Apparently it doesn’t matter whether you love the idea of 3D TV, or hate it. The industry is going full speed ahead with the 3D roll out. See, today was a momentous day for 3D TV, when the very first consumer 3D TV supporting the new standards was sold (sort of). Best Buy in Manhattan sold Brad and Ashley, a couple from the upper west side, a $2900 bundle consisting of a 50-inch Panasonic TV, a Panasonic 3D capable Blu-Ray player, and one pair of 3D glasses.
The event was clearly a PR move; the first Samsung 3D TVs have been popping up in Best Buy showrooms and Amazon pages for weeks. After completing the purchase, the lucky owners were deluged with questions by reporters that apparently had nothing better to do. You’ll soon be able to swing by your local Best Buy to get the same bundle, but don’t expect the same sort of treatment.
Anyone purchasing 3D TVs and Blu-Ray players will be waiting a while for content. DirecTV has promised 3D channels will be available by June, but movies will be slow to arrive. The most recent Ice Age film will be out “soon” and Avatar should arrive later this year. But there’s still the problem of the 3D glasses, which currently cost $150 each. Will consumers shell out for extras, or will there be a lot of BYO3DG (bring your own 3D glasses) Superbowl parties? We don’t even know if Brad and Ashley got a second pair. Maybe Ashley will just have to squint really hard.
3D is in its infancy, and we can expect a bit of snake oil to be peddled as it matures. How’s one to know the good from the bad if manufacturers are all selling good? Luckily, there’s the Internet, where it’s not uncommon to find a resourceful person or two willing to provide us with information producers aren’t. In this case it’s the 3D-savvy editors of the 3D Vision Blog.
Their concern is this: how much light actually reaches your eyes when using 3D glasses? This is important for at least two reasons: (1) your eyes strain to see when there’s too little light, making the viewing experience uncomfortable; and (2) it helps to determine how bright your 3D light source has to be. Their test set-up is a simple one: a dark room, a monitor, a light meter (measuring lux), and a handful of 3D glasses.