality tv today that doesn't have 3d capabilities in it.

Re:scam (1)

garrettg84 (1826802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601274)

The most recent 3d movie I went to I got projectile puked on by an idiot 3 rows back that could vomit on the floor. I haven't been to a 3d movie since and have no desire to put people through similar feelings in my own home. FWIW: I have an irrational fear of puke and this makes it 100x worse.

Re:scam (3, Informative)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600980)

It does make football marginally more enjoyable, but that's the only thing I've seen it be an improvement with. So, not totally a scam, but not worth much value at this time.

note: I have one, not for that feature, but for the other features it has.

Re:scam (5, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601012)

3D tv is just a scam. tried every 20-30 years and they just don't learn...

No, AFAIK this is the third time they've tried it with movies ('50s, early '80s, present day), but only the first they've tried it seriously with television.

(Not counting sporadic special events and gimmick fests that require special glasses and have limitations, but work with an ordinary TV, and hence would not be much use for getting people to buy a new one!)

Coincidentally, I just overhead my boss this afternoon telling a customer that he doesn't have much use for the expensive 3D television he bought last year, and even admitting that it was a "gimmick". No big surprise, he was never even into TV that much in the first place, but likes his boys toys until he gets bored of them... which is pretty much as soon as he gets them :-).

Re:scam (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601332)

3D tv is just a scam. tried every 20-30 years and they just don't learn...

Are we to understand you did not see the extravaganza, which was Avatar?

The current means of performing 3D is far and above previous technology and produced a rich viewing experience - granted this is largely due to director and technical crew having a clear idea of what they were about. Being able to view a movie at home with such results would be wonderful, but there are two main pitfalls...

Technology of the displays at an available price-point to consumers - the big screens I've seen so far aren't as good as the theatre experience, but I expect they will get there fairly soon.

Understanding 3D and using it effectively - for sports this is easy enough, but for movies/TV, there's far and away too many directors, writers, technical people who are versed in 2D to fully grasp using 3D to its potential and, like Steven Spielberg, go for the "WOW!" scene.

1993 years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600538)

That would be Jesus' miracles, not TV.

Re:1993 years ago? (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600660)

He came not to bring peace, but to write a bad review of those TVs on Amazon.

Err (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600546)

3D TV didnt catch on because its pathetic bling. Its flashy crap to hide the fact they didn't bother to hire writers or decent actors.
Making things louder & flashier is NOT better.

Re:Err (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600612)

Then you are just living under a rock. Louder, Flashier, Bling wins mass over subtle, thoughtful products. Do not underestimate the power of PR, marketing and advertisements. Just look at what MTV did to music.

Re:Err (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38601114)

Just look at what MTV did to music.

OK, just what the heck does MTV have to do with music?

Re:Err (5, Insightful)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601192)

It is not catching on because makers haven't figure it out yet. Here is the deal. Most people that watch tv donâ(TM)t' want a interactive experience. They don't want to strap on crappy do-dads or watch complex things where they have to pick and choose a path or answer questions.

People sit down in front of a tv to be mindlessly entertained. Something a standard 2d tv does just fine.

You want a interactive video experience play your Xbox. Want to be educated, read a book.

I will never adopt 3D (5, Insightful)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600552)

I hate having to wear glasses just to watch something. More so, it looks and feels like a gimmick.

Re:I will never adopt 3D (2)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600636)

Makers are looking to hop on the next big thing, afraid to miss out. They just don't realize this is a boat that just won't sail.

Re:I will never adopt 3D (4, Informative)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600738)

I hate having to wear glasses just to watch something. More so, it looks and feels like a gimmick.

Gimmick aside, the glasses aren't necessarily requisite. [wikipedia.org]

Re:I will never adopt 3D (4, Insightful)

jelwell (2152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601102)

I hate having to wear glasses just to watch something. More so, it looks and feels like a gimmick.

Can you imagine if you had to wear glasses every minute of your waking life? Those people with bad eyesight must think the whole world is a gimmick!
Joseph Elwell.

Some of us... (4, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601180)

Some of us paid thousands of dollars on LASIK surgery specifically for the purpose of not having to wear glasses. I'm not about to pay thousands more so that I can again.

Re:Some of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38601224)

Some of us paid thousands of dollars on LASIK surgery specifically for the purpose of not having to wear glasses.

I'd be interested in hearing how that works out say 20, 30 years from now. In the meantime, contacts or glasses will suffice for me.

Re:Some of us... (0)

fizzup (788545) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601360)

LASIK is a gimmick...

Re:I will never adopt 3D (5, Informative)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601320)

Wearing prescription glasses is one thing. Wearing 3D OVER my prescription glasses is another. Not going to happen!

