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Will 3D TV Work?



/ 6 years ago

People have been trying to produce 3D films for over 50 years now, and up until the last year or so technology simply wasn’t good enough to produce a convincing image. Now, however, 3D has hit the mainstream with the likes of Sky opening a dedicated 3D TV channel, and the world’s major manufacturers working round the clock to produce new models.

Whilst some experts predict the 3D TV market will read £100bn by 2014, there remain some extremely respected figures that argue that 3D simply will not and cannot ever really work. Often, this seems as bad-tempered carping about ‘the way things were’ but the Oscar-winning editor of Apocalypse Now has thrown his hat into the ring – and this is a man who knows a thing or two about the silver screen.

According to Mr Murch, 3D television and film requires the brain to do things that it has never had to do before in the entirety of human existence (a big claim). The argument is thus:

  • When you watch a 3D film it’s not a ‘true’ 3D image, that is to say, the technology gives the illusion of depth. Essentially, the screen is twenty feet away, but because of the foreground and background illusion created by the technology, the image upon which we may be focussing could appear to be 60 feet away.
  • When our eyes focus on something there are two processes that take place, one is focussing, and one is converging. When you look at something three feet away, you both focus and converge on the object, when you look at something seventy feet away, your lenses focus on the object, whilst the angle of convergence opens out so that both eyes are practically looking at parallels to each other.
  • With a 3D screen we have to focus on one thing (the illusionary image in the background) and converge on another (the screen). These are almost always at different distances and therefore watching 3D can be extremely tiring (or impossible for people with certain visual problems).
  • Additionally, because of this approach, the image appears to be smaller (even if it’s an enormous IMAX) because it’s literally pulling the lines of your eyes inwards.

Mr Murch, as mentioned above, is well-respected and his science makes sense. However, the sales figures don’t really agree. Though it may be unusual for us to do this different distance focussing and convergence, we obviously can do it, and without a great amount of difficulty. Additionally, as the technology improves, it will support our brains in achieving this visual trick, and make 3D viewing ever easier.

At the end of the day, we all know there’s a lot more to a good film or a good television programme than just the technical elements; but this techno-scaremongering still means there’s no reason to bin your 3D TV just yet.



  • Eternalchaos

    It going to be hit and miss with 3D, personally I wont be getting it but I am willing to give it a try if it is free 😀

  • aruffell

    Eternalchaos;18951 wrote: It going to be hit and miss with 3D, personally I wont be getting it but I am willing to give it a try if it is free 😀

    Aren't we all? lol

  • Socalrailroader

    Directv has four HD Channels here in the US-DIRECTV: DIRECTV 3D TV I just got a new Sony KDL32EX720 3D TV KDL-32EX720 | 32" Class (31.5" diag.) BRAVIA EX720 | Sony | Sony Style USA and I am taking full advantage of the free 3D 😀 lol I just got Tron:Legacy 3D BluRay too, though I haven't watched it yet. I used to think it was just another fad, but I can tell you from watching that it really gives a new depth to movies and documentaries, when I watched a 3D Documentary on the World's Seas I really felt like I was there! When I watched a Safari in 3D and one on the Mummies of Egypt, it makes you feel like you can jump right into the screen, though that would probably not be good for it 😉 I can't wait for are Holodeck's and Holosuites ala Star Trek :DI think 3D Gaming will be a big factor in the adoption of 3D, you haven't lived until you've gamed in 3D, it's intense :DEdit-The Sony 3D TV will also do Simulated 3D, where it takes standard 2D and renders it in 3D, and while it's not as good as native 3D, it does give a good depth to it. Also, the PS3 plays 3D BluRay's, so if you have one all you need is the TV and you're set.The 3D Channels on Directv-DIRECTV CINEMA™<span style="font-family: Arial;">Immerse yourself in the hottest Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries and more in amazing 3D — many titles available instantly. Chs. 104 and 105. Please note: Some titles require your HD DVR to be connected to Internet<sup>2</sup>.n3D™ powered by Panasonic[FONT=Arial]DIRECTV is working closely with major studios and networks to bring the most HD 3D content to your home. This brand new dedicated HD 3D channel offers the best in 3D sports, music, nature, arts, and more. Ch. 103.ESPN 3D[FONT=Arial]Watch nearly 100 live sporting events in stunning 3D including all the exciting action of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. You thought sports in HD was cool. Wait until you see this. Channel 106.3net[FONT=Arial]DIRECTV is proud to become the first television provider to broadcast 3net, a 24/7 3D network that features a variety of one-hour native 3D original documentaries, like Forgotten Planet and Into the Deep 3D. 3net also offers an unprecedented rollout of original 3D series and new program debuts every night at 9pm ET.</span>[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

  • dav532000

    I read on Tech Republic facebook, that they think 3D will never take off as the Image is degraded compered to 2D. They stated that BR is the biggest achievement and watching 2D on BR that the Image is superior that watching 3D. They state that they think it is a gimmick ane will fade out, and as they stated as well it is just a fad to get more money out of the public ie new 3D Tv, Glasses, 3D videos etc. We will have to see, it seems that a lot of people love it, take Avitar, everybody said that you have not see a 3D film untill you have seen that, strange it never got best Pictute Award, but Disney seem to be making a few as well.