3-D TV’s = FAIL

Many of you are probably like me, you stuck with your good ol’ 27inch CRT television until the whole hi-def standard and hi-def format war was over so you didn’t get raped in the ass by buying technology that became obsolete (like all of those “HD Ready” sets they were selling a little while back, yeah right).  At this point the prices of TV’s were about half what they where when they were introduced and seemed to be holding, so you figured it was time to take the plunge and replace old faithful who’s been sitting on your entertainment stand for a decade or more.  Then fast forward about a year and a half and now we have 3-D TV’s and the promise of a bunch of 3-D blu-rays to come.  And guess what?  Your old TV can’t do it, you have no choice but to go out and spend the same money you spent a little over a year ago on a TV again if you want to be part of this new “3-D revolution” that’s being shoved down non-poverty stricken humanity’s collective throats right now.  You know what else?  These electronics manufacturers have to be on some seriously good fucking crack cocaine to think that most people who already spent half of their life savings just getting into the hi-def market are now going to spend the other half upgrading again in only a couple of years. 

You wanna know how long I had the same 27” CRT?  Try 15 years.  Sure there were other TV technologies that came out over the years, but honestly, despite offering a bigger screen, most of them kinda sucked ass.  Remember Rear Projection TV’s that had a viewing angle of basically nothing and burned in easier than a 1st gen plasma?  I do.  I also remember how shitty a 20” image looked blown up to 50”, and keep in mind the format for 99% of homes back then would’ve been VHS.  I can describe how most of those TV’s looked in single word: crap. Combined with outrageous prices and the fact that the set took up more of your living room than your couch, only a handful of people adopted.  But this thing is being advertised and pushed like the companies producing this stuff expect every home in North America is going to buy one.   I’m here to tell you that I don’t think I’m alone when I say there is no fucking way I am going to replace my TV unless they give me a new one for free.

So right there you have a pretty big argument against these TV’s lasting, but I suppose there’s the faction that held out even longer than I did who might go for the 3-D.  But even then, those people can now buy the TV I got at “cost” for $3200 for about 1500 bucks now. 

But here’s the funniest part though.  You can’t buy any 3-D movies for your new TV yet.  Every real 3-D title (not the shitty anaglyphic ones) available (all 3 of them) is only available as a manufacturer specific bundle with your TV.  Is this some sort of Cineplex Entertainment orchestrated conspiracy to sink the home 3-D market to keep people coming to the theatre for the gimic?  Are the home entertainment manufacturers really stupid enough to think this technology is going to take off when you can’t even buy titles for it?  It would be like replacing your old video game console with the next generation but only having one game available.  Sure it can play your old games, but so can your old console which is now a fraction of the cost. 

I should also mention the titles available.  For 4000 dollars of TV you can relive again and again (and again and again because you won’t have anything else to watch) the awesome comedy and adventure of either Monsters vs. Aliens (which they stripped the lossless audio off of) or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Oh, and the first non-animated kids movie to grace the format is none other than the movie most viciously maligned, for it’s utterly lackluster bordering on nauseating use of post production 3-D, Clash of the Titans, and you have to import it from Germany at that.  So I as a consumer am supposed to be hyped up to spend 3-5 grand on a new TV to watch two kid’s movies and the shittiest 3-D movie available?  I think not.  And here was another kick in balls, when Avatar came out on blu-ray, literally the flagship modern 3-D movie, it wasn’t in 3-D.  I’m taking this one as a sign folks, don’t waste your money.

But wait, there’s more.  See 3-D TV’s don’t work like regular TV’s.  In order to view 3-D at home you have to shell out your cash to buy pairs of shuttered LCD glasses in the order of 250 bucks a pop.  At least the TV companies had the good sense to include a couple pairs as a package deal with most of their sets, but what about when you want to watch a movie with a few of your friends?  Sorry, gotta go out and buy a pair for each one of them.  I hope you don’t have little kids or pets either, cuz these glasses are about as rugged as a pair of gas station sunglasses and just as shiny and enticing to both.  At least in the theatre it’s polarized so the glasses cost about 50 cents a pair (or 3.99 in inflated extra ticket price premiums using the same mentality applied to the “deal” where you can buy popcorn, a drink and some M&M’s for 25 bucks).  Too bad nobody at home has got the polarized thing going, but then they wouldn’t make enough money.

But wait, there’s even more.  You can’t watch 3-D blu-rays on a normal blu-ray player, which if you were an early adopter, you spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 dollars on and it’s now useless for viewing your new 3-D content.  At least Sony had the foresight to futureproof the PS3 with a firmware update that enables 3-D, but I can’t say the same for most of the standalones.  I mean if they future proofed how would they keep you buying a new model every couple of years for basically the same thing with a few extra features you’ll probably never use (if anyone out there actually uses BD Live for anything email me so I know that you exist and are not a statistic manufactured by the manufacturers).

Oh but wait, there’s even more.  3-D doesn’t work on anything lower than the HDMI 1.4 standard.  Guess how many receivers you can buy with HDMI 1.4?  None, that’s right, you can’t even hook up your fucking blu-ray player without this bullshit runaround solution where you run one HDMI cable to your TV for the video and one to your receiver for the audio.   Remember when RCA cables (shitty as they may be by today’s standards) just worked for everything and you didn’t have to worry about upgrading every other component you own when you buy a new TV in order to take advantage of it.  Man I sure miss those days, but I guess all the manufacturers wouldn’t be making enough money if that was the case because obviously they’re all in dire straits.

This constant upgrade after upgrade needs to fucking stop for a while already.  I realize that part of my problem is I read Futureshop fliers while eating my breakfast and read magazines like Home Theatre Enthusiast and web sites like Hi Def Digest, but seriously, it’d be nice to be able to spend your money on a piece of electronics with a degree of confidence that it won’t be made obsolete next week by some new product with a marginally different new standard or firmware or connection.

So let’s summarize your prospects shall we:
-if you already bought an HD TV, it’s worth half as much, and you gotta shell out the same or more money again in less than 2 years to get a new 3-D set
-you have to buy 6 pairs of LCD shutter glasses at 250 bucks a pop if you want to have friends over to watch movies
-the only movies you’ll have to watch is either
Monsters vs. Aliens, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Clash of the Titans.
-you need to buy a new blu-ray player and a new receiver or dick around with firmware updates (if your lucky) and extra cable connections.

Yeah, this sounds awfully like a soon to be dead technology to me.  Sadly, I’m sure the sheep like masses will prove me wrong and 3-D will take off and I’ll be left that crotchety old bastard with his old flat 2-D TV.  But you know what would be ULTRA funny though?  What if people got sick of 3-D movies in the theatre (like many already are after only a few years of them) and the studios stopped making them?  You’d have spent all this money on a TV that is only good for a handful of titles, which I’d bet dimes to donuts any one person is probably only going to actually have interest in a fraction of.  3-D TV’s would end up like the Sega 32X, the console add on 6 people bought because it had about 4 games on it that only looked marginally better than Sega Genesis. 

How about another analogy for those that aren’t video game inclined (jeesh two video game console references in one article).  It’s like you pay these guys twice what you would pay for a non-3-D TV so you can get ass raped (no 3-D titles for sale, etc) and your only distraction is that they give you a reach around while they do it (the one title you get with your TV looks pretty) to distract you from your colon being reamed.  Yup they’re tugging on your meat, but you’re still getting your ass plowed.

rape victims

Fuck this 3-D TV business.

UPDATE Sept 14, 2010: Apparently I forgot about Coraline which was recently re-released in 3-D (i.e.: non-headache inducing anaglyph). So I guess you have 3 kids movies to watch.