Filed under Opinion

Camera one, camera two

Do you remember the old paper 3-D glasses with the red and blue plastic lenses? They worked half the time, the other half you were looking at a discolored, fuzzy picture.

Nowadays, patrons are given an actual pair of glasses that remind me of cheap sunglasses. I am even the proud owner of some nifty 3-D goggles. Not only has the technology of glasses improved, 3-D in general is making leaps and bounds in the entertainment world.

Most movies are now offered in 3-D, several companies are producing 3-D TVs, Nintendo introduced a 3-D gaming device and Primus recently brought their innovative 3-D concert to St. Louis.

However, with any evolving technology, there are some drawbacks to the 3-D revolution.

While 3-D movies are popular in theater, most people do not own a 3-D TV, making them impractical at home. Unfortunately, when people are making a 3-D movie, this point is often forgotten.

I have been disappointed several times when watching a movie originally made for 3-D in its 2-D form. Time and again the filmmakers spend too much time focusing on whatever would be flying at you if you were watching it in 3-D.

Of course, if I had a 3-D TV, this would not be an issue, although, I’ve heard mixed reviews on these new fangled TVs.

According to an article written by Ryan Nakashima published in USA Today, many complain that the glasses are uncomfortable after a time, and there aren’t many TV shows produced in 3-D, mostly just sports and movies.

Another concern is the cost. A 3-D TV is about $200 more than a basic TV of the same size. Plus there’s the cost of 3-D cable services, 3-D DVD players and better 3-D glasses.

Even Primus’s 3-D concert had some drawbacks. I must admit it was pretty nifty watching snow fall around the guitarist while indoors but there is definitely room for improvement. Instead of just having trippy lines on top of a southbound pachyderm, an actual elephant charging out of the screen would have been better.

After three hours of constant visual assault, I was a little dizzy, had a headache and wouldn’t have passed roadside alcohol test to save my life even though I drank nothing. These side effects are my biggest concern with 3-D.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), not everyone will experience side effects from viewing things in 3-D but sitting further away from the screen can reduce eyestrain and headaches. The AOA has yet to find any lasting symptoms from watching things in 3-D for an extended period of time.

In an article published on March 18, 2011 in Consumer Electronics Daily, Jim Sheedy, director of the Vision Performance Institute at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., said he would have trouble justifying the costs for a study of the long-term side effects of 3-D viewing. So, it doesn’t look like they plan to do any conclusive research on the matter.

I, for one, prefer my TV and movies in plain ole two-dimensions. However, concerts are another story. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and weighing the costs and benefits of converting to 3-D.

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