Will 3D TV Ever Catch On?

from the do-we-want-it-to? dept

Like yesterday’s story about new film technologies, I have to wonder when people put a lot of effort into simply improving the quality of something most people think is “good enough” already. The NY Times (in their registration crazy way) have an article wondering if 3D TV will ever catch on. While there have been many experiments over the years, they’ve usually involved forcing people to wear funky glasses. Some new technologies are coming out that don’t require glasses, but that doesn’t change the basic question. Do people really want to watch TV in 3D? It’s a neat effect every once in a while, but if it starts showing up regularly, it’s likely to be considered overkill.

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Comments on “Will 3D TV Ever Catch On?”

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David says:


Comments about advances in technology being simply a fad, or overkill, or unlikely to catch on strike me as the types of comments that our descendants will look back on and laugh at. Similar to when people thought radios in cars would be too distracting, or when that guy at the patent office at the end of the 19th century thought there was nothing left to invent. I think 3D TV depends a lot on how good the technology is and how it is presented.

If, instead of a screen, your television was something like a table with a 3D scene playing out on top of it, with the clarity and visibility of television today (i.e. no translucent flickering holograms, please) I think people would never want to go back to flatscreens. I’d also like the ability to scale the scene so I could watch it at normal “television” size (this would involve closeups, etc, similar to the way camera movements happen on TV today) or have it blown up to room size, where you simply see the whole scene like a play, and can walk around it and in it at will.

thecaptain says:

Re: Hm

You make a good point.

However, its my opinion that I don’t think that such technology would replace TV as it is today (2D).

Think about it…a lot of thought and artwork goes into layouts, the right shot so to speak…precisely because of the 2D nature of the screen. Also, maybe because of this same nature (although its not the only reason) TV is a passive experience…we sit and “enjoy” the vision that is fed to us by the producers of the content/medium.

Now, lets look at a “Tabletop like” 3D tv experience… The opportunity for a producer of content to frame his vision would be somewhat limitted to the level of detail (close up) offered…since we can look at the action from any angle WE, as viewers, choose. Also, the experience is much much less passive….because we would have to spend our time either with advanced controls or simply running around the table trying to get the best angle to see everything (and perhaps missing crucial pieces of information).

The way I see it, 3DTV isn’t necessarily fluff, or worthless. It MIGHT grow into something INDEPENDANT from broadcast 2D TV, but it won’t supplement or replace it.

David says:

Re: Re: Hm

I guess I was picturing the tabletop 3D TV to be very similar to TV today… I was imagining the tabletop version to use closeups and camera angles similar to today’s 2D TV, just in three dimensions. Instead of walking around the table, perhaps viewers would see the same view from no matter what angle they were at.
Now the full-room version would be something you walk around (and perhaps in).
The best combination would be that some shows would be filmed in both formats simultaneously, and you could choose which way to watch it – either as an immersive experience, or by following the director’s viewpoint.

Anonymoose says:

No Subject Given

I don’t think the tabletop idea would be very good (I assume your thinking about something like the R2D2 hologram in Star Wars Episode IV – the first one they made, in the ’70s?). It would be like looking at a tabletop model. I think 3D should be done on a BIG home theater projection screen – something that would make everything life size and immersive and real looking.
BTW, while these guys are wondering about 3D TV, 3D is already making steady inroads into the desktop PC world. If you like immersive VR, check out the tons of VR headsets reviewed at http://www.stereo3d.com (an info site for 3D enthusiasts). Granted the cheap ones are low res, but they’re getting better. If you want to play games in 3D, look at the info on shutter glases. Thanks to the Direct 3D and Open GL standards you can now watch almost any 3D game or use almost any 3D software in stereo with the right card and drivers. nVidia has drivers that work with cards using their chips at http://www.nVidia.com. If you don’t want to use 3D glasses, there are even some no glasses computer monitors out there: http://www.dti3d.com, http://www.dresden3d.com.

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