3-D TV: The Future Is Here For Now

Geek Culture

As the momentum to replace those ancient 50 inch, 1080P, 240 MHz LED-backlit LCD TVs littering family rooms picks up, GeekDad had the opportunity to spend some time trying out the latest 3-D capable set from a leading electronics manufacturer. Afterward, we had a few moments to speak with Gil Flop, a company representative, as he demonstrated the latest in the company’s line-up.

Photo by Wheany (Jan-Erik Finnberg), used under a Creative Commons LicensePhoto by Wheany (Jan-Erik Finnberg), used under a Creative Commons License

Photo by Wheany (Jan-Erik Finnberg), used under a Creative Commons License

“We’re introducing a new model for $4,000 that includes not only 3-D capability, but has a handy storage pocket built in to the side of the unit. It has a built in IR sensor that opens a motorized door giving access to the storage pocket at the wave of a hand. Very cool.”

When asked if the pocket was meant to store remotes, Flop rolled his eyes. “We’re assuming that consumers would like to keep their 3-D movies handy and separate from their big library of inferior 2-D versions,” he explained. “Of course the 3-D content available is pretty limited at the moment so we don’t need much space, but we already envision future models with screens as big as 70 inches and a 3-D media storage bin that’s correspondingly larger, possibly capable of stashing up to six discs.”

We asked if the current 3-D craze was in danger of petering out, similar to the public shrug that marked the 3-D movie experience in the 1950s.

“Any suggestion that today’s 3-D experience is anything like that of the 50′s is ridiculous,” scoffs Flop. “The 3-D glasses back then were made of cardboard for crying out loud and they cost a dime. Today’s models are the highest quality plastic and cost $150 a pair.”

Current 3-D TVs can be flipped to 2-D mode for viewing regular content, but if a 3-D movie is being played, everyone in the room has to enjoy the 3-D experience. We asked Flop to comment on the needs of viewers who currently wear prescription glasses, who would be forced to choose between blurry 3-D or crystal clear garbage.

“What am I, your optometrist? Seriously, though, I think you should invest in contacts. Your glasses look kind of goofy anyway, if you don’t mind my saying so.”

When asked if it seemed unreasonable to expect a family of four to spend $600 on 3-D glasses to enjoy their home theater experience, Flop laughed. “$600? To start, I guess. I think you need to check your numbers,” he said. “I’m assuming that two of those people are children, so you’ll need to invest in kid-sized 3-D glasses at first, then buy replacements as the kids get older and their heads grow. Do you know how fast kids go through shoes? Wow, if we made glasses that went up in incremental sizes like shoes…” At this point the interview was cut short as Jones made a call to his product manager.

Wired: 3-D is 1-D (and $2,000) better than 2-D.

Tired: Watching the same 3-D movie repeatedly gets old really fast, popping Gravol while watching TV is less satisfying than popcorn, lack of John Lennon frame 3-D glasses limits appeal in many markets, guests are out of luck unless they bring their own (compatible) glasses, prospect of 3-D commercials for Imodium is terrifying.


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