Chicago (IL) - Tonight, the Chuck episode entitled "Chuck versus the third dimension" debuted in 3D. Glasses of orange/blue were available (sponsored by Intel) from local retail food stores and other outlets free of charge. This episode follows the recent SuperBowl "The 3D HD SoBe Lizard Lake Game Day!" commercial in 3D. And, having not seen that commercial previously, I was a bit skeptical about just how 3D the 3D would be. To put it mildly, I was impressed.
The episode begins with the Morgan Grimes character (Joshua Gomez) asking the audience to put on their 3D glasses. Immediately a change is noticed, but right then it's not really known just how 3D it is. That remained to be seen as the show continued.
The glasses are thin cardboard glasses with orange and blue lenses designed to filter out portions of the 3D episode seen by each eye, allowing the 3D effect on a regular TV. Compared to previous red/blue lens experiences I've had, the overall show was much easier on the eyes. It reportedly cost the makers $7 million to print and distribute 125 million pairs of 3D glasses for the SuperBowl.
The blue lens exists at a ratio of RGB(57,16,211) and is actually somewhat diffusing which makes everything appear notably blurry in that eye. This causes the left eye (orange tinted at a ratio of RGB(120,52,0) which is much more pleasant to view through) to see the majority of the detail in the image while still providing for the 3D effect as the right eye sees enough to supplement spatial distance information. I believe viewers with right/left eye dominance issues may have trouble with this solution over extended periods.
Early on there was a scene in the kitchen when the camera was close up on Chuck's sister's boyfriend, Devon Woodcomb or "Captain Awesome". He was very clearly in the foreground while the cabinets behind him were seen visibly in the shot as being in 3D in the background. The effect was quite stunning actually and sort of set the tone for the episode. Another similar scene showed Chuck up close with Devon in the background. Again, kind of a moment for pause. This was also seen on an old 25" CRT TV I happened to be watching at the time. I can only imagine how much better the image looked on a large screen HDTV image.
As for watching an entire hour-long episode of Chuck with cardboard glasses on ... not so enjoyable. Still, the technology used is interesting.
3DTV is coming fast
The 3DTV generation is coming quickly. The technology differences between 3DTV and HDTV are not significant. In fact, earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, nearly every HDTV manufacturer had working 3DTVs on display. They operate in one of two ways by doubling the frame rate or pixels of displayed images, one set for the left eye and one for the right eye. The first method involves wearing polarized glasses which filter out one of the signals for each eye, resulting in a truly spectacular passive 3D experience. The other is a high speed LCD shutter which allows each eye to see only those images it should.
Both solutions have their advantage, but it is likely in the end the polarized light version will win out as such a version does not require any active (battery powered) technology on behalf of the viewers. [Note: I first saw this technology at Disney's Epcot Center in the 1980s. I was absolutely floored when I saw it. And now, 25 years later, it’s very close to being available in our homes.]
See TG Daily's 3D is coming, and it's stunning article.