Saturday, July 31, 2010

3-D TV Broadcasts: Desperately Seeking Content?

With 3-D capable high-definition widescreen TVs for domestic use already out on the market since June 2010, will quality content shows shot in 3-D ever be available for broadcast in network TV anytime soon?

By: Ringo Bones

LG, Samsung and Sony had already put out on the market their incarnation of the 3-D capable high-definition widescreen TV for domestic use ever since notable 3-D movies – like James Cameron’s Avatar and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland had recently become blockbuster successes. But what about 3-D TV broadcasts on network TV? Sadly, none is yet available – but Sky networks recently promised to provide their very first 3-D TV broadcasts by October 2010. Given that the intended demographic for shows shot in 3-D for network TV broadcasts are already weaned on free – but of questionable legality – content on Pirate Bay during the first decade of the 21st Century, will network broadcasted 3-D TV shows ever be economically viable from the TV networks’ perspective?

Early adapters fortunate enough to afford those first-generation of 3-D capable high-definition widescreen TV are already sold on the idea of 3-D movies in the home despite of the minor inconvenience of those cinema-style 3-D viewing goggles. With titles now widely available via 3-D capable Blu-Ray DVDs like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, positive word-of-mouth reviews on 3-D ready hi-def widescreen TVs had become the only excuse for buying one. But will the same people who brought 3-D Blu-Ray DVDs embrace the “potentially” free shows broadcasted on 3-D TV networks?

Given that most of us had been weaned on Napsterization and Pirate Bay style utter disregard to copyright laws when it comes to getting on-demand TV shows for free during the first decade of the 21st Century, TV network executives are probably reluctant to invest into a new “gimmick” of questionable economic viability. Most of us will probably resort to the advertisement-free 3-D shows if it ever becomes available on Internet sites despite of the copyright violations involved. Not to mention the expense of 3-D viewing goggles – which the cheapest ones sell at 10 to 15 US dollars per pair – might be to expensive for some weaned on free stuff from Napster and Pirate Bay.

On the bright side, it could potentially increase the demand for studio stylists and make-up artists given the inherent “vanity” of Hollywood stars who not only wants to look good on high-definition TV broadcasts but also good on 3-D high-definition TV broadcasts. Fashion consultants and make-up artists currently unemployed might find themselves working for big stars - and the odd news presenter and talk-show host - who desperately wants to look good in front of a 3-D capable HDTV in a few months time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Can Persons with Compromised Vision Still Watch 3-D Movies?

The current resurgence of 3-D movies may be a thrill-a-minute ride to us with “normal” 20/20 vision, but can those with compromised vision still enjoy them?

By: Ringo Bones

The on-going and supposedly still economically-viable-from-the-media-providers’-perspective resurgence of 3-D movies and related on-line visual content may seem like a thrill-a-minute fairground ride for us folks with “normal” 20/20 vision. But are the concerns of those who wear prescription glasses or those with only one eye being set aside on the wayside in our current 3-D boom?

For sometime now, it is recommended that for people who wear prescription glasses, the 3-D viewing goggles can be placed or worn over their specs. It may be an uncomfortable and unwieldy way to watch 3-D at your local cinema – especially since most features last two hours or a bit longer. At present, it seems to be the only practical solution to speck wearers, unless your optometrist can fabricate a pair of 3-D viewing goggles with optical properties matching your prescription eyeglasses.

Another not-so-often-discussed conundrum encountered in 3-D movie viewing is for persons with only one working eye. Though given that those viewers with only one eye defeats the necessity of watching 3-D movies since they physiologically lack the ability of binocular depth perception. It might be safe to assume in the near future that over 90% of movies might be shot in 3-D so suggestions for those viewers with one working eye can be helpful. Unfortunately persons with one eye still have to wear those “unwieldy” 3-D viewing glasses because if they don’t they’ll see a double-image mess since image intended for both left and right eyes are there in the screen unfiltered by the 3-D goggles. Even if they wear the 3-D viewing goggles, they still can’t see the depth and layering as intended by the cinematographer – which is somewhat unfortunate.