some of the time; and you can fool all of the people, some of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time. That is a truism that has been around for hundreds of years, and yet it seems that some companies putting out products today want to try to disprove that third leg – all the people, all the time.

That is the way it seems to be with 3D television. How do I know this? The answer, which sounds quite smug of me, but is the absolute truth, is that I have been on the planet awhile. I have seen things develop in the electronics industry, and have been either interested, involved, or both nearly all my life. I remember when the first HDTVs were being demonstrated back in 1985 [!] at CES. They were analog, they used 2 channels of bandwidth (like 2 and 3 or 4 and 5), and offered an experience like nothing I have seen since. (Just another example that there is no magic in digital – it is simply an easy way to get decent quality, but great analog is better.)

This is not the blathering of someone who is waxing on the things of the good old days. The picture quality was astonishing, and did not need tricks to achieve a 3D effect. It was like looking through a window, not watching a television.

So it was when I first became involved with multichannel sound. The short story here is that 2 great channels sounds wonderful, fills any holes in the sound, and needs nothing else. The trickery of 5,6,7, or 8 channel sound is needed because of poor recording in the first place, or crappy playback equipment.

3D television is going to be the same way, and I have known it since I saw the first announcement. It will be finicky, it will be expensive, and many who fall for the trick will wish they had spent equivalent money on a good television with great picture quality instead.

Someone attending the electronics show in Europe agrees with me, and writes about it on slashdot

"I’m at IFA in Berlin — Europe’s equivalent of the Consumer Electronics Show — and the massive halls are dominated by 3D TVs made by everyone from Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic to companies you’ve never heard of.

The manufacturers seem pretty excited, but 3D has so many downsides — most of all the lousy image quality and unimpressive dimensionality effect — that I can’t imagine consumers are going to go for this.

‘As a medium, 3D remains remarkably self-trivializing. Virtually nobody who works with it can resist thrusting stuff at the camera, just to make clear to viewers that they’re experiencing the miracle of the third dimension. When Lang Lang banged away at his piano during Sony’s event, a cameraman zoomed in and out on the musical instrument for no apparent reason, and one of the company’s representatives kept robotically shoving his hands forward. Hey, it’s 3D — watch this!’"

Does this sound like something you want? The  gee-whiz value will last for about 30 minutes and then the magic will be over; with buyer’s remorse setting in like a sledge hammer on Gallagher’s watermelons.

The time to call this sham off is now.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Albert Einstein

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