Posts Tagged ‘Sony’

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.

The iPod Timeline – So Far In Just 9 Years (And What’s Next)

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

In addition to announcing the 2010 slate of iPods, Apple recently published a timeline of the iPod models, starting with the original one in 2001. It’s a fascinating look at the changes and advances in the product and its design over a very short period of time. If you haven’t seen this timeline, check it out, then come back. Apple – iPod History.

I still have my original iPod from 2001. It’s a 5-gigabyte marvel. It could hold a thousand songs and I used it for over three years before upgrading to a 60-gigabyte model, which I still use, although it’s docked in a speaker system in our kitchen. I now carry my second iPhone (which is also an iPod) and an iPad (yep, iPod built right in). That original little plastic and metal brick was a thing of beauty, although now it is heavy and angular and crude compared to current models.

For most companies, take Sony or Nintendo for example, once they release a product, they stick with it for years before making even the most minor changes and updates. But Apple continually pushes the envelope, cannibalizes their own product base, and completely transforms their products.

Look at that timeline. See that original iPod with its physical hard drive and tiny gray-scale screen, physical buttons and wheel. Now look at the iPod Touch or the iPhone. They don’t even appear to be related. They might as well be decades apart when they are really only separated by about six years/generations. The device I now carry with me everywhere is closer to the Star Trek Communicator AND Tricorder than it is to a Sony Walkman tape player.

While other companies are struggling to introduce a new product this year, Apple is planning YEARS in advance. The company appears to know where it’s going not just this year, but three to five years down the road.

So what’s to come? What will that timeline show in another nine years?

Hold an iPhone 4G or a new iPod Touch in your hand and think, “What would make this elegant thing of beauty seem crude, clunky, and hopelessly out of date?” That’s what you’ll see on this timeline. I can imagine that 18th generation iPod being a single piece of glass, completely transparent, unbreakable (God, I hope so), and capable of (taking a leap here) fully realistic, holographic 3D images and video.

And it will play music.