I found myself in John Lewis at the weekend while looking for a digital camera when something caught my eye (as well as my ears!). It was a family cooing over a Sony 3D TV set up which was in the form of a mock-up front room. John Lewis had done well setting up a nice sofa, 46″ Sony 3D TV and surround sound, it was easy to see why the family were initially impressed.
The first thing that struck me was the kids arguing over who had the pleasure of looking stupid by wearing a very large pair of 3D glasses, the second was how the father took charge, said “just wait your turn” then donned the glasses himself and the final thing was how disappointed he looked when he handed over the glasses to the first child.
The previous week I had been at the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham where I had the pleasure of sitting in a small cinema for 4mins while we watched “The voyage of the turtle”. This was in 3D, but also had water that sprayed out the back of the chair in front, rumble pads in the chairs and wind pipes in the head-rest. It was a really good experience, the 3D was excellent and the extra 4D touches really impressed me. That said, 4mins was long enough for me.
Once the family in John Lewis had finished I thought I would give it a go. The experience was so far removed from that I had just one week earlier I had to question why on earth anyone would spend an awful lot of money to look stupid in their front rooms and enjoy an adequate experience.
Then in dawned on me. It would be because they have been to a cinema, watched Avatar 3D or Toy Story 3 3D and wanted to experience this at home. Well I’m sorry, but no chance.
Sony, Phillips, Samsung, LG and countless others are ploughing a lot of money into this market and I for one think they are wasting their time. 3D may be a good experience, but it has to be on the big screen in an environment removed from usual everyday life with surround sound and popcorn. At home I’ll be sticking to my plasma screen while only being frustrated i can’t find my remote never mind my special glasses as well. 3D… Keep it in the cinema.