Million dollar idea for someone: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600558)

3D contact lenses.

Re:Million dollar idea for someone: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600664)

If by "million dollar idea" you mean terrible terrible idea, then yes, that is a multi million dollar idea. People with contacts need their actual prescription contacts that allow them to see, and probably aren't going to want to change contacts to watch a movie, if they could somehow get prescription 3D contacts. People who don't normally wear contacts are probably not real comfortable shoving things into their own eyes.

Why? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600566)

Easily 30% of people can't view 3d tv for one reason or another. Headaches. Doesn't work. Ect.

Most of the 3d shit needs glasses of some sort. And alot of people already wear glasses. Doesn't work. Plus you have to have enough of them for everyone who wants to view 3dtv.

We JUST got done upgrading to hdtv, digital and flatscreens all over the freakin country. And most of us feel that was stupid anyway. But it was all we could buy when our old tvs finally died.

And we found out all our tvs don't work with the cable/sat systems directly and we need another stupid little box sitting there. So we all spent all this money on what is pretty much a damm monitor. And paid a premium to do it.

3d all seems to come down to 'ooo look! object comming right at you!' It's not natural. They use it instead of a good story. And not in addition to.

Who the hell wants 3d tv. Not me.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600694)

I like 3D for some stuff. Crowd scenes and other chaotic stuff can look great on it. Big cars exploding out of the screen is just trashy, though. There's some beautiful underwater documentary I saw - swarms of hammerheads swimming past in 3D is very very cool.

The thing is, people know that the price will drop, the glasses will become lighter (and probably incompatible with old 3D TVs), and the new ones won't give you headaches. There's only a few good 3D movies every year, and you can see them in cinemas.

When I was young, my parents only had a black and white set (because they were tight, and hated TV). I used to think color TV looked crap. Suddenly, there were color clashes everywhere. But I got used to it after a while.

3D is nothing to be excited about now, though.

Re:Why? (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601032)

Same here, I'm just not interested. Same with HDTV. Sure, HD looks nice and all, but I don't have any urge to go spend money on it. I hardly watch TV anyway.

This reminds me of the videophone. The technology has been around for decades but it never caught on. Even today with skype and webcams, I don't know anyone who actually uses video for phone calls.

Sometimes, what we have is good enough.

Re:Why? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601184)

I only use Skype for video. It's great for keeping up with Family who live far away. Seeing someone, even through a camera, is better than just audio for keeping close.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38601294)

3d all seems to come down to 'ooo look! object comming right at you!' It's not natural.

It's not natural because stereoscopic 3D is all on the same focal plane.

In real life your eyes adjust focus when looking at objects with different distances, meaning the ciliary muscles are always contracting and relaxing. But when looking at objects with different "distances" in stereoscopic 3D, your brain works to keep these muscles constantly tensed at the right amount.

Much like tensing up your skeletal muscles for an extended period without moving, it begins to hurt after a while.

Discomfort (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600568)

I don't want to wear 3D glasses in front of the glasses I already wear to see things. It's uncomfortable for me and silly. Also, as TV viewing grows more prevalent on mobile devices, 3D becomes even less applicable.

Not much better than it was before (1)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600570)

I remember back in the 90's when ABC arranged to give out 3D glasses so viewers could watch a few of their shows in 3D. I don't remember the other shows, but the main one showcasing it was Home Improvement. They made a couple of gags with it to show it off, but mainly stuck to standard content. It was a novelty at the time and fun to play with but I couldn't imagine watching much on it, headaches aside.

Re:Not much better than it was before (3, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600852)

I thought the same, I bought my TV without really wanting 3D but it's pretty much standard now so it came with it anyway, I'd not really tried it much, I tried the BBC Wimbledon 3D test, I tried Street Dance 3D when it was on the other day but none of it was anything special.

Then I noticed Assassins Creed on the 360 supports it, and thought I'd give it a go. It really is pretty fucking good, I know a few other games like Crysis and Gears 3 support it but I've not tried them yet.

At the end of the day I guess it's just like at the cinema, Avatar was phenomenal in 3D but little else has been, likewise, it appears games are suited to 3D too.

I'll assume it's the difference between something genuinely built in 3D, and that shitty cardboard cut out version of 3D.

Still, it's early days, and Toshiba is already testing glasses-less 3D TVs so I think it'll only get better. All in all, I don't think it's a bad technology, in some cases it certainly adds something, when you're stood at the top of a massive tower in Assassins Creed looking down, you can really feel the height.

