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Saturday, December 02, 2023
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The cost of depth

The cost of depth
Asst. Arts Editor

3D – it's the new "must" in the movie industry, guaranteed to help you rake in that box office money. But do we really need it in our living rooms?
Recently television makers such as Sony, Samsung and Panasonic have launched their latest technology: the 3D-capable TV. With such an innovation, your favorite movies and programs can come alive, taking over your home Jumanji-style.
But is the technology ready? Is the price really worth it?
With the cheapest model coming in at the low, affordable price of $1700 (the Samsung PN50C7000 plasma television), the cost of depth, to say the least, is high. That price doesn't include the glasses, required for anyone wishing to view the movie, which run around $150 per pair.
Without the glasses, the stereopsis technology creates an incomprehensible image. Relying on taking two images of the same scene – one meant for the left eye and the other for the right – and laying them on top of each other, the process creates a blurred mass for the natural eye.
Yet television stations are still embracing this new medium, the forerunner being the world of sports. Over the last week, Comcast broadcasted certain segments of the Masters in 3D. ESPN will be doing the same come June 11, starting with the first World Cup game, Mexico versus South Africa.
In the meantime, companies such as Verizon, Cablevision and DTV will be launching 3D packages, according to CNET.
3D has had a long love affair with children's movies, most recently taking on How to Train Your Dragon and the re-mastered versions of the Toy Story series. Yet the technology has started to corner the general public as well. Tickets for Avatar were quickly swept up by the populous, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I promises the same turnout come fall.
Although a 3D IMAX theater ticket costs around $16, it's still a far cry from the thousands one would need to spend to experience the same effect in his or her own home. Do the math. That's 106 movies for the price of a TV.
On top of the highly extravagant prices, the technology is still new. As with any new technology, the problems generally outnumber the benefits. You will either spend half your time and money on tech support and updates or you will have an outdated piece of plastic by time 2010 comes to a close.
If you really feel the need to have golf balls flying in your general direction, I suggest standing in the middle of a driving range or giving your little brother a golf club. Although the effect may be slightly more painful, it is drastically cheaper than investing in the world of the third dimension.




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