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3-D TV: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

August 26, 2009

As everyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows, this December audiences will be graced with James Cameron’s (supposedly) fantastic non-animated 3-D film, Avatar. Apparently this film is exciting because it’s the first non-animated 3-D film. Seeing that animated 3-D films like Coraline and Up have been commercially successful, it is speculated that Avatar will be even more successful because of the reception that Cameron normally receives from audiences.

So to continue capitalizing on this 3-D frenzy happening in the film industry, the next logical step would be 3-D television, right?

Well, that’s what Panasonic has decided. According to an Associated Press article, Panasonic and their rival Sony are in the process of producingflat-panel TVs that show three-dimensional images...” And, of course, these images would have to be viewed through those oh-so attractive 3-D glasses.

I will make is clear now– I’m not a 3-D fan (although I will admit that I did enjoy Up). Every now and then I think it’s kind of fun, (in Disney World, for example) but honestly, I don’t enjoy watching things pop out of a screen at me.

The argument Panasonic makes in favor of this ridiculous 3-D television is that it would be used to watch the growing market of 3-D films when they are released on 3-D Blu-Ray so as to maximize the 3-D viewing experience .The article does acknowledge that there is currently a scarcity of material to be viewed in 3-D, but it sounds that Panasonic is confident the 3-D phenomenon is here to stay. Panasonic has drunk enough of the 3-D Kool Aid and believe in the validity of their product so much that they will be setting up trailers screening Avatar on 3-D televisions all across the U.S. and Canada next month. They do this in the hopes of showing the public exactly how much they need a 3-D television so that they can watch Avatar (which won’t be released in theaters for another 3 months) when it comes out on 3-D Blue Ray. (Geez, how many times can I say 3-D?!)

Director James Cameron believes that 3-D will revolutionize how the audience experiences what they are watching because 3-D somehow makes it reality.

Now it’s time for speculation: if 3-D televisions are produced and are somehow successful, it is plausible that television series would then be shot in 3-D because there would be a market and a demand.

But is this a good idea?

I don’t think so. I disagree with Cameron’s idea that audiences like 3-D because it makes what they’re watching a reality. I think they like it because it’s a gimmick. Besides that, I don’t want television to feel like reality. That defeats the purpose of TV for me. I watch it because it isn’t reality. Even “reality” TV isn’t reality! Television is an easy escape. You just turn on your favorite show (or just randomly turn it on when you’re bored) et voila!, you’re watching new people in a new place doing new things that you, the viewer, are probably not doing while on your couch at home. It’s fantastic. And that’s why people tune in. Well that and they think someone on the show is attractive.

So, in my estimation, making 3-D television shows would be a huge mistake. It would defeat the purpose of television– we watch television because it isn’t reality.

Furthermore, who would actually want to wear ridiculous looking glasses that give you a headache while at home?

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