Plugged In: 3D Television

John Fuller

After being introduced in the 1950s, it took almost ten years for color televisions to become a popular mainstay in the American home and render black and white television obsolete.

Now, an argument is being made that three-dimensional television is about to have the same, revolutionary effect on the television and movie industry that color television had in the 50s.

3D TV, as it is being dubbed, currently works by having the viewer wear special glasses to interpret, to the naked eye, a blurry and hazy picture.

This means that for a family to watch a feature presentation in 3D, they must all wear and own special glasses, as well as view it on an actual 3D TV.

I can’t picture anything more annoying than having to wear special, clunky glasses while watching TV, since this would make laying down in bed or on the couch impossible.

Furthermore, 3D TV doesn’t even offer any more information than the standard, 2D television.

With color television, viewers are instantly able to see a wealth of information that was never before visible. For instance, many people may have never known that Opie, from The Andy Griffith Show, was a redhead until the show began airing in color.

In 3D TV, we don’t gain any new perception of depth or understanding that we couldn’t already get with 2D TV. Color plays such a huge role in our lives, and our perception of the world, so it’s natural that color should be built into television.

Of course, 3D does have its purpose, like in “Honey I Shrunk the Kids!” at Disney World or in certain thematic movies, or even sports events.

Yet, it’s ridiculous to make every new movie in 3D when hardly any of these movies benefit from being done that way.

Watching movies in 3D can even cause health problems for viewers, as headaches and nausea are common for some people after watching 3D movies.

One of the most prolific reasons that the movie industry is pushing for the adoption of 3D technology is the fact that they will profit from its sale.

Not only are 3D movie tickets more expensive, but everyone who already has a perfectly good television will need to buy a brand new  television set in order to watch films in 3D. Plus, 3D TV customers will have to buy glasses for everyone in their family and have a few extra pair for guests.

Not to mention the fact that we already know how this 3D fad is going to play out, since there was already a ‘3D TV Revolution’ in the 50s and the 80s. Except, we’re wearing goofy plastic wayfarers instead of the paper, white glasses with red-and-blue lenses this time around.

Each time 3D has been dubbed ‘the next big thing’ though, society has turned back to the normal, 2D television after straining their eyes and paying extra money became too annoying and troublesome.

While 3D movies and videos can have their purpose, these instances are often niche cases, and as a whole, we shouldn’t need to modify our entire home media set-up just to pad the pockets of the movie industry.