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Displays Television Entertainment Technology

The Joke Known As 3D TV 594

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-funny-it-gives-you-a-migraine dept.
harrymcc writes "I'm at IFA in Berlin — Europe's equivalent of the Consumer Electronics Show — and the massive halls are dominated by 3D TVs made by everyone from Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic to companies you've never heard of. The manufacturers seem pretty excited, but 3D has so many downsides — most of all the lousy image quality and unimpressive dimensionality effect — that I can't imagine consumers are going to go for this. 'As a medium, 3D remains remarkably self-trivializing. Virtually nobody who works with it can resist thrusting stuff at the camera, just to make clear to viewers that they’re experiencing the miracle of the third dimension. When Lang Lang banged away at his piano during Sony’s event, a cameraman zoomed in and out on the musical instrument for no apparent reason, and one of the company’s representatives kept robotically shoving his hands forward. Hey, it’s 3D — watch this!'"
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The Joke Known As 3D TV

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  • Bad quality (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:17PM (#33478278)
    I was in Fry's Electronics a few weeks ago, and they had a 3D TV demo set up. I tried it, and was blown away by how bad the quality was. It flickered, gave me a headache, and didn't have much of a 3D effect at all. I assumed that they guys at Fry's didn't know what they were doing and had set it up wrong, but from this article it sounds like they might have.
  • by anguirus.x (1463871) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:19PM (#33478300)
    Even if they can tell, obviously, that these 1st-gen 3DTVs are a bust, they can't afford to risk missing out on carving out market share right now. Now is the time to make their brand synonymous with 3D TV. The trick will be avoiding being the brand associated with the failings of the first generation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:24PM (#33478340)

    3D TV reminds me of BluRay or HDTV. They're all marketed as the next big thing but all they do is make
    it a bit prettier. What about spending more money on making it a better story? Making it prettier does
    not make it better, it makes it prettier. Its only a distraction from the plot not an enhancement
    and its only the stupid who fall for it but then they are just as likely to be impressed by a piece of
    shiny foil.

    Its worse than PhysX for games. At least that could be used to enhance gameplay but all they seem to do is try to
    make things look a bit prettier.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:24PM (#33478346)
    The early days of stereo audio are known as the ping pong days because of the vocals and instruments bouncing back and forth between the two channels. If you listen to, for example, some of the early Beatles recordings, you'll hear the ping-pong effect.

    .
    When you add another dimension to a playback medium, the first temptation is to exploit that new dimension to the point of exaggeration. That is where 3-D TV is now.

    Give the creative types a few years and 3D TV will look very differently. Heck, it may even work without those awful glasses........

  • by codegen (103601) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:28PM (#33478372) Journal
    With the prices dropping on HD TV's, they need to find something with a high markup that the chumps^H^H^H^H^H^H videophiles will buy. There are only so many $500 ethernet cables you can sell.
  • by Zapotek (1032314) <tasos.laskos@gma ... com minus distro> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:28PM (#33478376) Homepage
    You beat me to the punch...The technology is still under development, like when the first flat screen TVs came out....
    Everybody needs to stop whining right now and give it time. No-one is forcing you to buy it anyways, f'ing hell...
  • by EdZ (755139) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:30PM (#33478382)
    3DTV itself, or rather stereoscopic display technology, is perfectly fine. The problem lies in pants-on-head-retard directors who wouldn't know convergence depth interocular distance from their own anus. Creating stereoscopic video that doesn't cause headaches is HARD. You can;t justtape two cameras together and carry on as usual, and you sure as hell can't expect a 2D movie retrofitted to 3D to look even half decent.
    Imagine if colour TV had started of with everything in bright block primary colours only.
  • by Purity Of Essence (1007601) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:31PM (#33478390)

    I agree. I think we are looking at a Laser Disk or BetaMax situation here. Either it's going to establish an under-served dedicated niche market that will be viewed in the future as cutting edge pioneering technology, or it's going to establish an under-served dedicated niche market that is going become a laughing stock despite being cutting edge pioneering technology. Either way, this generation of 3D is never going to go mainstream.

