Home > IT Perspectives > My living room doesn’t need 3D

My living room doesn’t need 3D

January 10th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Anaglyph 3D GlassesI remember being 8 years old when all of the kids on the street got together to watch our first 3D movie. It was awesome. A pile of kids in one room with red and blue glasses on all to capture this cool technology. I don’t remember the movie. But what I do remember is that I didn’t get 3D at the time. It didn’t work well enough for me to know whether or not I was seeing something or I wasn’t.  3D has progressed over the years, the glasses have become polarized, but my entertainment value still remains.

I went and saw Avatar in 3D at an IMAX theater.  Yes it looked cool.  Yes you have to go see it. If you are going to see it, it should be done in 3D in IMAX.  Just to clarify, No, I don’t want that in my living room. We were there, in that environment, for that experience.  It was a moment, and now it has passed.

I might be the only one who doesn’t want 3D in my living room.  There were some large players announcing larger investments coming from CES this week. In case you weren’t paying attention here are the highlights to pay attention to.

The Discovery Channel, IMAX and Sony huddled together to deliver the first 3D channel. Press Release

ESPN will be delivering a 3D sports channel. This isn’t a stretch, as they have broadcast 3D events before, as they broadcast college football last year in 3D.

Sony is pushing the platform hard, bringing 3D televisions and throwing the 3D label on top of the rising BluRay name.

Intel had a demo of a 3D television without the glasses.  It’s a move in the right direction, but far from living-room ready.  Intel 3D Demo – Engaget

Panasonic makes a 3D camera you can buy for a mere $21K, if you don’t want to duct tape two normal cameras together.  Though it was not new to CES this year, it has been “officially announced for pre-order” making it still not available.

Photograph: Steve Marcus/Reuters

What does all of this lead to with the innovation and adoption of 3D into my house?  Absolutely nothing. The industry is scrambling to create this false notion that 3D is the next evolving technology and that I need it.  On the list of things I need right now, 3D isn’t it.  You see, 3D has been around most of my life. Yes it has evolved from anaglyph systems to the polarized systems, but I don’t care.

It is depressing to hear that predominant trend for CES in 2010 is 3D.  It means the industry is in trouble so much that it is grasping for anything, falling back on this old friend they have been with for 30 years for support.  It isn’t a surprising move, only depressing. When Panasonic expects to sell one million sets in the first year alone, I almost feel bad for them.  Unless people buy the TV and it happens to have 3D in the feature list, I can’t imagine a flock of anybody stating that they now need 3D.

Will 3D ever capture my attention?  Ever since Princess Leia was able to project herself out from a little droid, I expected that next evolution of technology to show up. I don’t watch many sports now, but if I could fill my living room with the football game or put myself inside the car for a race, with the ability to look around me, you will have my attention.  The current definition of viewing the scene straight ahead and watching for objects to draw my eyes closer than normal “is not the 3D I am looking for”.

Until that day arrives, I wanted to give the industry a few pieces to help gain my attention again. Consider them requirements I will judge against when you bring us your next great 3D revelation.

1. I don’t need to wear apparel to make it happen.  I don’t have a pair of sunglasses that last more than a year, so buying in to some special polarized glasses in order for me to appreciate a show, isn’t going to happen.

2. Keep the cost jump to 3D under 15% of the cost of the hardware I was going to buy anyway.  It might allow you to sneak the hardware into my room if I have to buy the TV anyway.

3. I better be able to get up, walk to the fridge and have the same experience when I look back at the television than when I am in your perfectly measured optimal viewing position.   I don’t watch TV from a perfect “one seat” only position.

Considering my Avatar movie experience was the first time back to a theater in a long time, keep focused on making that 3D experience only get in a theater.  I don’t go to the theater any more, because it is better to watch everything in my living room.  I don’t have to wait long for movies to hit the shelves, so the only thing you can hope for is to offer something in the theater that I can’t get at home.

Categories: IT Perspectives Tags: