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10 Reasons Why People Won't Watch 3D TV
tvpredictions.com ^ | July 6, 2011 | Phillip Swann

Posted on 07/07/2011 1:11:41 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave

Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2011) -- Editor's Note: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of TVPredictions.com, I am publishing a series of features honoring what I think represents the '10 Best' in the field of TV technologies.

(And in some cases, '10 Worst' articles will expose companies and people who I think are failing to strive toward excellence, or, in some cases, not even making a serious effort to satisfy their customers.)

Today, I present the '10 Reasons Why People Won't Watch 3D TV'

Despite persistent promotion from TV makers and the Hollywood studios, sales of 3D TVs have been remarkably low over the last 18 months. Last year, the Consumer Electronics Association says only about 1.1 million 3D TV sets were sold. And this month, the research firm SNL Kagan estimated that even fewer will be sold in 2011, although the company is more optimistic about future years.

Why aren't Americans buying the new sets?

I present, 'The 10 Reasons Why People Won't Watch 3D TV!'

1. 3D TV Interrupts Your Viewing Experience You can't watch 3D TV for more than a minute without finding your eye focusing on individual elements of the screen rather than the picture as a whole. For example, if you're watching a 3D presentation of a college football game, you find yourself watching the player whose display best showcases the 3D effect. It's natural; you know you're watching 3D so your mind and eye tend to focus exclusively on the strongest 3D elements of the picture.

That makes for an interesting minute or two, but it's not why people watch television. They want to take in the entire picture; to be absorbed by it; to let it take over their entire thinking process so they can relax and lose themselves in what they are watching. 3D doesn't allow for that; it constantly interrupts you to check out some 3D effect. After awhile, you almost forget what's happening on the field or in a movie. If you're a Chicago Cubs fan, that could be a plus. But for most viewers, it's a strong negative.

2. It Makes You Sick Doctors have estimated that up to 20 percent of the population will get headaches, dizziness or even nausea while watching 3D.

Steven Nusinowitz, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute in Los Angeles, tells CNN that 3D glasses have a polarized filter that separate two images, thereby enabling the 3D effect. However, the doctor adds that the separation occurs so quickly that your brain may have difficulty accepting it.

"The movie is telling you 'Hey, I'm moving around in this scene,' but your vestibular system is telling you, 'I'm not moving anywhere,' and that disconnect will make you feel sick, for some people," Nusinowitz said.

TV makers even warn consumers in their 3D TV manuals that they could get sick while watching 3D; they advise that you should take off the glasses every 15 minutes or so.

How many consumer products have ever been successful with the masses if their makers had to tell you they might make you sick?

3. Millions of People Just Bought New TVs Because of the federally mandated Digital TV transition in 2009, millions of Americans bought a new TV to ensure they could continue watching when their local stations switched from analog to digital. Even in good times, people tend not to buy a new TV every few years or so; they buy one with the intention of keeping it for years.

And we're now in an economic morass; will people sacrifice the rent money for a 3D TV? When they probably have a TV in their living rooms that's not even three years old?

4. There's Not Much 3D to Watch On My Cable or Satellite DIRECTV is arguably the leader in providing 3D programming -- and the satcaster offers all of four 3D channels! Are you going to buy a new 3D TV for four channels?

There's talk that CBS might launch a new 3D channel, but for now, it's just talk. Generally, the networks have shown little enthusiasm for investing in a technology that doesn't seem to be exciting the masses.

5. There's Not Much 3D to Watch On Blu-ray The studios have rolled out some titles in 3D Blu-ray, most notably Avatar. But the percentage of 3D movies compared to 2D movies is miniscule. And the majority of 3D movies on Blu-ray are animated films targeted to kids; that's nice for the kids, but what about Mommy and Daddy who pay for the sets?

3D apologists say more 3D movies will be coming soon to home video. But there's actually evidence that fewer may be coming in the next year or so. Other than Avatar and Transformers 3, the 2D versions of 3D films are generating more revenue than the 3D editions. If that continues in the second half of 2011, it's not hard to envision the studios pulling the reins on future 3D productions. Seriously, if they don't bring in extra revenue, why spend the extra dollars to make them?