  • by linzeal (197905) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:33PM (#33478398) Homepage Journal

    When color TVs became affordable for the consumer market and television programs started broadcasting in color the amount of garish costumes and set designs and other "look ma, its in color" gaucherie was lampooned mercilessly. The technology was refined and eventually turned out alright, even though it went through a stage at the advent of color when it verged on the psychedelic.

    Discounting 3D at this stage of the technology is a patently absurd prognostication given the history of the TV.

  • Re:thrusting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MDMurphy (208495) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:34PM (#33478404)

    Thrusting is right. ( Though I usually refer to 3-D as "throwing shit at your face")

    You can spot a commercial for almost every 3-D movie right away, even watching in 2D with no foreknowledge. You'll see spears, birds, balls anything that moves rapidly moving towards you, stopping just short of hitting the screen.

    As with B&W movies, or even silent films, that survive and entertain today, it's about the content, not the technology. New features can possibly enhance the experience, but a crap show is a crap show, regardless if it's in HD, surround sound and 3-D.

  • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:36PM (#33478410) Homepage Journal
    Absolutely amazing. The amount of effort that people are putting out in order to bash a completely optional technology is staggering. No one is being forced to watch anything in 3D; no one is being forced to purchase 3D technology. Yet, so many people do anything they can to degrade a technology that they're not required to use with phrases like "goofy glasses" and "gimmick". Now "joke" can be added to that list. Might as well start calling the upsizing of fast-food value meals a "joke" and a "gimmick" considering that they're available, they're more expensive, and you're under no obligation to purchase those - just like 3D TV. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that the efforts of those who looks to denigrate this technology, which in its current form is clearly in its infancy, amount to nothing more than trolling.

    If you don't want it, then DON'T BUY IT! Why is this so difficult for these anti-3D trolls to undertstand?
  • by hedwards (940851) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:36PM (#33478416)
    To an extent, but the poor quality of things like say falling rain and breaking glass has a tendency to stretch the ability of the player to suspend his disbelief. Likewise, high quality effects tend to lend themselves to more cooperation on the part of the viewer. I remember reading something recently that we tend to notice poor video quality more when we're not fully engaged in the movie.

    That being said, the thing is that we've always had poor quality movies and games, it's a question of what's available to the artisans of the industry, the Hitchcocks, Carmacks and Romeros both George and John of the world.

    3D won't take off anytime soon as it's still primitive, not just in terms of technology, but in terms of how it's used. It's still mostly used for cheap shocks and often times isn't even done well. As directors and game programmers get better at it, there'll be more to it. But right now there isn't really that much difference between say Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY edition in 3D versus the the 3D turned off, they just did way too good a job with the regular one in terms of giving it a 3D feel while being quite subtle with the 3D.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:38PM (#33478422)

    The trick will be avoiding being the brand associated with the failings of the first generation.

    So there's going to be a generation of 3DTV which doesn't suck?

  • why it misses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:39PM (#33478428) Homepage Journal
    I see TV, outside of niche market like the obsessive sport fan, TVs serve two purposes. One is to be large central, almost alter like presence in the central room. If one is judged on size, and not performance, anything that reducing the diagonal inches/dollar is certainly not going to sell. The other purpose is increasing to replace the radio as background noise.

    Yes there are crowds other than than sports fanatics that are actually to spend time glued to the tv for hours on end wearing these glasses. But I think the time when this is status quo, at least in the US, is long past.

    Many would say that the going to movies is in decline because TV is catching up to major budget movie quality and because the experience is not what it used to be. I would say the reason for this is that people are less willing to sit idly for an hour or so and passively consume entertainment. The 3D tv is part of that passive consumption, and if we won't do it theaters, why would we do it at home, where are not prohibited for texting on our phones or loading up a video game on our portable player, simply because so relic for the 20th century thinks it is rude.

  • 3DTV here to stay (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:44PM (#33478456)

    I love 3 Dimensional TV done well. We have two eyes and see in 3D in the real world ... without having things shoved in our faces. Calm down content producers ... we get the point. 3DTV is here to stay - so start doing it right ...
    Film like its a window into the world your watching - not like its a threshold for all sorts of stuff to poke out of.

