We are being scammed with 3D

LG introduced a new 3D TV this past couple of weeks and the ads are not really stopping. Samsung, Sony, LG, Toshiba, Sharp, all major electronics manufacturing companies have actively promoted and proposed 3D TV’s in the past year. From really interesting Ads to in your face TV displays all over the market, 3D TV’s are the talk of the TV town. I believe this is a big scam that we are all getting sucked into. And since so many of you read this blog, I think its time I shared my two bits along with why I think so, like I have done before. 3D as a gimmick is nearly everywhere, after the success of Avatar and the success that it bought James Cameron with money, nearly everyone is looking to maximize the profits on the 3D bandwagon.

From Games, Movies, TV (Sport) and now into Smart Phones as well, 3D is gaining nearly everyday. And my take on the 3D “revolution” is just that they are trying to bleed us off of our money. Unless we all realize and talk about it, he technology companies will continue trying to drain us of our hard earned money. If you think 3D is about innovation, like what these guys are talking about. 3D has been around for a while, I remember being a kid and watching “Chota Chetan” in theaters with my parents. So what is 3D actually doing ?

Considering that most movies these days are using 3D effect addition to 2D picture, unlike Avatar which was shot with 2 cameras for the 3D effect. The introduction of the 3D effect to my knowledge reduces the sharpness from the image and adds muddled colors and makes the image dimmer. I experienced this effect when I saw Tron in the theater. Many people do not know this but the action shots need to be made slower for 3D because when people watch fast action scenes in 3D it makes them sick. A bit of research will show that close to 25% of the people get headaches or nausea from simply watching 3D.

The SCAM gets more and more clearer considering that watching 3D movies costs the viewer an additional AED 15 here in Dubai. In rupees that would be really close to 180/- or nearly $4. Making it an increase of $16 for a family of 4. The easy picking for the 3D scam are children for whom nearly every movie released in the past year has been 3D. Parents seldom think about money when it comes to kids, but have you seen the quality of pictures ?? Its not even as good as the time you went to see the same movie in 2D. I have in fact seen kids mention this.

Of course most movies in the past few years have been 2D movies converted to 3D, which apparently the way most “3D” movies are still handled. Before I came up with such a strong accusation on the electronics Industry, I managed to see a sample of Avatar which is considered the most amazing 3D movie of all time, in a 2D HDTV screen. Except the movie played off a Blu Ray Disk and was playing on a LED TV running 240Hz, let me tell you the scenes and colors were as impressive. Sure, there are a few neat moments in most 3D movies, but the novelty wears very off quickly and it’s certainly not worth the trade-off in picture quality or action sequences.

Gitex has come and gone in the past couple of years and the number of 3D TV screens has just increased. Even now the thought of wearing special glasses to watch TV has put me off from even considering a 3D TV. Apart from 3D I think the tech companies need to tell their customers that the world without 3D includes thinner HDTV’s with dropping prices and smarter TV’s with internet connectivity, the ability to play YouTube and other online media directly and just manage your digital media at home. But no, these companies push for 3D over and over adding features like Smart TV and Google TV to 3D TV’s cos they can then charge a premium on the premium.

This is a bad detour for the entertainment and electronics industries, and they stubbornly refuse to let it die. In fact, they keep trying to push 3D on us, since many of these new products have been in planning for a year or two (before consumers started catching on to the 3D scam). The movie industry and movie theaters try to force us to only be able to watch some of their top movies in 3D (and pay extra for it). TV makers are forcing 3D into all of their new top-of-the-line LED TVs (and trying to make us to pay extra for it). Content companies are now making their Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy bundles include 3D discs (and trying to make us pay extra for it). Game companies such as Nintendo are integrating gimmicky 3D into their new systems. Mobile computing vendors such as HTC and LG are even trying to put 3D into their smartphones and tablets. There’s only one way to stop the madness. Avoid 3D whenever possible.

This is a bad experiment that the industry is forcing consumers to subsidize. And since they can’t create a better product, they’ve simply latched on to 3D as a marketing ploy that the entertainment and electronics industries can use to trick people into thinking that they are getting a superior experience. It’s only working because just enough people are falling for the scam to keep it alive.

It’s not that we don’t want innovation in real life imaging. Of course, we do. We just want real innovation, and don’t want to pay for badly-overpriced gimmicks and half-baked experiments.

NO 3D for me !

TV : Idiot Box no more – TED is Coming

If you did not know about the TED initiative, its a good way and time to find out about it. The TED foundation is a non profit organization that believes that the great minds and ideas should be accessible to all. It aims to provide a platform for the world’s smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Core to this goal is a belief that there is no greater force for changing the world than a powerful idea. Consider:

  • An idea can be created out of nothing except an inspired imagination.
  • An idea weighs nothing.
  • It can be transferred across the world at the speed of light for virtually zero cost.
  • And yet an idea, when received by a prepared mind, can have extraordinary impact.
  • It can reshape that mind’s view of the world.
  • It can dramatically alter the behavior of the mind’s owner.
  • It can cause the mind to pass on the idea to others.

Today, I’m thrilled to write about TED’s newest initative in sharing great ideas with the world: theOpen TV Project, which will bring TEDTalks to broadcast TV networks around the globe. Launched in May 2010, the TED Open TV Project allows broadcasters worldwide to air TEDtalks for free, provided they follow basic guidelines (no editing, interrupting or showing commercials during the talks). Licensed broadcasters will have permission not only to air the talks, but also create programs around them — for example, using local hosts to introduce or wrap up the talks. It’s truly open-source TV.

Continue reading TV : Idiot Box no more – TED is Coming

What is an LED TV ? Read before you buy one

Before the invasion of the flat screen, flat panel displays in our lives, the only real question when purchasing a CRT (cathode ray tube) TV was how big did you want it and how much space did you have in your room to house it ? Yes there were definitely some quality issues but mostly it was dictated by how many diagonal inches you could get buy. The 14″ and 21″ being the most popular at least in India. While size still matters to add to complexity of buying a TV includes Plasma vs LCD displays. Just when people were getting their mind sets ready for one or the other, Samsung jumped everyone with the ultra thin awesomely thin looking LED TV. And like most electronics that get the oohs and aahs from the public, everyone else followed suite.

People are now thinking what is this new animal in the TV world. To put it simply it is another form of the LCD TV that uses LED lights to provide the required back light and thats about it.

Continue reading What is an LED TV ? Read before you buy one