Re:Not much better than it was before (5, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601188)

At the end of the day I guess it's just like at the cinema, Avatar was phenomenal in 3D but little else has been, likewise, it appears games are suited to 3D too.

Pop quiz, hotshot:
1. Who was Luke's mentor in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi?
2. Who was the character in The Lord of the Rings that chased "his precious"?
3. Name the blue girl in Avatar.

3D doesn't make for good, memorable characters. It makes for gimmicky crap. Avatar was a terrible movie with a 3D effect, 2D characters, and a 1D plot.

It's the old catch-22 (2)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600578)

Consumers will flock to 3DTVs when there is basically nothing else on the market: otherwise, it just doesn't provide enough benefit to justify the added cost. This happened with HD too; did the TV makers really expect it to be different this time?

Re:It's the old catch-22 (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600732)

>> This happened with HD too; did the TV makers really expect it to be different this time?

Nope. They are expecting exactly the same this time too.

Re:It's the old catch-22 (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600820)

Consumers will flock to 3DTVs when there is basically nothing else on the market: otherwise, it just doesn't provide enough benefit to justify the added cost. This happened with HD too; did the TV makers really expect it to be different this time?

I think they might have. HD TVs sold in droves, for a while anyways, as people upgraded. They were a significant upgrade, and prices dropped while quality increased rapidly, causing a huge bubble for TV makers. It wasn't even that nothing else was available: HD TV's are simply far better than old CRT TVs, in nearly every possible way. 3D TVs are almost worse, in 3D mode, than regular HD TVs (although usually slightly better in non-3D mode), which means they simply will not sell. But based on the bubble, TV makers expected them to. Basically, they expected (or hoped, anyways) sales to continue at what they were, using 3D TVs to push that, not realizing they were in the middle of an upgrade bubble. Similar story with Blu-ray: DVDs were far (far far far) superior to VHS, so they sold well, whereas most people can't tell the difference between an upscaled DVD and a Blu-ray disc.

Re:It's the old catch-22 (4, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601118)

I don't think that's really it, though. From a simple "quality" point of view, there's no reason not to have a 3D TV - you can watch 2D with just as much quality and still have the option for an occasional 3D experience... it's choice, and it's win-win.

The problem for me is that finally going from SD to HD cost a lot of money. I had to upgrade the TV, I had to upgrade the disc player to BluRay, I had to upgrade the DVR, I had to upgrade the service I was getting.... now I'm supposed to upgrade all those devices to 3D? I don't think so... the cost isn't worth the benefit. I suppose if I was still at SD and decided to upgrade now, I'd go straight to 3D, but that's not the case for me nor the vast majority of people, IMO.

I expect when I spend that much money on a television that it last more than 2 or 3 years... more like 10 (at least) or more. Both televisions I replaced were over 12 years old. I need a REALLY compelling reason to upgrade, and there just isn't one.

Re:It's the old catch-22 (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601388)

HDTVs lingered for years before people began to "upgrade." It was only when the TV makers began to drop their SD models that people started buying. because the upgrade really isn't significant at all: a marginally sharper picture and nothing else.

Re:It's the old catch-22 (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601066)

I just purchased a 51" HD Plasma 3D TV with 2 pairs of 3D Glasses for $599 at BestBuys. It's a lot more affordable today than it was a year ago.

Re:It's the old catch-22 (2)

Rotag_FU (2039670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601260)

In many cases if you want to buy a quality home theater TV for 2D viewing you may have to buy a 3D TV. In this case I'm defining quality by the general performance aspects of image quality, color accuracy, black levels, etc. The bottom line is that in many cases manufacturers are simply holding back the better quality TVs for those that come with an (often unused) 3D feature. You can see this repeatedly in home theater review websites and forums like avsforum.com. This is not to say that all 3D TVs are inherently better than all 2D TVs, there are still the spec whore TVs that through in that feature on a substandard TV. There are also still high quality 2D only TVs that will blow away 3D TVs, but increasingly manufacturers (e.g., Sony, Panasonic, LG, etc.) are using the 3D TV feature as a dividing line for their higher quality TVs.
I speak from recent experience, my old rear projection 720p Sony died over Thanksgiving and I researched and bought a new Panasonic plasma to take its place. This is my primary home theater TV so picture quality does matter to me and as part of my research, I consistently came across recommendations and test results that indicated that one should get into the 3D portion of the product line up even if you have little to no intention of using 3D. I absolutely love my TV, but have not even tried 3D yet. In fact I haven't even bought any of the active shutter glasses yet. In reality, I probably will dabble with 3D. I'm far more curious to try out 3D gaming on my PC and Xbox 360, but am in no hurry.