  • Re:thrusting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:47PM (#33478466)
    Regardless of bells and whistles technique can still be refined.
  • Problem Solved (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mikeroySoft (1659329) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:48PM (#33478480)
    Just don't buy a 3D TV. The manufacturers will get the hint.
  • by mike260 (224212) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:51PM (#33478496)

    If Sony can pour millions into telling everyone that 3D is the bee's knees then I can take 2 minutes to voice my opinion that no, it ain't.

  • by gfody (514448) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:51PM (#33478498)
    I'm at the Premium Buyer's Exhibition in New York — the 1950's equivalent of the Consumer Electronics Show — and the massive halls are dominated by color TVs made by everyone from RCA to GE and Honeywell to companies you've never heard of. The manufacturers seem pretty excited, but color has so many downsides — most of all the lousy image quality and unimpressive color effect — that I can't imagine consumers are going to go for this. 'As a medium, color remains remarkably self-trivializing. Virtually nobody who works with it can resist flaunting garish stuff at the camera, just to make clear to viewers that they’re experiencing the miracle of color. When Elvis banged away at his piano during RCA’s event, a cameraman zoomed in and out on his ridiculous shoes for no apparent reason, and one of the company’s representatives kept robotically flicking his tie forward. Hey, it’s color — watch this!
  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:55PM (#33478522)

    No-one is forcing you to buy it anyways

    It's true, if you get headaches from 3d, you will never be forced to get a 3d TV, since consumers are never forced into upgrading their equipment ever.

    Now if you excuse me, I have to go buy "Inception" on VHS...

  • Re:thrusting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Metasquares (555685) <`slashdot' `at' `metasquared.com'> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:57PM (#33478526) Homepage
    We're in the "blue LED phase" of 3D right now, where everyone is using it just because it's new. Once the novelty wears off it will start to be used more sensibly. Although I'd argue that we still haven't reached that point with blue LEDs either :)
  • Informative! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:58PM (#33478536)

    Let's hear lots of comments by people who haven't seen 3D TV. And then let's have poorly-woorded descriptions of a visual medium than can only really be appreciated by experiencing it.

    This is the Internet at it's most Internet-like.

    "Clearly, 3D TV sucks because it's expensive and I haven't purchased one yet. If I decide to buy one, it is because it has improved and no longer sucks."

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:58PM (#33478538)
    New technologies are -always- annoying to show that they can do it. Stereo audio is one main point. Listen to recordings from when stereo was just coming out and you will hear sound shift from left to right over and over again just so they can say they did it. Look at some of the programs when color TV first came out, they used hideous color schemes to show that you could have color. Look at the the early Nintendo DS games which were all "draw something with the stylus" games before they started to get better. Etc.

    Early "new" technologies show the worst at the beginning (anyone else remember the age of animated .gif images -everywhere- on the web in the 90s?). 3-D is the same way, it will be annoying at first but when the technology improves and directors make things work, things get a lot better.
  • by 0123456 (636235) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:59PM (#33478542)

    Color TV had an obvious and significant benefit and didn't require you to wear silly glasses all the time. 3D is a gimmick that only works well in a limited amount of footage that I've seen, and does require you to wear silly glasses all the time.

    Until you can make 3D TVs which don't require glasses and do allow you to show objects which go outside the screen, it will always be a gimmick.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:05PM (#33478578)
    Because if current 3D technology didn't get bashed about like the piece of excrement that it is, it would become standard technology. Companies will sell the masses polished turds all day, telling them it's the latest and greatest, and unless people challenge their bullshit, they'll phase out the old tech and you will have to buy the new tech because there's nothing else to buy. Even if you just use the 2D portion, that's that much more you have to spend on a TV and that much more you have to spend on 3D only movies that will look asstastic in 2D. 3D will be great when it's ready, but lots of people seem to agree it's not and I for one don't think that it will be for another decade.