6. People Hate the 3D Glasses Just about every objective consumer study has found that people hate wearing those 3D goggles while watching 3D TV. It's an uncomfortable experience, particularly if you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses with different prescriptions for each eye. The 3D apologists say that 3D sans the glasses is in the works, but most analysts say it will take years before the technology is ready

7. The Glasses Are Too Expensive For a Family Some TV makers bundled one free pair of 3D glasses with each 3D TV purchase. But what about a family of four? Or, a family of six? Or, a family of eight. Large families do exist, you know. (Just watch any Discovery channel documentary if you don't believe me.) With the glasses costing up to $150 a pop, how can even a mid-sized family afford one for everyone? Answer: They can't. And if an entire family can't watch something at the same time, chances aren't good that they will watch it at all.

8. 3D TV Is Not HDTV The 3D apologists like to say that High-Definition TV had a slow ramp-up to success. Well, that's true. But people didn't buy HDTVs in the early days because the sets were cost-prohibitive, with some medium-sized ones costing up to $10,000.

In contrast, the cost of a 3D TVs is just slightly more than a comparably-sized 2D HDTV. People aren't buying them because they cost too much; they aren't buying them because they don't want them.

In addition, when someone saw a HDTV in person, he wanted it, at least eventually when the price came down. The picture added to your viewing enjoyment because it made you feel like you're were there; the picture was that realistic. But 3D is the antithesis of realism; it's a tech trick designed to jolt a response from the viewer. But the response doesn't last long and it's ultimately unsatisfying. Unlike HDTV, watching 3D TV is not relaxing; it's jarring.

9. 3D TV Is Not Easy to Use The 3D goggles are uncomfortable to wear -- and, again, if your entire family wants to watch the show, you have to get goggles for everybody.

Also, many people have trouble actually seeing the 3D effect because of various vision issues; some people have different prescriptions for each eye, etc.

And finally, you have to sit in a certain spot in the room to get the best experience from watching 3D. Sure, every TV has an optimal place to watch from, but 3D requires an even more rigid position.

Hassles, hassles, hassles. Who wants to pay more for a TV that gives you more hassles.

10. 3D TV Has Lost the Culture War When I first voiced my doubts about 3D TV more than three years ago, I was nearly alone. Most tech writers said it could revolutionize the industry and mainstream journalists were equally as excited. But since then, things have changed. Even tech journalists who normally gush over a new gizmo have openly mocked the failures of 3D TV. Well-respected movie critics and pundits such as Roger Ebert have predicted it will go the way of the pet rock and CueCat.

In short, 3D TV is not cool; it won't give you status symbol points in the neighborhood. If anything, buying it might get you laughed at.

Few tech products become successful if they don't first win the culture war; to win over the masses, you have to create an aura that buying the gizmo will make you cool.

But 3D TV is definitely not cool in the culture.

Since the ballyhooed introduction of 3D TV in late 2009, CE officials have tried to downplay expectations by saying it will just be a "feature" in a 2D set and not the main reason why people will buy one. With that in mind, research firms have projected that millions of '3D TVs' will find their way into people's homes over the next several years.

That may be true, but even if people have a TV that can display 3D, that doesn't mean they will watch anything in 3D. In fact, for all the reasons listed above, chances are they won't.

The 3D 'feature' may be used as often as such TV features as the Closed Caption button or the Mute button.

That is, if the studios and networks actually continue producing programs in 3D.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: 3dhdtv; hdtv
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To: Jonty30

Ha!


51 posted on 07/07/2011 2:43:14 PM PDT by savedbygrace (But God.)
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To: savedbygrace
"...So, you're wishing you were looking at life through Rozelle-colored glasses..."

EXCELLENT!

THAT post is one of the reasons I hang out at FR...:)

52 posted on 07/07/2011 2:43:19 PM PDT by rlmorel ("Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions." Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I only see two major problems.

