3D TV analysis: ditch your ego, don those glasses, and enter the third dimension

While Maija Leivo and I were in Europe for this year’s MIPCOM conference we went to dinner with a friend from Discovery Channel and got talking about overcoming fear of doing things that make us – in our minds – look foolish.

For some this can be triggered when walking through a crowded restaurant looking for a seat for one, for others it may be sharing cuts of your film for the first time. It’s about putting ourselves out there – and therefore the potential for looking dumb looms large – and that mucky feeling of emotional distress follows.

This brings us to the 3D debate that rages amongst those who are invested in having stereo monitors and content in every house and on every channel.  They ask – what’s holding 3D back? I have heard it blamed on everything from the complex and expensive monitors to issues with accessing content to less-than-satisfactory 3D crippling consumer desire.

But there may be another facet to the debate worth considering. Simply put, people don’t want to look stupid. It’s that human condition where one doesn’t want to stand out.

For decades we have gone into stores and tried things on – shoes, headphones, sunglasses. It’s been made easy with familiarity and so-called expertise – but there is always that niggle of mindfulness that the potential of some person snickering and saying “boy, those look dumb”.

3D technology is in its retail infancy phase. That means it lacks the comfort associated with testing other, more established products. In order to check out a 3D TV for potential purchase we have to put 3D glasses on in public – and it’s not yet something we are used to.

The same goes for convincing all your buddies that your house is the best place to watch the super bowl with your new 3D TV – just have to put on these 3D glasses that make you look like Aristotle Onassis. This “new” experience seems to amplify self-consciousness – so it can be a tough sell.

While walking the floor at MIPCOM looking at other 3D vendors’ setups, I noticed that few potential viewers stopped to look at the visual spectacle that was on offer – mostly sports and a couple of soft-core porn vendors – but no one was lining up. If someone did stop and picked up the glasses, I could see they were actively overcoming their self-consciousness. Most just moved on because it looked like a hassle.

The lesson here is if we stick with what’s familiar, we often miss out. When people opt for their comfort zone instead of 3D glasses, they’re robbing themselves of a new experience. So next time you go into the 3D television section of the electronics store, try those glasses on. Snicker to yourself. And then enter the third dimension.

Ian Herring, President


MIPCOM … 3D: stereoscopic dispatches from the world’s entertainment content market

Parallax Film Productions President Ian Herring was in Cannes, France last week for MIPCOM, armed with a 3D monitor and ready to showcase our first 3D documentary to the world’s entertainment content market.

Here’s what he found.

I wanted to share Blowdown 3D, our stereoscopic documentary on explosive demolition produced for international broadcast, at this year’s MIPCOM conference in Cannes, France.

My criteria was it had to be an easy and hassle-free viewing experience. NO ACTIVE SHUTTER glasses. I needed the technology to work seamlessly so I could be free to discuss more important things.  My post-production team came up with a brilliant solution – take my own passive 3D monitor to the conference.

The gamble

When we chose LG’s D2342P 23IN 3D LED Backlit LCD Monitor I was taking a chance on alienating my audience and turning them off 3D – counter to everything I have been doing for the past year and a half. Would I be able to get the quality I needed to show our flagship 3D documentary to clients and colleagues at MIPCOM?

The journey

I brought it over from Vancouver, Canada as carry on.   From what I could see I was the only one who carried a computer monitor on board an international and then a European domestic flight.

The destination

The LG monitor was the only one of its kind at a TV conference that hosts 10, 000 buyers and sellers. I walked the floor of the market and saw lots of large 3D TVs, but not many people viewing them. I wondered if this was because the content wasn’t compelling or because people just don’t want to look stupid with glasses on.

The impact

Many of the people we showed a clip of BD 3D had not seen much 3D TV.   It worked.  The discussion came down to not WHY we were doing 3D but our next project.  Here’s one of our clients screening on our LG.  Easy and discrete.


File 196

When it comes to 3D, seeing is believing – you have a have a good reason to don glasses and it had better be an amazing the viewing experience or we as content creators are going to have a tough time convincing folks its worth the effort to finance and exhibit.

The last word

Sadly, at the market a major journal profiled 3D and its evolution, technology and got it SO wrong.  A bad joke at a TV market.

Ian Herring, President