Congratulations! Your new flat-screen TV
is kick-ass! I sincerely admire its tremendous
resolution, its vividly natural colors,
its bright-as-daylight brightness, and its sheer size.
There’s only one problem: It’s flat. No, I’m not talking
about its thickness. That’s a good kind of flat.
I’m talking about the images themselves. They
have height and width, but no depth. They’re 2-D.
Wouldn’t you like a 3-D TV?
No one knows if 3-D TV will be successful. But
there’s a lot of discussion about the topic, and plenty
of people will try to persuade you one way or
another. To get you ready for the onslaught, and
help you choose sides, I’m listing some of the principal
arguments after the jump.
Argument No. 1: No Way, José. It will take me
about 3 lifetimes to pay off the 60-incher I bought
last summer. Until then, don’t even think about
cajoling me into buying another TV. After the flatpanel
and HD revolutions, it’s just too soon to have
yet another video revolution.
Argument No. 2: Format War. There’s nothing
tidy about making sausages, passing legislation, or
launching new consumer formats. There’s no 3-D
TV standard, but many competing formats. We’re
staring down the barrel of yet another format war.
TV model X will play 3-D Disney movies, but it won’t
play 3-D Universal movies? Sorry, I just don’t have
the patience for it anymore.
Argument No. 3: Those Goofy Glasses. I spend
most of my disposable income trying to look cool.
Do you think I really like the AT&T network? I use it
because I need an iPhone to impress girls. There’s
no way I’m going to be caught dead wearing goofy
3-D glasses. Even if Bono starts wearing them.
Argument No. 4: I’m Not Feeling Too Good. More
than a few people experience uncomfortable dizziness
while watching 3-D TV. Do you really want to
keep a barf bag next to your comfy chair?
Argument No. 1: Proven Track Record. Movies
in 3-D generated more than $1 billion at the box office
last year. On a per-screen basis, 3-D typically
grossed twice the take of screenings of the regular
version. (Ticket prices for 3-D, though higher, are not
twice as much.) Movie studios and TV manufacturers aren’t going to miss the opportunity to sell 3-D in
Argument No. 2: Manifest Destiny. Market researchers
are predicting success. One study estimated
that there could be 28 to 46 million 3-D TVs
in worldwide homes by 2013, and 2.5 million sets
might be sold this year. It’s a done deal.
Argument No. 3: Those Goofy Glasses. You
know it and I know it: The glasses look really goofy.
But what we do in the privacy of our own home theaters
is no one’s business except our own. Let’s just
calm down and adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
I promise I won’t make fun of your goofy glasses if
you don’t make fun of mine. Problem solved.
Argument No. 4: I Feel Good! Frankly, I just can’t
wait. I think that 3-D looks terrific in the movie theater,
and it would be incredible to have the same
experience at home. I’m sure they’ll iron out any incompatibilities
and technical troubles, and deliver
some terrific products. Sign me up!
Well, those are the arguments. Hollywood studios
and TV manufacturers would dearly love to impress
upon you the fact that 2-D is simply not as cool as
3-D. They’d love it if you’d throw away your 2-D TV
and shelves of 2-D movies, and start again with 3-D.
That’s their dream, but is it ours? Or, as the Prince of
Denmark might say, “To sleep, perchance to dream.
But do we dream of 3-D? Ay, there’s the rub.”
Ken C. Pohlmann is well
known as an audio educator,
consultant, and author.
He is professor emeritus at
the University of Miami in
Coral Gables and is the author
of numerous articles
and books. Two of said
books that are multidimensional
in their own right
are Principles of Digital
Audio and Master Handbook
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.