Conversion experience, 3D - NOT

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Jul 20, 2005
Northern VA
Went to see "Alice" last night at the Tyson's Imax 3D, with wife, son & son's friend/girlfriend. Got inside the theater just a couple of minutes before the actual film started. Picked up some unpowered "sunglasses" at the front of the theater.

Side note: For such a bad economy, the mall was PACKED! We had a HECK of a time finding parking. And then had to wade thru the masses. All three escalators, cheek to jowl. Then, the automated ticket dispensers, of which there were several, all had lines. People were getting to the front of the line, before the machine, and discovering the machines did not take cash. Some quirk was making everyone buying a ticket swipe their card twice. When we got up there, only had to pick up pre-ordered tickets, only had to swipe once, and moved on far faster than those ordering tickets from scratch. But their online site for ordering the pictures needs work. Had to check our credit card bill at the credit union web site to ensure they actually accepted the order. No confirmation otherwise.

Anyway, back on track: Since we got there relatively late, we had to sit near the front of the theater. At least we were pretty well dead center. The effects were nice, but we soon learned to keep our heads upright. Lean your head a bit to left or right, and the edges get fuzzy (linear polarization?). Glasses did not fit well over my wife's glasses, and seemed to do battle with her bifocals.

We all enjoyed the movie, and agreed this movie pretty much required the 3D effect. But focus was not always sharp, 3D depth was inconsistent and the whole technology did not seem much improved over a few years ago. Perhaps it would have been better if we were further up, toward the exact center of the theater- but then that shows a drawback of the technology itself.

My eyes were watering by the end. And this is not exactly a tear jerker. We all agreed that 2-3 hours of this would be about all we would want to take.

Granted, the home 3D technologies are different (circular polarization, powered shutters), but wouldn't you expect the theaters to have the best of this technology? After all, some state this is the sort of thing they need to get people away from their TV sets and into the theaters. This experience reinforces that we'd have to watch a program on a home 3D TV setup before ever considering buying one. And my wife is now more opposed than ever to home 3D.

If we try another 3D movie, we'll aim for arriving at least 30 minutes early and pick the best seats in the house, as see if it's any better.

Not Quite Good Enough.
...We all agreed that 2-3 hours of this would be about all we would want to take...
I recently had a discussion with one of the owners of my local "mom and pop" high-end A/V retailer (where I made a substantial audio investment about 2 years ago) in which I asked what he was predicting for the 3D technology roll-out and owner acceptance. I believe the latter will be the pacing factor. And that was his comment, that folks would probably only be "good" for a couple of hours at a time of wearing the glasses, and that as long as 3D requires the use of such enablers that it will be slow to catch on for the masses. To be sure the gamers will be out in front for a long time and what satisfies them will drive the progression. Since I'm not a gamer I don't know where that leaves me, but I decided to hold-off a bit on any upgrades (was planning on a new, larger TV in the near term) to see how this all shakes out...
Read an article yesterday about the 3D and headache issue and it seems that if you don't have near perfect vision that you will suffer through any number of issues. That being said my wife and I wear glasses and while I have never had a bad experience with 3D because my correction is slight she has never been able to enjoy it because hers is out there so far.
The new home 3D glasses are shutter instead of polarized. Since the glasses are not polarized, you won't have to hold your head perfectly level. The TV runs at 120 frames per second but each eye sees 60 frames per second, every other frame. A few theaters use circular instead of linear polarization so you don't need to remain upright.
Side note:For such a bad economy, the mall was PACKED!
I can assure you the DC Metro area is in much better shape than 99% of the communities I have visited over the past 2-years. Unfortunately, most of the DC economy is being funded with tax-payer dollars and not those of a vibrant local economy.:(

We all agreed that 2-3 hours of this would be about all we would want to take...Not Quite Good Enough.
I can watch perhaps one or two 3D movies per month, but I would rather save the $3 and watch the 2D version is most cases.
I think the video points out the difference between plasma and LCD more so than Samsung vs. Panasonic. I'm concerned about the Samsung glasses, I need some for my 3D DLPs but don't want ones that darken the picture.
No take a look at the glasses when you turn them...

I watch a lot of TV laying down. I wouldnt be able to watch 3D laying down with the Samsung.
I don't think you can watch 3D lying on your side as the effect would be all messed up. Probably give you a giant headache.
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