Re:It's the old catch-22 (3, Insightful)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601410)

Consumers will flock to 3DTVs when there is basically nothing else on the market: otherwise, it just doesn't provide enough benefit to justify the added cost. This happened with HD too; did the TV makers really expect it to be different this time?

I agree that 3DTV uptake will basically be increasing only as people's current sets wear out and they buy new ones, I really don't see it being a driver of sales. That said, at least for the active-shutter type of 3D it really doesn't add any cost to include it in the TV - it is basically just a timing signal to tell the (over-priced) glasses when to switch.

That said, I don't think the manufacturers really expected it to push sales. They hoped it would help, and they didn't really have much else to advertise to try to attract new buyers (new! now 0.01 inches thinner than last year! Now including streaming app w in addition to x, y, and z!), so they have been talking it up as the big new feature. Tech/consumer electronics sites have been playing along, for pretty much the same reason - something to talk about and drive views. Not too much fun to only be able to say, "well, this year's models continue the trend of sacrificing picture quality for tiny and meaningless reductions in thickness as manufacturers abandon full-array LED backlighting in favor of more cost-effective edge lighting."

4D (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600616)

I have decided to forgo the 3D nonsense and wait for 4D...

Just think you'll be able to time travel while in your favorite man chair...

Re:4D (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601370)

Brings a whole new experience to shows like Terra Nova!

no guarantee you use the 3D feature . . . (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600624)

i recently bought a new 55" Samsung LED. I didn't see a lot of products at this size and price class that didn't have 3D capabilities.

So count me in with the 3D TV purchaser statistic.

Have I ever used it? Hell no. Would I have paid less for the same TV w/o 3D if it were available? Absolutely. So even as the 3D-TVs in the home percentage rises as manufacturers stuff it down our throats, the real indicator is who uses the feature? My guess is very few, but I'd love to see a survey on that little tidbit.

No thanks (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600652)

Pay a premium for a TV that requires special glasses, which as mine are prescription, means not settling for what's on the market, but waiting for someone to produce prescription lens 3D glasses for that particular model and paying an arm and a leg for them.

After waiting for those non-existent glasses to be developed, paying hundreds or thousands of dollars extra, what will I have?

A TV that gives me a migraine.

No thanks.

Re:No thanks (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600686)

Hell, I haven't even owned a REGULAR TV for years. My computer is my TV.

Re:No thanks (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601080)

True. Of the little TV I do watch, about 99% of it is done on a window in the corner of my computer monitor thanks to my Hauppage TV card. For the bedroom, there's a 13" CRT.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600998)

I wear glasses... the 3D glasses sit over my prescription lenses just fine.

Re:No thanks (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601256)

How nice for you. I wear glasses too and the 3D glasses sit over my prescription glasses and give me a massive headache. Every single type of 3D glasses I've ever tried since having to wear prescription lenses has caused me discomfort to varying degrees.

It's a gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38601006)

Bottom line is that it's a gimmick, and most consumers realize it. I'd compare it to the microwave oven that comes with 50 different buttons and makes you press 5 before anything even happens - when the right tool for the job is a single rotary dial. Or how about the talking cars of the 80s, perhaps the pinnicle of all gimmicks.

I personally hope they lose billions on it. When they get to the point of holograms, give me a call.

Re:No thanks (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601052)

A premium? It doesn't take much to add 3D to a modern (high refresh rate) panel, and these days 3D is a feature that comes for free on a lot of sets. Mine even came with 2 glasses. I expect that 3D will be an affordable, amusing option for anyone with a reasonably new TV; no need to go and buy a special TV set, just pick up the $25 glasses if you want 3D.

Re:No thanks (1)

greed (112493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601340)

Right; I'm thinking of spending the extra $100 for the 3D model (Panasonic TCP50ST30 instead of TCP50S30); it has slightly better black and faster phosphors, which improve the moving resolution in 2D.

I have no intention of ever watching a 3D program on it.

Of course, I'll probably put off deciding until it's time to grouse about no-one wanting 4D....

3D TV (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600656)

Please make it stop!! We're not interested in overly expensive, glasses requiring, headache inducing televisions!

Re:3D TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600796)

Please make it stop!! We're not interested in overly expensive, glasses requiring, headache inducing televisions!

You are not interested in what Friend Corporation wishes you to purchase? That sounds to me like someone is being uncooperative and non-contributing to the economy. The Economic Attitude Correction Squad has been contacted and dispatched to your location, consumer #79176. Please remain calm and your hurtful thoughts will be properly sanitized and expunged. Why do you hate capitalism so much, consumer #79176?