    Also, it takes a lot of people screaming DO NOT WANT to get manufacturer's attentions.
  • Re:thrusting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:05PM (#33478584)

    3D has been around since at least the 70s or 80s IIRC. If not earlier. It's just a bit more cost effective to produce. Although not much. They've had plenty of time to try and learn to use it sensibly. The trouble is that 3D adds little to no value at all to the movie to begin with (aside from the fact that it's actually bad for your brains (esp. children's brains) when it comes to processing depth in the real world.

    They've been putting 3D in crappy B movies since the 80s. They just picked the 'trend' back up like all trends do.

  • by Abstrackt (609015) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:15PM (#33478644)

    No-one is forcing you to buy it anyways

    It's true, if you get headaches from 3d, you will never be forced to get a 3d TV, since consumers are never forced into upgrading their equipment ever.

    Now if you excuse me, I have to go buy "Inception" on VHS...

    VHS died because DVD was obviously better. The quality wasn't as good as DVD, there weren't as many features as DVDs and you had to rewind your movies (hey, it was annoying).

    I don't see 2D television going away any time soon as 3D isn't exactly an obvious improvement. It will probably become a niche, like vinyl in the audio world.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:24PM (#33478714)

    I'm not buying it. It also doesn't take much effort, and can be amusing, to make fun of it at the same time.

  • by fredmosby (545378) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:26PM (#33478722)
    The article is mostly complaining that modern 3D TV's require special glasses to watch, which is a completely valid criticism. I'm not sure why you think no one should ever criticize 'optional' technologies. No one's forcing you to buy a Hummer H2 but they still suck.
  • by assassinator42 (844848) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:32PM (#33478768)

    I can still eat with someone who orders an upsized fast food meal even if I order a regular meal.
    I can't watch a movie with someone who wants to see it in 3D.

  • by JMZero (449047) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:59PM (#33478930) Homepage

    We saw the same discussion here a few years ago with HD TVs. "Nobody cares about HD gaming". "Nobody can even see a difference". "Nobody will buy a $4000 TV".

    This is a technology site. It really surprises me people can't see how this is going to go.

    OK: first, likely there will be a successor technology that delivers 3d without glasses - and probably not that far off. But even if there isn't, what do you need to implement 3d as it is now? A fast enough refresh rate and shutter glasses. Eventually, that refresh rate will just be standard. Why wouldn't it be? Again, think back to HD. Yeah it was expensive once. Now it's just standard, whether people need or really want it or not. And shutter glasses. I predict these will be under $20 within 3 years - there's no tech in there that necessitates an expensive product. So 3d will essentially be free on a new TV.

    And really, 3d is pretty good sometimes. Ever play a good racing game in 3d? It's way better - way more sense of speed. Did you see Avatar? Up? How to Train Your Dragon? Despite being essentially first generation titles, they were all great - and all better because of 3d. Content will just get better, and eventually 2d TV will start to look like it's missing something. Now sure lots of content won't benefit much - but that's the same with HD. Or color.

    All of this is obvious.

    The only reasons I can see behind the doomsaying are sour grapes (I don't want to buy a new TV), elitism (I enjoy films at a deeper level than visual gimmickry), or just plain lack of imagination. I want to go back sometime and dredge up some anti-HD posts... but it'd be easier to just do a text replace on this thread.

  • by Skreems (598317) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:00PM (#33478936) Homepage
    I've got bad news for you... most of us don't care at all, and will take immediate delivery over resolution any day.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:07PM (#33478966)

    The "edge problem" isn't much of a problem.

    Instead of cropping both images to a 2D rectangle (the screen) you crop them both to a 3D pyramid(ish), so both eyes stop seeing things at the same time. Because of the parallax issue (or as you call it, "sweet spot problem"), cropping to a single pyramid-like shape (precisely, the intersection of the two pyramids based on the screen with vertices at each of the viewer's eyes) will eliminate this problem for viewers anywhere -- the cropping pyramid skews and scales to match each viewer's location. In fact, while it's technically less natural, extending the same cropping volume "into the screen" is also possible, and I suspect would further reduce optical confusion.

