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Chuck vs. the Third Dimension

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February 2nd, 2009

chuck-vs-3rd-dimension

After posting so much about the glasses for pretty much the last month, and seeing some of the comments on the Internet about how lame the 3D tech was, here are some thoughts about the Chuck 3D episode.

I thought the tech was OK, and I definitely had a better experience on a 61" widescreen in 1080i watching NBC's HD signal than some people have expressed having. In terms of things popping out of the screen there wasn't really much, a shoulder here or there -- the opening credits, but the 3-D effect was there for the entire episode most especially in terms of depth-perception which was very noticeable for me.

But while that's kind of cool, it doesn't really add much to this type of show. I could see the technology being a much bigger deal for sports from the NFL to being behind Tiger when he's sizing up a putt.

Whatever happens, ratings-wise, I don't think the 3D thing was a bust for NBC, and I'm sure Monsters vs. Aliens will be a big hit. One of the downsides of the Super Bowl commercials for both SoBe and the Monsters vs. Aliens trailer was that with so many millions of people watching, the advertisers wanted to make sure the millions of people who did not have the glasses could still watch and enjoy the commercials.

The 3D effects for Chuck were more noticeable, but while you could watch (and easily so) without the glasses, the impact to color and blurring was still very noticeable without the glasses. I don't blame NBC for taking that risk with Chuck, but I don't blame Dreamworks and SoBe for not taking as much of a risk with some extremely pricey Super Bowl ads.

I don't think there was any negative impact for NBC, SoBe or Dreamworks, but the way it was handled it probably didn't help the marketing plight of those companies involved with trying to make in-home 3D a big deal. There are many people who will think the technology doesn't work, but it does work, and very well, even with the cheap glasses.

You only need to use them on the demos here to see just how well. But even that wasn't as easy as it could be to showcase the technology. Viewing those videos in a window via the web browser, I was myself underwhelmed. But size seems to matter. When I downloaded them and ran them full screen on a 24" monitor in 1920x1200 resolution...wow! At least with the snake and bear videos. I recommend anyone with the glasses and a broadband connection and a 17" or bigger monitor to download those videos and run them in full screen and try out your glasses.

Though I didn't think it was the best episode ever, I enjoyed the Chuck 3D episode. Especially when Casey shot Chuck with a tranquilizer dart: "My ears couldn't take it, it was either that or shoot him." And it was fun to see Dominic Monaghan, Charlie from LOST, once again in the role of a British rock star.

 
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