Re:3D TV (1)

Stele (9443) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601418)

Then don't buy one of the 3D sets that is overly expensive, requires glasses, or induces headaches.

It's not like there aren't a ton of options out there.

I recently bought a 60" Panasonic plasma to replace my 5 year old 42" LCD. 3D added nothing to the price. The glasses are extremely lightweight and comfortable. And Tron Legacy (paid $25 for the version with DVD, Blu-Ray, 3D Blu-Ray and "digital copy") looks almost as good at home in 3D as it did in the theater.

Maybe you should try it before you claim you (or anyone else) isn't interested.

Tried it (3, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600662)

My girlfriend and I tried a couple of 3D TVs at Best Buy. They all appeared blurry and none had a 3D effect, so either the displays were set up wrong or they just plain suck. However, we did go to a 3D viewing of some movie (there was no 2D showing of it at the time) a while back and that impressed me. Not enough that I'd pay to have the 3D effect at home, but enough to pay a couple extra bucks for the odd movie in theaters.

Re:Tried it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600812)

The last few films I've seen had far to many flight scenes and not enough plot. 3D should complement good film-making, not replace it!

Re:Tried it (0)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601206)

Probably set up wrong. Consumer Reports is generally very positive when it comes to 3D televisions, often remarking they are better at 2D than regular 2D televisions, and suggesting the quality of 3D is pretty good.

I work in a television production studio where we started exploring 3D oh... maybe a year and a half ago. The television we got for the department was actually quite good, and the 3D effects quite nice - although it was OUR content that WE produced.

Still... I'm not inspired to pay for a 3D TV either.

3D on TV does work, but not for casual viewing (4, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600668)

I find that 3D on larger television sets (55" and up) does work. It is not as good as viewing the same movie in the cinema, but sometimes it's good enough, and I usually pick up the 3D version of a movie instead of the regular one, if available.

But just as in the cinema, you need to settle down to watch the movie in order to get "sucked in" by the 3D. Same as in the cinema, were you generally won't "scan email, skim through a magazine, or keep watching out the corner of my eye from another room.". If you let yourself be distracted every minute, 3D is going to suck, whether you're in your home theater or a proper one.

By the way, I too am curious about no-glasses 3D but I'm not holding my breath. LG is already selling sets with passive 3D glasses, but the viewing experience is decidedly poorer than with good shutter glasses.

Passive glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600788)

Why do passive glasses work well for movie theaters but not for TVs? Is it an issue of the fact that TVs are usually viewed with a larger amount of ambient light?

Re:Passive glasses (4, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601208)

It's because of the way cinemas project the movie. I'm not sure about the exact setup they generally have, but they project the left and right frames on top of each other using opposing circular polarisation. This works well with passive glasses and is very easy to achieve with a special projector. On a TV where you don't project anything but stare at the pixels themselves, managing varying polarisation is a bit harder. LG somehow found a way to get 3D on a TV panel with passive glasses; you do get proper 3D but the quality suffers visibly.

By the way, any 3D will work a lot better with less ambient light, be it a cinema, shutter glasses at home, or a TV with passive glasses

Re:Passive glasses (4, Interesting)

PIBM (588930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601212)

The current passive 3d tvs use half the vertical resolution. If you are close enough, that shows. If you use the motion enhancing features, that shows too. Shutter glasses aren't perfect either. Even though my TV is a 3D one (for the very small price difference between non-3d and 3d, I decided to get it), I'm not using it much. Perhaps with more usage you can forget about the artifact, but so far I'm not running after 3d movies.

Re:Passive glasses (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601228)

Why do passive glasses work well for movie theaters but not for TVs?

Doesn't the cinema version use polarisers on the projectors? Not easy to do with a TV.

Re:Passive glasses (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601238)

It's a technical thing. The theatre is actually using 2 projectors with opposite polarization, and the glasses each filter out half of it.

At home, there's no projector. There's just an LED/pixel/whatever there and it has to do double duty and the glasses turn off each eye to match.

There -are- actually home systems that can do passive 3d, but they require 2 projectors, or a tv with 2 projectors in it. Since those are huge and expensive, it's not very popular.

Re:3D on TV does work, but not for casual viewing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38601244)

I usually pick up the 3D version of a movie instead of the regular one, if available.

Whereas for the majority of people the inverse is true. Neither the 50s catwomen on the moon , 80s Jaws3D or 00s avatar was enhanced by 3D presentation -- they were shit films in any dimension.

"sucked in" by the 3D

It's either so ineffective that you may as well be watching in 2D (where the narrative may be better served without the deep focus requirements) or so gimicky that your supposed to notice it.

the viewing experience is decidedly poorer than with good shutter glasses.

