Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So what about 3d?

I am a great lover of technology. I am quick to embrace any possible improvement. I am what is commonly known as "an early adopter". The second HDTV seemed even remotely good, I dived into the pool head-first. For the record, this was late 2006 when the XBox360 got it's HD-DVD attachment and the PS3 was about to be released (signifying the arrival of Blu-Ray).

The arrival of true 1080p disks signified to me that this market was about to mature.

So what about 3d? Have I adopted that? Nope. Do I have plans to adopt it soon. Nope. Do I have any plans to adopt it? Not really. Why? Because every demo I have seen, save one, sucks hard. This is not at all unlike the 3d effects we see in the movie theater: They suck hard.

I'm going to be perfectly frank with you good folks: 3d leave me cold. I am not excited. The major reason is that the movie produces don't do anything with the media. An occasional shot which pops out at you is not worth the annoyance of the glasses. Even the most advanced 3d movie ever made, which is Avatar, still made relatively limited use of 3d.

Even when the true 1080p 3d Blu-Rays begin to arrive, which they have not, I still doubt that there is much power in the media itself.

Of course, this does not prevent marketing forces from attempted to persuade you to 'upgrade' to a 3d set. Mark ye well the following example of marking hype:

If you check out an in-store demo, you'll likely be impressed by 3D. We recently spent some quality time with Panasonic's VT25 3D plasma watching Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and it was a blast. After all, 3D adds depth and, when it's done right, can make you feel like you're inside the picture. -PC Magazine
All I can say to that is "bullshit" and "thank you for regurgitating the predigested marking hype from the advertising companies... oh wait! I forgot! PC Magazine is a marking/advertising company." In sooth, they always have been.

The quote above is proceeds from a false premise, uses fallacious logic and reaches and erroneous conclusion. Almost no one has a VT25 HDTV on display, must less equipped with the several-hundred dollars worth of glasses necessary to do 3d. Worst of all, if you have seen it, and I have, there is no there there. There's nothing special going on. The demo left me flat. I didn't want it.

Inevitably, sooner or later, I will want to buy a new HDTV. Moore's law guarantees progress in all of the basic areas of HDTV quality. I will want that increase in core-competency at some point in the future. Upgrade day may not come for two years, but sooner or later, it will come.

No doubt, this will bring 3d along with it. 3d is being rolled into all HDTVs as we speak. This will become a default feature of all HDTVs soon. You won't be able to buy a current model year without it. However, my reason for buying will not be 3d. The shit just doesn't do anything for me.

To you folks in the industry: I have to say that I really believe you are wasting your time with this 3d jazz. It is much more difficult to interpolate a 3d layer from 2d sources than it is to upscale 1080p to the so-called 4K standard. It is much more difficult for the creative film maker to shoot a movie in 3d than it is to shoot the movie in 4K with a simple RedCam.

I believe the difference between 1080p and so-called 4k is far more dramatic, far more stunning and far more desirable than the anything 3d has ever thrown at me. Every photographer and graphic artist will tell you that more pixels are better. Higher resolution is better resolution. Every gamer will tell you a higher res screen is a better screen. Every computer user will tell you that more screen real estate is better.

If I were you, I would toss the 3d thing on the back burner and work hard on the 4K thing. I will upgrade immediately for a reasonably priced 4K screen. 3d holds no interest for me.