1. The sets are too small. 3D on a home projector does not look the same as on a 42 inch set at Best Buy.

2. The engineers need to learn what they are doing. I saw in interview the other day, the people looked like moving cardboard cut outs set with the room behind them also completely flat appearing to be about 2 feet behind the people.


53 posted on 07/07/2011 2:43:57 PM PDT by dangerdoc (see post #6)
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To: Blueflag
I use MUTE ALL the time.

Ditto! Otherwise I'd have to actually listen to Juan Williams and Alan Colmes.

Also, I don't listen to tv ads.

54 posted on 07/07/2011 2:45:07 PM PDT by LibertarianLiz
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Got one, and only used the 3-D function on blue ray movies twice. Really neat for about 10 minutes till you get tired of those heavy glasses.


55 posted on 07/07/2011 2:45:20 PM PDT by catfish1957 (Hey algore...You'll have to pry the steering wheel of my 317 HP V8 truck from my cold dead hands)
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To: Blueflag
“the mute button” <— author implied it ain’t used much.

A better analogy would have been, . . . "used as often as a V Chip."

I'm still trying to figure out where mine is and how it works.

56 posted on 07/07/2011 2:46:32 PM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: Las Vegas Dave
2. It Makes You Sick Doctors have estimated that up to 20 percent of the population will get headaches, dizziness or even nausea while watching 3D.

I get that way watching television in the first place. Have you seen Fran Drescher's new show? *barf*

57 posted on 07/07/2011 2:49:07 PM PDT by steveo (PETO-VT-IN-MARI-SVB-CRVCE-AVSTRALI-SEPELIAR)
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To: kaylar
We have been shunning the 3 D option and going with the regular version as too many 3 D films have NOT been improved by the 3 D-in fact, many seemed too darkly lit(hard to see what’s going on onscreen)

The current 3D technology inherently darkens the image because of the lens. What's apparently happening now is that the theater owners, to save money, aren't swapping out the 3D lenses for 2D lenses when showing 2D movies, darkening those as well.

Lens-Gate: Exhibitors' Failure To Swap Out 3D Filters Casting Theaters In Poor Light

58 posted on 07/07/2011 3:06:55 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

11. 3D tv’s and movies are hell to watch for one-eyed jacks and jackies.


59 posted on 07/07/2011 3:16:38 PM PDT by Ladysmith ("There is no right that allows one person to place a burden on another." - Quinn)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

the only 3D movie I have ever seen was Jaws3D. It was horrible. I had a headache from Hades after 10 minutes. Of course that could also be attributed to the utter stupidity of the story also.


60 posted on 07/07/2011 3:20:36 PM PDT by madamemayhem (defeat is not getting knocked down, it is not getting back up.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I haven’t owned a TV since March of 1995.

I guess I can start not watching 3D about as well as I don’t watch 2D now.


61 posted on 07/07/2011 3:54:34 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: pabianice
11. If you have astigmatism, you can focus only one eye at a time watching 3D TV. Migraine, anyone?

12. If you have floaters, all you can see are the floaters. AIEEE!


Raises hands on both, that's me too. Anyhoo, the last time I bought a new TV, Michael Jackson went #1 with "Thriller," "The A-Team" just started, "M*A*S*H" had the their last episode, and Yuri Andropov was in power for a few months. I was 16 and a high school sophomore. I turn 45 tomorrow (July 8th) and I still use the same set to this day.
62 posted on 07/07/2011 8:43:47 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: whd23; razorback-bert

I still have my cue-cat! B-)


63 posted on 07/07/2011 8:45:55 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: All

This may be a little OT but it is still on 3D TV. Anybody remember when they tried 3D TV in the early 1980’s, 1981 to 1983, where they used the old red/blue glasses? I remember here in Pittsburgh, Channel 11 (WPXI) aired a few of those 3D movies. Did they do this in other cities? I remember watching them on our 1971 Zenith Chromacolor (I still have it), it worked a little as long as I had the convergence adjusted right. It was a bit better on the 1982 Zenith that I have now but not spectacular. IIRC, they showed “Creature From the Black Lagoon.”