For the moment... [reduser.net] I'll still be watching in 2D though.

If TV is on permanently and "watched casually" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600726)

then you have a far bigger problem than mere 3D.

Bad Timing in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600730)

It was very bad timing in the USA. Just recently we int he USA switched to the digital transmissions and a lot of people, at least the ones I know, went out and bought HD TVs once we realized how bad everything looked on our regular sets with the converter. This was at the time when 3D TV was still only had like one movie in 3D. So now why would I want to buy a newer TV just to get 3D it's not like I have another $1,000 when this TV is still great. Now if they pass another law that says everything has to go 3D and the converters that convert to 2D suck then I'll be forced to buy a new TV and of course it will be 3D but I guess then we will all be complaining that the smell-o-vision came out and we are wondering why that didn't catch on.

Frist ps0t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600736)

Lack of compelling content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600744)

As a 3D TV owner I think the biggest issue is a lack of compelling content. While wearing gasses is a bit of a hassle and the price (mostly for content) can be off putting, all of that could be overcome by compelling content. Glasses free 3D is definitely the future but I still think people won't be interested without compelling content. The best representation of 3D (Avatar) is still not for sale to the general public and most of the rest of what's out there is a mix of IMAX, cheesy horror films, and post 3d conversions (which I simply refuse to deal with).

They should concentrate their efforts... (1)

roubles (716740) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600756)

...on adding actually useful features like built-in HD tele-presence (integrated with skype and/or google talk).

3D is a fad that, to me, adds very little value to the tv watching experience. Many noted movie critics have already called for the death of 3D. For instance:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/04/30/why-i-hate-3-d-and-you-should-too.html [thedailybeast.com]

Re:They should concentrate their efforts... (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601028)

Will 3D add anything to watching Two And A Half Men? Probably not.

Will it add something to watching movies, or sports? Probably so.

HDTV adoption was driven by movies and sports, and not so much by sitcoms. 3D adoption could be the same. I know ESPN does a few sporting events in 3D. If DirectTV started showing all of their sports packages in 3D, it might push the TV adoption considerably.

Re:They should concentrate their efforts... (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601160)

How about lowering prices? I don't want to pay 400$ for ANY tv, so i won't. If they get their shit together, i MIGHT pay 200. I dont want "features." I want 3HDMI ports, optical/coax and RCA outs. A set of composites just for my NES and PS2, and ill buy it. Why am i paying for speakers i won't use, a tuner i CAN'T use, and all this useless other shit? Apps on a tv? fuck that shit.

movies aren't ok (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600766)

I only know a couple people who enjoy 3D movies, out of a couple dozen I've talked to about it. My kids didn't even want to see 3D version of Transformers, their favorite entertainment subject. They said it "bothers their eyes after a while."

Same with my two oldest boys (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600858)

Their grandma got them Nintendo 3DS game thingies for Christmas and they both turned the 3D off permanently after a few minutes of playing.

Re:movies aren't ok (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601426)

I have a problem with crappy 3d, but if it's well done it's ok for me. The only 2 I've seen that I'd qualify as "well done" are Avatar & Hugo. So now I won't go to a 3d version unless I read that it's properly done.

Distance from the screen (4, Informative)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600780)

I experimented with a 50" 3D set on display and found that if I was any further away from it than about 6 feet the scale on screen was all wrong. Basically, for stereoscopic TV to work, you have to fill your field of view such that the images hitting your eyes are the right distance apart. Change that distance and the scale changes so people start to look like marionettes rather than real people. This is especially bad in a typical home setting where you wouldn't sit so close or so face on. I can see 3D for home cinema and I might consider replacing my current 100" HD front projector with a 3D rig but for regular TV use it doesn't work.

I'm actually skipping this generation. (1)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600798)

I'm going to skip the whole 3D TV craze and hold out for a 4D one. One extra D has to be better, right?

Re:I'm actually skipping this generation. (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600908)

I'm going to skip the whole 3D TV craze and hold out for a 4D one. One extra D has to be better, right?

Add another 4 and another D and then we'll be in business!

Re:I'm actually skipping this generation. (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600996)

4D? Oh Jesus, and people thought the networks and studios shrieked about timeshifting before...

Because not everyone likes 3D ... (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600804)

I've seen two movies in 3D (well, the same one twice) ... both times it gave me a splitting headache that lasted for hours.

I don't like 3D. I don't want 3D. I'm not willing to pay for 3D. To me, 3D is a pointless failed technology I don't want.

Granted, everyone else is free to choose to have it, and I may actually be in the minority. But I'm not willing to spend a single penny on it. Not now, not ever.