    And while the skewing effect from off-axis viewing is plainly an issue, I think lens issues (and reasonable distance variations on-axis) are practically non-issues -- after all binoculars wreak havoc with focal length, but they work out ok.

  • by moneymatt (1817930) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:12PM (#33478996)

    It's not new. It's over 50 years old.

    StereoScopic 3d is way over 50 years old, but the tools to create compelling experiences + the market demand is brand-spanking in your face new.

  • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdotNO@SPAMpitabred.dyndns.org> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:16PM (#33479018) Homepage

    Buy Blu-Ray? Because DRM is good for everyone! Blu-Ray is shit that happens to have high resolution. If they had some kind of high-res format without the DRM, I'd be all over it.

  • Re:thrusting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by awtbfb (586638) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:40PM (#33479102)

    However, I'd argue that 3D movies have already gotten past the blue LED phase. Certainly Cameron's Avatar was a highly engrossing (both to the viewer and the bottom line) film even without the 3D, and without throwing somebody's yo-yo in your face ...

    I've been telling people that Cameron got Avatar "right" in terms of 3D exactly for this reason. There is such a stark contrast between it and other 3D movies in that there were only a couple scenes where it was clear they were showing off the 3D. Even those had reasons where the scene kind of made sense (like refocusing on near/far during the diary videos). I think Avatar will be a real benchmark in 3D strictly because it shows you can do well with 3D without being an eye-poker movie. It will be interesting to see how many other directors learn from Cameron's willingness to try to do it right.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:44PM (#33479116)

    In theory you may be correct, but in reality 3D TV has some major technological hurdles to overcome before it becomes practical. Stereo sound, color vision, and high definition were incremental improvements that didn't change the fundamental nature of television; none of them faced the real technical challenges that 3D TV does.

  • by udippel (562132) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:51PM (#33479160)

    I'd throw all my mod points at you, if I had or could. Already the next commenter knows close to nothing about stereoscopy, but argues as if he did. You are right from a number of viewpoints (pun!, héhé):

    1. At real 3D, when you move your head laterally, you can 'circle' around an object.
    2. At real 3D, when you move your head laterally, objects hidden behind other objects become visible.
    3. [You didn't mention this one:] Depth perception of the human eyes is done by a combination of biological effects:
      - convergence of the eyeballs (like when you watch your finger and bring it closer to your own face, the eyes turn 'inward'
      - adaptation of the lenses for a specific distance

    The so-called '3D' that can be achieved by two cameras only fulfills one of these features: convergence of the eyeballs (by introducing a lateral offset of the two images on the projection screen).
    This is why this so-called '3D' gives you some '3D-feeling', but mostly headaches; as the "3D-detection algorithm" in your brain cannot accommodate the incoming information properly; it defeats and contradicts what it has learned throughout your lifespan.

  • by keatonguy (1001680) <`keaton.prower' `at' `gmail.com'> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:56PM (#33479192)

    Keep on truckin', tin-foil-hatter. I'd bet money that in ten years you'd be embarrassed you ever posted this. I know DRM just busts your nuts, but it won't eat the media industry alive to the point of making any kind of video obscenely expensive to watch, no corp is stupid enough to pull that kind of move. They will continue to make it hard for people to make illegal copies of copyrighted material, but there is zero chance the home video market will be shut down this half the century, and even if it did, it sure as shit wouldn't be over Montgomery Burns style scheming.

    I will be modded down for this because Slashdotters like to tell each other that they're oppressed and marginalized revolutionaries.

  • by udippel (562132) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:07PM (#33479254)

    1920x1080p Blu-Ray Discs are incredible. I would never want to watch 720x486 NTSC SD interlaced footage EVER again. I work in post production/special fx, so i'm a videophile.