64 posted on 07/07/2011 8:53:09 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: All

This may be a little OT but it is still on 3D TV. Anybody remember when they tried 3D TV in the early 1980’s, 1981 to 1983, where they used the old red/blue glasses? I remember here in Pittsburgh, Channel 11 (WPXI) aired a few of those 3D movies. Did they do this in other cities? I remember watching them on our 1971 Zenith Chromacolor (I still have it), it worked a little as long as I had the convergence adjusted right. It was a bit better on the 1982 Zenith that I have now but not spectacular. IIRC, they showed “Creature From the Black Lagoon.”


65 posted on 07/07/2011 8:53:20 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: Nowhere Man

Sorry about the double post. BTW, I have glasses, I’m very nearsighted so those glasses are a pain for me too. Three members of my family are blind in one eye too, my father, his sister (my aunt) and cousin (same side of the family) so I think 3D woulds be out for them.


66 posted on 07/07/2011 8:55:46 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: Ken H
I so agree. I'll take it a step further and say it's a deal killer. I completely lose interest in a film once the gaudy computer generated special effects appear. I still think the best special effects I've seen in a SF movie were in Forbidden Planet (1956).

Being the 1980's era geek that I am, I admit I like computer graphics, my favorites were "Tron" (1982) and "The Last Starfighter" (1984). However, I do agree with the special effects on "The Forbidden Planet." If I may, another good film with special effects was "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968), I think that has held up quite well too. I liked the computer graphics they used when they were working on the circuit boards in the space station as well.

Most funny 3D movie experience was "Friday The 13th Part III." I remember the gang was sitting around and passing a joint around and you saw this arm and hand passing this huge joint towards you. Everyone in the theater, including us, reached up for it. It was hilarious! B-)
67 posted on 07/07/2011 9:03:00 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: madamemayhem
the only 3D movie I have ever seen was Jaws3D. It was horrible. I had a headache from Hades after 10 minutes. Of course that could also be attributed to the utter stupidity of the story also.

Well, that's one thing "Back to the Future II" (1989) got right about the world of 2015, 3D movies. I remember Marty McFly watching a 3D shark come at him from the ad at the movie theater where it scared him and then he said, "I still think the shark looked fake."
68 posted on 07/07/2011 9:05:54 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave
The newest thing in 3d.
69 posted on 07/07/2011 9:09:24 PM PDT by Lazamataz (Until Obama, has there ever been, in history, a Traitorous Ruler?)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

And then there are people like me who are so one-eye dominant that 3-D simply never works, no matter what kind of glasses I wear.


70 posted on 07/07/2011 9:16:40 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Nowhere Man
This may be a little OT but it is still on 3D TV. Anybody remember when they tried 3D TV in the early 1980’s, 1981 to 1983, where they used the old red/blue glasses? I remember here in Pittsburgh, Channel 11 (WPXI) aired a few of those 3D movies. Did they do this in other cities?

I vaguely remember this happening in Highland Falls, NY around that time, but I seem recall that the 3D movies were shown by one of the premium movie channels, like HBO or Disney. I could be misremembering though (I about 8 years old), but it was definitely around the same time cable first came to town. We also had an old '70s TV with the knobs, and the cable box had an individual button for each channel (no remote then). The 3D didn't work that well on our TV either, so I only watched a portion of one movie (some early '60s horror movie about a guy who finds a cursed mask, total MST3000 material).
71 posted on 07/07/2011 11:17:41 PM PDT by Welsh Rabbit
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To: Nowhere Man

Here in the Boston area we had the summer of “Gorilla at Large in 3D” around 1980 or so.

This movie was super hyped for 2 months through our local UHF indi channel 56.
All the Convenience Stores were giving out free glasses.

FINALLY the BIG night arrived!!!!

it sucked, the 3d sucked, the movie sucked.
oh well....


