3-D TV

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Forget HD TV, the next big thing that's about to land in your living room is 3-D TV. Soon, your favorite sports team or maybe even favorite actor will be able to jump through the screen.

It could change the way we all watch tv, but will it catch on or will it just be a fad?

The most memorable. The most startling experience of your life, that's how 3-D was marketed back in 1953 for the movie "It Came from Outer Space".

Fifty-seven years later, there have been a lot of advancements in 3-D technology with the popularity of "Avatar" in theatres. TV makers believe there is a 3-D market for living rooms, as well.

Robert Herrold owns Palm Beach Sound and Cinema in West Palm Beach. Like everyone else, he's waiting to get ahold of the first 3-D TV sets, but, already, the 'Discovery Channel' and 'ESPN' are planning to start up 3-D channels.

"We're creating an option for them to enjoy a different event," said Chuck Pagano with ESPN. "Watching the story that we're telling in a different mindset ad have the experience of three-dimensional television."

Samsung also just started mass producing 3-D TVs. Right now, systems cost around $4,000, but prices are expected to fall.

Samsung is betting you will be willing to spend the cash since movie goers are willing to plunk down more coin to see a 3-D movie.

"People actually come out of those 3-D screenings happier with the movie they just saw; even though, they paid more for it," said David Cohen, an editor for "Variety Features".

Another drawback could be the goofy glasses. Herrold says because of them, people will mainly use the 3-D technology to watch only movies and sporting events, but doctors warn not every viewer will be 3-D ready.

"When you're watching a 2-D image, it's just staying put; 3-D you're focusing in and out, in and out. Try instead of sitting in your chair, raising up and down, up and down. It's just a good workout," said Opthalmologist Dr. Brian Huff.

He says unless you have 20/20 vision, you could suffer from headaches while watching 3-D TV and not even experience the full effect. "What gives you that three dimensional view is each eye is looking at things from a slightly different angle. If you only have one good eye, you'll be able to see the image, but you're not going to be able to appreciate the depth."

Back in Robert Herrold's showroom, the buzz about 3-D TV outweighs the negatives, and, already, he has a list of clients who can't wait to be the first on their block to own a 3-D TV.

So what about 3-D local newscasts? Highly unlikely at this point. The cost to switch over would be way too high -- especially since we just converted to HD TV, but that would be an interesting concept.

The best estimate on when you might be able to buy a 3-D tv set will be late spring or summer.