    That's one of the troubles with the world of today. Some people get their kicks just from the resolution of the image. Go to any TV-electronics parlor. People will be excited about the crisp picture, the brilliant colours. Whenever I go there, I am infinitely bored with the crappy movies. And then I go home, and watch 720x486 NTSC SD interlaced with an enormous pleasure; Bunuel, Hitchcock, Marx Brothers. Even Kubrick's 2001 is great fun, in PAL. Murnau's Nosferatu (I guess, not more than 300x200 effective resolution) sends more shivers down my spine than Kinski's remake, even if it were in 1080p.
    Because it is the art; not the resolution that counts.

    YMMV, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:25PM (#33479324)

    How the blue fuck did this get rated +5 ANYTHING, let alone insightful. I might buy +5 retarded. It's certainly stupid enough for that.

  • by twidarkling (1537077) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:44PM (#33479414)

    If they can give a 3D experience without the glasses, I think a lot of 3D TV complaints would fall away, especially as content creators stopped treating it as a gimmick and more as the status quo. But until the shutter glasses are gone, I don't think it matters *how* cheap the glasses and TVs get, I just don't see it gaining much ground. The glasses just cause too many issues on their own. The easiest to point out, and the most difficult to hand-wave away is: what if I have a large group of people over to watch a movie, and I don't have enough glasses to go around? I'm a bachelor, so I really only need one pair of glasses. Should I really need to buy three, four, or more pairs to have hanging around for bad movie night? And when they're not being used, they're taking up more space, and can get lost or damaged without much notice. Oh joy. Then I have to hope that the battery doesn't die since I didn't charge the glasses since the last time they were used, because my friend just tossed them where I didn't notice. Then there's every other issue with the glasses that regularly comes up, which can probably be found elsewhere in the thread.

    Remember, the public, above all else, wants convenience. That's why automatic transmissions became popular while they were still less efficient than manuals, why CDs were more popular than cassettes, why you can sell a person a $120 package to set up their new laptop that consists solely of running windows update and burning recovery CDs for them, why three-colour ink tanks in printers persist, and why HDTV took off once you could sell them the "complete" HD experience of the TV, the Blu-Ray player, and the High-Def cable package all at once.

  • Re:thrusting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:57PM (#33479480)

    It will be interesting to see how many other directors learn from Cameron's willingness to try to do it right.

    Oh, I suspect they will. Right now they're still playing on the novelty aspect of 3D motion pictures (even though they've been around, in one form or another, for decades.)

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday September 05, 2010 @12:18AM (#33479570) Homepage Journal

    "counting how many times Cameron ripped off his VASTLY superior prior movie, Aliens."

    Sigourney Weaver
    Sigourney Weaver in a skimpy tank top
    Alien Sigourney Weaver
    Alien Sigourney Weaver in a skimpy tank top
    On a planet they have no fucking business being on
    Looking for OMFGT3HULTIMATE *SOMETHING*

    I stopped watching. I grabbed Aliens and did a thorough 5x5 pipeline cleansing of my brain.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 05, 2010 @12:55AM (#33479728)

    I'll probably catch hell for this, but here it goes:
    When USB actually took off (it had been around a couple of years, but there were not really any standard drivers for it), was when the first iMac came out, and you HAD to use USB. Especially to connect a 3.5" disk drive that did not come on the computer. I remember all the comments about how stupid Apple was to not include a 3.5" drive, and how stupid it was to ditch serial ports (the old type), but Apple did it anyway. Within less than a year, USB was everywhere.

  • by kramulous (977841) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @02:09AM (#33479968)

    Nope. I wait. Quality makes it worthwhile, every time. Instant gratification doesn't win with me.

    Unless of course you actually need your eyes checked.

  • Re:why it misses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sapphire wyvern (1153271) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @02:20AM (#33479990)

    why would we do it at home, where are not prohibited for texting on our phones or loading up a video game on our portable player, simply because so relic for the 20th century thinks it is rude.

    You do that at the cinema during the movie? Don't you realise how distracting it is for every single person sitting behind you to have a bright little screen waving around in their peripheral vision, in an environment that's deliberately as dark as possible?

    Damn right it's rude! If you don't want to watch the movie, leave. The rest of the audience paid to see the movie too, and don't need to have their experience ruined by selfish behaviour on the part of one person in the audience.