I just view it as yet another reason why new TVs are a moving target. The HD spec has changed half a dozen times since about 99 when I bought my DVD player ... HDMI, HDCP, and now 3D. Do they really think people are going to buy a fresh new TV for another moving target spec every 2-3 years?

Used to be that you could buy a TV and have it last a decade or more ... now it's just baubles and doo-dads they try to change every year,

I finally just replaced my ten year old rear-projection TV with an LCD TV ... and I have no intention of replacing this for at least another 5+ years. As always, 3D is a gimmick that will attract some people, but the rest will simply watch it pass by and fade away.

There's a Significant Stereoblind Population (4, Informative)

dringess (552168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600810)

About two to 12 percent [mediacollege.com] of the population can't see 3D, and I'm one of them. That's why we will probably never spend the extra money for a 3D TV.

Re:There's a Significant Stereoblind Population (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38601430)

Yes, colourblind population was also the reason colour TV never caught on.

3d is not important (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600834)

HDTV was a reasonable improvement on NTSC and PAL. 3D really isn't. Compare to: DVD was a huge improvement over VHS. Blu-ray isn't enough of an improvement over DVD to be interesting.

Re:3d is not important (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601190)

It's either that, or that consumers are more interested in getting a bigger TV than a smaller 3D TV for the same money. We'll see what happens when TVs hit a size wall.

Also, a lot of what people watch is TV series. We'll see what happens when they start making series in 3D.

If 3D doesn't take of when a 80" TV is $1000 and all the most popular series are available in 3D, then it would be time to declare 3D dead. For now we just can't say.

Keep bitching about it.... (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600864)

I was one of the first purchasers and the only issue I find with it is the fact that they aren't releasing enough and what they are releasing is sometimes as much as twice the price of the regular blu-ray if you don't pick it with the release day sales.

Are there some downsides? Yes, you have to wear the glasses, not a big deal to me or my wife or my kid, two of us already wear glasses 24/7 anyhow. Millions of people do everyday, and for some reason it's some massive inconvenience. I'll bet everyone who whines about having to wear the glasses to watch 3D tv has no problems popping on a pair of Ray-bans, D&Gs or Oakleys when they head out on a sunny day. "Oh but the sun comes in from the sides and distracts me". Seriously?

If you don't want to use 3D, then don't. No one's holding a gun to your head. There are still plenty of TVs out there that don't have 3D built in, but until someone does hold a gun to your head or you can't buy a TV sans 3D, (In which case there won't be a surcharge for the technology anyhow...) just STFU with all the complaining. The people who are buying it are enjoying it. The 3D is excellent save for the occasional bad job and WE like it. Now go ahead and mod me down because I didn't say "Yeah you're right my 3D sucks".

Re:Keep bitching about it.... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601282)

Lack of good content is the real problem. I'm an absolutely 3d fanatic, and even I admit there just isn't anything out there. A few cartoons, 1 heavy cg movie about blue people, and a bunch of schlock that looks like garbage because the 3d was faked in.

It's just like HD content that was upscaled from SD content... It's not actually any better.

Integrated 3D glasses are where it should go (2)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38600950)

TV sets should be no more than UV/IR "blue" screen hung on a wall.

Give me comfortable glasses that can overlay reality. Then I can use those glasses for all my general purpose viewing needs, be they 2D or 3D.

It's more than credible that you can turn off the lights in your bedroom or TV room and have the equivalent resolution experience of a movie theater, be it 2D or 3D.

They just need a short range transmitter with enough bandwidth that can match the resolution of both eyes for up to ten people in a room. Have an aux input that can plug into an external receiver for a specialized receiver for occasions where your in a larger crowd such as a theater. Everyone they can have the quality glasses they can afford. It opens up a world of augmented reality. Just like cell phones they will be big at first and then they will get smaller and more fashionable.

Then much further in the future we will have implants that plug directly into the optical nerve and augment what you see more directly.

Because 3D is for bragging, not using (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600954)

3D TVs are more of something that people will buy so they can brag they have one, rather than actually use because they enjoy it. Now I know there certainly are some people who thoroughly enjoy a 3D movie, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, everyone I know doesn't like 3D stuff because of the headaches it causes. When focus points don't match with perceived distances, the eyes and brain get confused, and that causes tons of eye strain after just a few minutes of watching. Personally, if given the choice between 2 TVs that are identical (including price) except for 3D support, I'll choose the non-3D one.

Reply to the main posting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38600966)

To quote:

"It's nothing like the jump from black-and-white to color, or even the jump from my old 19" Trinitron TV circa 1993 years ago to a flat panel display."

