CES Cheat Sheet: How to Argue that 3-D Sucks

nvidia_geforce_vision_3d_610x444With consumer electronics companies intent on making 3-D the belle of the ball at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I thought the skeptics among you might benefit from some arguments and knowledge about the topic that goes beyond wide-eyed exclamations of delight at the idea of a 3-D SUPERBOWL AD!!!! When some sap brings up Bolt or Beowulf you can bust out with one, or all of these arguments, to make them realize what a tool they are. And, if you’ve already shelled out for your 3D-ready TV, then tell me why I’m wrong.

For those who want to argue on the technical merits,¬†Charlie Demerjian over at The Inquirer does a nice job talking about the many ways one can implement 3-D, and why Nvidia’s choice of active glasses is wrong. A point he doesn’t address fully is that, for something to work in 3-D, a consumer has to have the original content filmed or created for 3-D and a compatible DVD player and screen. Figuring out what works together may not be easy for consumers to decipher, especially since the standards are still being set.

For those concerned about the artistic merits of 3-D movies, David Benjamin (a self-proclaimed Luddite) points out a few issues with some of the 3-D technologies over at EETimes, such as it giving you a headache or requiring a person to keep their head still, and he notes that we already see everything else in 3-D. Perhaps our movies should be different. He suggests that the limits of 2-D have forced directors to rise to the challenge of presenting real life in a constrained format, and along the way some pretty awesome things have arisen.

I’ll make the final argument, which basically boils down to this — this is a transparent effort to make you buy more gadgets with little return so far. Dreamworks has committed to making all of their content in 3-D going forward (for which Intel, which will sell boatloads of processors to support this, thanks them), and James Cameron will film his next movie in 3-D (using equipment provided by Panasonic, which hopes to set a 3-D standard). But few studios are paying to film all, or even many, of their movies in 3-D.

So even if you rush to Best Buy, find 3-D gear, make sure it’s compatible and set it up, there’s no guarantee there will be anything you want to watch. If we all wait for the content and standards fights to settle out, the studios may decide consumers aren’t ready and pull back on content. Still, if they give it a go and standards are set, then it will be time to embrace 3-D. But for those of you pondering your declining stock portfolio, why not let the content guys and CE manufacturers spend a bundle on this hype cycle before you do.

image courtesy of Nvidia

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