  • by wintermute000 (928348) <johannlo1&gmail,com> on Sunday September 05, 2010 @03:05AM (#33480148)

    WTF does art have to do with HD res of SD res. That's a straw man if I ever saw one.

    HD res of crap film = still crap film.
    HD res of good film = better than SD res of good film.

    So there are old films that will never be in HD, and many new HD releases are intrinsically bad films. Are you so blinkered to think that 'the world of today' will never produce new movies as good or better as the old classics?

    HD wins every time, only issue is budget.

  • by DingerX (847589) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @04:22AM (#33480362) Journal
    First, I don't recall ever thinking HD was stupid, nor do I recall a huge Slashdot backlash against HD. And as someone who's been playing PC games for a very long time, I can say that HD gaming is very important; however, five years ago I did think that developing a videogame console to connect to televisions and produce HD content was economically questionable.

    Five years later, with the HDTV penetration of US households creeping up from 1/3, and Nintendo the hands-down winner of the last console wars, it turns out that, indeed, "Not enough people cared about HD gaming" to justify the added hardware costs. Now, of course it's a different story.

    Second, will people stop calling Avatar "First-generation 3D Technology?" It's absolutely idiotic, akin to calling the 787 "First-generation Jet Transport Technology", only stereoscopic viewing technology has been around for longer than airplanes have; stereoscopic movies have been around in different iterations for at least sixty years (and some would say over eighty). Avatar uses some of the better theater technology available and is very well shot and rendered, but it is not a "new" technology; just a vastly better implementation than before.

    Third, the fact that it's been around so long and still has huge problems should be a warning sign: there's some basic physics and cognitive science that is standing in the way of 3D television being comfortable or viable in the long term. Let's take the Avatar standard: the dream of 3DTV makers is to produce an Avatar-like experience in the home. Something on the order of 10% of the population is unable to watch Avatar in 3D because of nausea, and at least 5% has conditions that make them unable to see the effect. The rest of us emerged from the theater groggy.

    It's a huge exercise on the brain, and people don't watch TV to exercise their brains.

    So no, 3DTV needs some major technological breakthrough in order to work.
  • by udippel (562132) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @04:48AM (#33480434)

    Of course you are right if you take my words literally, and to that extent.
    However, if you care to infer the message, it is about the focus with which movies are shot. There is only that much of funding, and in these days, I'm afraid, the average investor is more concerned about resolution and brilliance (of the shots), than in the artistic quality of the undertaking. And all this 'over-technisised' appreciation of the audience will actually lead to movies being shunned because of a perceived lower technical quality, despite of potentially higher artistic quality.
    I personally have overheard people who refuse to buy any non-BlueRay movie, because "Blue Ray is the future". Content seems to disappear behind technicalities, including for the consumer.
    And if you please read the message of the OP, I would never want to watch 720x486 NTSC SD interlaced footage EVER again., you might understand my urge to point out what a nonsense this implies. And that one was modded +5, Informative. I was only trying to say, that my primary argument for selecting a movie is its artistic content; not its resolution.

  • by khallow (566160) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @04:57AM (#33480458)

    Name one time, ever, that it has paid to be an early adopter of electronic tech.

    Nuclear bombs. Computers. Heart pacemakers. Telegraph. Radar. Oscilloscopes.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @05:28AM (#33480536)

    Huh?

    I've work in film, tv and videogame production as a 3d animator. I've also worked on two pilots for television, one of which is in talks right now with a major studio.

    Film investors do not sit around and say "The story isnt great, but what matters is, what resolution are you going to shoot this?"

    That doesnt happen. EVERYONE working in major production right now and in the past, has been working with material that produces resolutions well over home delivery capabilities. Film stock itself can easily be scanned up to 4K, which is about 4096x2304 or higher depending on the aspect. Film itself has always produced higher resolution images than any video delivery format. Now thats changing because many people are shooting in HD resolutions in digital rather than on film, but not because of the resolution, but because of ease of use. You dont have to have your film scanned. Todays HD cameras offer higher color bit depth than ever before as well...