I never knew they had this model of TV back in the year, 19 AD... Well, I guess Jesus missed it too.

Re:Reply to the main posting... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601248)

To quote:

"It's nothing like the jump from black-and-white to color, or even the jump from my old 19" Trinitron TV circa 1993 years ago to a flat panel display."

I never knew they had this model of TV back in the year, 19 AD... Well, I guess Jesus missed it too.

The prime and double prime marks are very commonly used to represent feet and inches. The prime and double prime in turn are very commonly represented by apostrophe and quotation marks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark#Non-language_related_usage [wikipedia.org]

There was that one time.. (1)

GreennMann (1525279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601010)

Seeing Avatar in theaters is the only time when 3D enhanced my experience rather than detracting from it like all the other movies over the past few years that used 3D as a last second gimmick. So it is possible to make 3D work if done right but I cant yet speak for the quality of the 3D TV experience. IF there is enough content of the same 3D quality as Avatar, AND the quality of ordinary 2D content on 3D tvs is not compromised, AND if the slight peeves like glasses, and viewing angle are overcome, AND when the price of 3D TV becomes comparable to that of their 2D counterparts, THEN there will be a feasible market for 3D TV and I will gladly go out and buy one.

Re:There was that one time.. (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601374)

Seeing Avatar in theaters is the only time when 3D enhanced my experience rather than detracting from it like all the other movies over the past few years that used 3D as a last second gimmick.

"How To Train Your Dragon" also made worthwhile use of 3D, especially for the flying scenes. However the fact that we're arguing over whether there were two movies that were worth the extra price or just one doesn't change the gist of what you're saying.

It's not 3D (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601060)

I think the problem is that 3D movies and TV are not really "3D", they are 2D movies using a stereoscopic effect that can fool the brain into thinking that the picture has depth. But it's not really 3D, which results in headaches and other effects that make it uncomfortable for many people.

If they could come out with a holoscopic projection mechanism that shows true 3D, maybe then people will be more interested, but high quality full-color holoscopic projection is probably decades away, if ever.

Even in a galaxy far, far away, the holographic projections created by R2-series droids have flickering low-quality images.

Crap in 3D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38601088)

Already, 99.9% of the content on regular TV is something that you should not watch.
Why pay extra $$$ for "total immersion" in aforementioned crap?

Remember when Picture-in-Picture was a big thing? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601098)

I honestly can't tell you if my current TV even has picture-in-picture, because AFAIK, I've never once actually used it on any TV I've owned. But I can remember when it was touted as this "must have" feature by the industry. So it got added to the new TV's. The general public was at first kind of interested. Then after the hype died down and users actually got to try it out a few times and realize that it wasn't really all that useful, it quickly became a "Who gives a shit?" feature.

Re:Remember when Picture-in-Picture was a big thin (2)

PhotoJim (813785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601324)

Oh, it was useful if you liked sports - but things got complicated when we moved to satellite TV and digital cable. You needed two tuners to get all your channels, and that just started getting silly.

If your point is that 3D is a niche product and many people won't want it, then I agree. Colour TV is something everybody wants; HD television is something almost everybody will want once they see the improvement in picture quality; 3D just isn't that much more interesting.

I simply don't want this gimmick! (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601112)

Even if it worked perfectly, no headaches, glasses, extra cost, etc. I still wouldn't want it. Not on the big screen either. It doesn't offer anything to me, and that "whoa, dude!" feeling you get when they chuck crap at the camera just fails to impress...

This is an artificial, useless parlor trick that has no purpose...

Got to do SOMETHING to sell next gen sets (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601130)

3D is all the makers had to get you to upgrade your set. Once you're on 1080P/Blu-Ray it's pretty much good enough for any kind of viewing you want to do.

I'm looking forward to the new super thin OLED sets: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2012/01/lgs-55-inch-oled-tv-at-ces-to-have-almost-no-bezel.html [latimes.com]

Gaming? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38601270)

I find it surprising that all the comments above are focused on 3D movies, and none mention gaming. Hello people? Gaming in 3D is freaking amazing. It really adds to the immersion, and looks pretty fantastic. That's the only reason to get a 3D-capable TV in my opinion. 3D movies suck even in theaters, and "converted" content is just plain wrong. Gaming in 3D, on the other hand... If you haven't tried it yet, you should.

Avatar looked great in 3D (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601366)

I watched Avatar and Tron in 3D, and I have to say it was a whole new experience for me. Also, you can enjoy 3D games on your PS3 which is much more immersive, especially racing games.3D may not be for everyone, but that's what people said about HD several years ago.

Instead of 3D lts focus on ... (1)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38601392)

... wonkavision
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