Posts Tagged ‘Blu-ray’

3D TV: Cool Demo, Then Back To Regular 2D Viewing

Monday, July 15th, 2013

I recently bought a new TV for our newly remodeled bedroom, a Sony 55-Inch TV. It’s very nice, with a beautiful picture and very thin design. And it came with 3D capabilities. I didn’t want the 3D stuff, but it came with every TV of that class that I looked at.

We also received a new Blu-ray player with the TV as a part of the package, a Sony 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi. Once again, didn’t want or need the 3D functionality, but it came with it. I’d investigated 3D out of interest, even written about it for clients (telecom/Cable TV) and I wasn’t impressed. Actually, I found the experience in the showroom very poor. And I’ve had very few good 3D experiences in movie theaters. Avatar in Imax 3D is the only movie I can name that I thought really benefited from the technology.

We mounted the TV on the wall (OK, I hired someone who knows what they’re doing to hang it), and plugged in the new Blu-ray player. I looked through our movie library and discovered that I had exactly one 3D movie: The Avengers (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy + Digital Music Download). I fired up the equipment, put on the glasses, dimmed the lights, and pressed play.


The picture was bright, clear of distortion, and the depth of field was astonishing. The movie looked great. Even Diane, my wife and someone generally uninterested in cutting-edge tech, was impressed.

We watched for a few minutes, then we turned off the movie, put the glasses in the drawer, and went back to watching regular 2D HDTV. We probably won’t purchase any more 3D movies. If we get one in a combo pack, that’s fine, be we won’t go out of our way to buy them, even when they do look great.

Why? Because it’s the wrong technology, the wrong solution. I don’t want to wear the glasses. And for the most part, movies don’t really benefit that much from 3D. I believe at some point we’ll have really good 3d entertainment, but the current approach isn’t interesting or workable. Given a choice between watching a movie in high definition or having to put on dark glasses OVER your existing glasses I’ll pick the one without the extra headgear.

3D makes a great demo, but it’s really not interesting enough for most movies and it’s pretty unworkable for watching sports (while watching sports you typically don’t give the screen 100% of your visual attention. Looking around the room and at other people with those damn glasses on is weird and annoying).

I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to get 3D, but if you do end up with it, as I did, it’s fun to play with for a little while. But then you’ll probably forget about it and go back to watching good old easy to watch 2D HD TV.

Writing Assignment: Redefine Something

Friday, January 4th, 2013

This week I’ve been having a bit of fun redefining some of the most popular services online. It’s fun, and I think that if you do it right it’s also revealing and brings things into a clearer, if not more desirable focus. You can find the whole series here: The Internet, Redefined.

As a marketer I’ve learned that you can sell products most effectively if you can explain what your product and service is for in a single sentence, one that also lets the person who’s hearing or reading it instantly say, “I need to be able to to that.”

The VCR was a great product with a simple explanation: Buy this and you’ll be able to watch a movie anytime you want AND record anything on your TV. There’s no need for a long technical discussion of how it could perform that miracle, it was completely clear that you wanted and needed that.

The DVD was much the same, but not the Blu-Ray player. The DVD’s pitch was, “better and cheaper than a VCR, except for the recording part.” Blu-Ray was, unfortunately, “slightly better than the DVD, but much more expensive.”

Or at least that’s how I’ve redefined it to put it in proper context. And yes, I have a Blu-Ray player.

For today’s writing assignment, pick a product or service and write a one sentence redefinition of it.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. For you to write the perfect redefinition you’ll need to craft a single sentence that is short and funny with a biting and satirical tone, and be utterly true. You do not have to discuss every aspect of this product or service (and it’s better if you don’t), just find a way to take something in popular use or widely praised and shine a new light and some clarity on it. You can use and love something and still see its shortcomings. Point out those shortcomings in your redefinition.

And most important for this WA: have fun!

For bonus points Tweet your redefinition and copy me: @cptnrandy (or publish it here in the comments). If you have the space, use the hashtag #redefined.

More redefinitions.



What Makes A Gadget Compelling?

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The new Apple TV is a very interesting device, but I still expect it to fail in the marketplace.  Why? Because it does not have a simple, compelling story of why a consumer would want one. I’m not talking about Apple fan boys (I’m one) or general tech early adopters, but any of the people you would meet while shopping at the grocery store. For them, you need a story that isn’t about the technology, but about what the device will do for them if they own it. And the story must be one that gives them something new or of real value. And you must be able to relay what that value is in a short, single sentence.

For example, these are compelling stories:

  • VHS Video Cassette Recorder: buy this and you can watch movies and record TV shows.
  • DVD Player: just like a VCR, but higher quality and the movies are cheap!
  • iPod: carry thousands of songs in your pocket.
  • iPhone: access the internet from anywhere (also in your pocket).
  • iPad: touch the internet, but not a computer and not in your pocket.
  • Netflix: for a single monthly fee we keep mailing you DVDs.

These stories are not compelling and the products are either failing or very slow for general adoption:

  • Blu-ray: slightly better than DVD and the discs are much more expensive.
  • Zune: kinda like an iPod, but made by Microsoft.

Apple TV is still too hard to sell. At its best it’s this: another way to rent movies and TV shows — or use Netflix, if you already subscribe.

And of course, we can already do that a number of ways. Not as easily or as elegantly as Apple TV does it, but we can do them. And you can’t replace your cable with it. Not if you want to watch news and sports. Or any of the hundreds of shows from networks that haven’t yet signed up for iTunes. I’d love to try it out, but it doesn’t add much incremental value to what I already have and it can’t replace anything so that I’d save money.

But it could be compelling. Apple could have simply BOUGHT Netflix outright and made Apple TV this: for a monthly fee you can watch any of the movies or TV shows in our library. But that’s just wishful thinking. The negotiations with the movie studios and TV networks are difficult and the device just can’t be as compelling as I’d like.