    But ease of use, is more the reason for shooting in HD... the resolutions were always there on film. Its just now... its easier to shoot HD because it goes right into your editor without scanning film stock.

    So no one sits around wondering if they're going to shoot a film in HD before the greenlight a project. Everyone in production now, is all HD or traditional film stock. Content always matters in film developement. Granted sometimes the content that they focus on is more concerned with who is in the film, rather than what is in the film....

    There are plenty of things that stand in the way of a good story. First... Its hard to make a good story. Its also hard to shoot a good story. Its very easy to ruin a good story by shooting it badly. Its very easy to go into production and suddenly find that its not working.... perhaps the actors failed, or the principles rushed into production without thinking of their shot plan, or they wrote the story on set as the shot. There are many reasons why films suck.... None of which have anything to do with a production company caring about what resolution it is shot at. The resolutions have always been high in film. Its the consumer who wasnt getting the full resolution.. until now.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @05:46AM (#33480584)

    Direct streaming is death for film ownership.

    Why would anyone want Blu-Ray to die? I can understand the DRM concerns, but if Direct streaming takes over, you will have lost the right to own a copy.

    The worst part of direct streaming, as it is now, and on fios (I'm a very early FIOS subscriber)... is that HD streamed content is heavily compressed when compared to Blu-ray video streams.

    By heavily compressed, i mean that fast motion breaks down into compression artifacts. Resolution and temporal quality is lost by overly compressing the footage to fit within the bandwidth allocated for streaming. Blu-Rays all stand out as far better quality when compared.

    Just turn on HBO. many of their films are overly compressed in HD. Put on discovery channel's how its made... and watch jelly beans racing across the screen by the millions in a factory and you will see the break down of resolution and temporal compression. The jelly beans will become pixelated as they move fast. The video compression blocks become obvious, because the bit rate is too low.

    Now where this lowering of bitrate takes place is another issue. On TV, it can be compressed THREE TIMES before it gets to you. First the production company delivers the TV show to the TV channel, this is compressed, usually a very nice quality version (if they know what they're doing)... Then the TV network sends out their feed to cable providers... and that feed may be recompressed to fit their bandwidth. When the cable / Sat TV providers get it, they then recompress the video again to fit their band width allocation needs. Often the lessor channels get more compressed than others, but overall you can see compression very clear from program to program. Direct TV is notorious for having terrible compression even on their SD content. So much that even negated the entire idea of a digital signal.

    So a disc based delivery format is still higher quality because the only bandwidth they have to wory about is disc space. They arent trying to squeeze 500 other channels of video along side your movie... Which is what happens on cable/sat and the net.

    I can see how DRM is a concern... but again... digital delivery isnt going to get any friendlier in terms of ownership rights. But atleast you'll have a high resolution, high bitrate version on a disc... which you can easily remove the DRM if you so choose and store on a media server at home.

    Digital delivery will always side with bandwidth over quality.... and control over freedom. A Blu-Ray disc with all its DRM, provides more freedom than any digital delivery. They want full control over your media.... So what do you think will happen when you no longer have a high quality version of the media in your possession?

  • Re:thrusting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lxt (724570) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @06:04AM (#33480608) Journal
    I don't know where you're getting the idea it's cheaper to shoot on film than digital, but in the vast majority of cases it's much, *much*, cheaper to shoot digitally than on film.

    Film is costly for several reasons, including having a finite supply of it (when shooting a film you tend to shoot between 3-4x more footage than you end up using. On digital it's much closer to 15-20x more footage), having to scan it to work on it digitally in post production (optical effects and tints being very rare today), and increasingly in today's world, a lack of people trained to handle it.

    Not to mention the fact that stock itself is very expensive, and for digital you're either shooting on magnetic media or SSD.

    Finally, your assertion that "depth is a known problem with filming" is nonsense. You may be used to seeing films with a shallow field, but it's entirely possible to shoot films without any depth of field at all. There was a movment in the 1930s to this effect - some really classic films such as 'The Rules of the Game' are shot almost entirely in 'deep focus', where there effectively is no depth of field, and everything is in sharp clarity.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

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