Wednesday, January 06, 2010

3-D TV Excites Me Like a VHS Player

I don't always embrace new technology by bringing it into my home right away, but I do track new products and often find them exciting. I still haven't made the upgrade from my old outdated RAZR to an iPhone. As interesting as they are, I simply don't feel a need right now to use my phone for anything except phone calls, and even then I primarily have it for the convenience when out of the house, should the car break down or something like that.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I have not the least bit if interest in the development of 3-D televisions. Zilch. Nada. I can't be alone in my feelings.
A full-fledged 3-D television turf war is brewing in the United States, as manufacturers unveil sets capable of 3-D and cable programmers rush to create new channels for them.

Many people are skeptical that consumers will suddenly pull their LCD and plasma televisions off the wall. Beginning at around $2,000, the 3-D sets will, at first, cost more than even the current crop of high-end flat-screens, and buyers will need special glasses — techie goggles, really — to watch in 3-D.


Anticipating this coming wave, ESPN said Tuesday that it would show World Cup soccer matches and N.B.A. games in 3-D on a new network starting in June, and Discovery, Imax and Sony said they would jointly create a 3-D entertainment channel next year. The satellite service DirecTV is expected to announce its own 3-D channels at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where every major television manufacturer is planning to announce 3-D televisions and compatible Blu-ray DVD players on Wednesday.

I can see where this would have major appeal with sporting events but aside from that, I can imagine hearing a great big flopping sound. Then there's the issue with needing glasses for the enhanced 3-D experience. I already wear glasses. Am I expected to get excited about needing a second pair just to watch a friggin' TV show?
Manufacturers have developed two technologies for 3-D glasses in the home. In so-called polarized glasses, which can cost under a dollar, each lens blocks a set of images transmitted in certain types of light. “Active” glasses, which are better suited for LCD screens in particular, have battery-powered shutters that open and close rapidly, so each eye sees different views of each frame. These glasses can cost up to $100, but television makers are expected to package at least two pairs with each monitor.

Do people really want another battery-powered gadget sitting on the coffee table which is already cluttered with five or six remotes? If this idea gets your techie juices surging, be my guest. I definitely won't be standing in your way at Best Buy when you go to make your big purchase.

Would the beer commercials be in 3-D? If not, would you get a headache from watching them with the glasses on? That could get annoying having to remove them at each commercial break. Even worse, what if some commercials were in 3-D and others not? This could get nauseating.

But wait, there's more! Sooner or later, we'd have the first 3-D infomercial. Oh, joy. Sorry, I'm just a 2-D kind of guy.

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