72 posted on 07/08/2011 6:46:47 AM PDT by mowowie
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To: Welsh Rabbit
I vaguely remember this happening in Highland Falls, NY around that time, but I seem recall that the 3D movies were shown by one of the premium movie channels, like HBO or Disney. I could be misremembering though (I about 8 years old), but it was definitely around the same time cable first came to town. We also had an old '70s TV with the knobs, and the cable box had an individual button for each channel (no remote then). The 3D didn't work that well on our TV either, so I only watched a portion of one movie (some early '60s horror movie about a guy who finds a cursed mask, total MST3000 material).

We had cable since 1971 although the community had it since 1966. It was owned by a local family and it was called "Astro Cable," I went to school with a few of the kids. Later they sold it to New Channels, then it became Time Warner, TCI, back to Time Warner, and then Comcast. I missed a few steps, it was a long story.

I remember we mainly used the VHF dial for the channels, we did not have premium service although in 1978 we had HBO on channel 6 and you had a small box with an on/off switch to tune it in. I still have it. I remember the next step was an 8 button box where you could get Cinemax and a handful of other cable channels, MTV comes to mind. I remember going to my buddies house as a teenager and we used to watch all those dirty movies they had. B-D Then came the Jerrold converter boxes. BTW, Jerrold electronics was started by former PA Governor (Democrat) Milton Jerrold Shapp.

We got the 1982 Zenith, the set I have and we could tune in cable channels for free since it was cable ready.

As to 3D movies, most of those were MST3K material. To be fair, it sort of worked, not great, but not bad, you needed a darken room of course but it was fun since we were kids.
73 posted on 07/08/2011 6:40:01 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: Nowhere Man
All, I found a 1982 reference to 3D movies here in Pittsburgh.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=O-EhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=x10EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6946,7061026&dq=three+dimensional+wpxi&hl=en
74 posted on 07/08/2011 6:48:05 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: savedbygrace
If you buy a 3D HDTV, can you disable the 3D function for 3D films and shows?

Yes. 3D movies that come on Blu-Ray also have a 2D version included. At least... all the ones I've gotten have had this.

My new 54" Plasma has 3D capability. I've tried a few 3D movies just to see how it works. For some things, it's pretty neat. I've got a 3D "tour" of the space station that's really very well done and it looks great in 3D. I think it might work well for sports, too.

But I don't like it for movies-- and I finally figured out why: It ruins otherwise great cinematography. A HUGE element in the way directors and cinematographers set up a shot involves the use, no... ~depends~ on the use of depth-of-field to move the focus front and back in the shot. The whole art of a shot is in moving the point of focus to bring different elements of the composition into and out of sharp focus. The director moves the point of focus to force the viewer to move their eyes according to what he wants the viewer to see at the moment. That's all key to what the director is trying to build into a scene.

But 3D means that the ~whole~ depth of field is ~always~ in sharp focus. What it means is that the viewer is moving their eyes all around the screen. It's physically tiring on the eyes. It makes the shot too "busy" with too many things to look at-- and it spoils the effect that the director was building. It ruins the composition.

It might work well for sports. Football... baseball... any time they could get a 3D camera down into the action it might be a useful thing. But not for movies.

75 posted on 07/08/2011 7:20:47 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius

Thank you. I agree.


76 posted on 07/08/2011 9:03:09 PM PDT by savedbygrace (But God.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego; Moonman62; Ken H

YES.

Compare the effects of the original three Star Wars films with that of the new trilogy.

The old animatronics/puppets and models are far more realistic than the CG stuff.


77 posted on 07/09/2011 11:44:32 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.)
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To: Ultra Sonic 007
Compare the effects of the original three Star Wars films with that of the new trilogy. The old animatronics/puppets and models are far more realistic than the CG stuff.

Those were the films I was thinking of along with 2001. The only thing about Star Wars is space doesn't transmit sound, but they wouldn't be the same otherwise. Forbidden Plant from the mid 1950's was pretty good and even the original Star Trek series considering its budget.

78 posted on 07/09/2011 11:53:54 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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