Samsung and LG Bicker Over Lie-Down 3D, Miss the Point

By  |  Friday, March 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm

The Wall Street Journal brings us an amusing story about the battle between LG and Samsung over 3D TV standards. Although the heart of the debate — whether active shutter systems are superior to polarized displays, or vice versa — is perfectly legitimate, the two companies are busy having a silly argument about whether you can watch 3D TV while lying down.

LG started it. A company advertisement in Korean reads, “Finally, you will have a comfortable way to watch 3-D.” But Samsung says this isn’t possible without inducing dizziness and nausea. LG says lying sideways merely diminishes the 3D effect. The Journal steps in and says the 3D effect nearly disappears when viewing a polarized display horizontally, but with active shutter glasses the picture goes completely black.

Missing from the debate is one key point: Why would you want to watch 3D TV lying down in the first place?

I understand that, for a lot of people, lying down in front of the tube is the natural way of things. But 3D TV isn’t natural. It tricks your brain and creates a 3D illusion that’s best-viewed in short sittings — say, the length of a movie. Put another way, 3D TV is an event. It’s meant for action movies and sports, not sitcoms and the nightly news. If you’re lying down to watch Avatar’s alien beasts pop out of the screen, you’re doing it wrong.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. IT Rush Says:

    Yes, I don't really watch lying down.. You only do it if you are not really interested in what you are watching..

  2. tom b Says:

    Does anyone out there think 3D TV will actually catch on? Jared? Harry? Seems a bit desperate to me; 3D has never been more than a cheap gimmick in the past.

  3. JaredNewman Says:

    I know Harry is quite skeptical. He's written about it before:

    Personally, I could see 3D TV catching on if it becomes an extra little feature that comes with your TV, like Web connectivity, as opposed to an expensive main attraction. I've talked to some TV makers who are starting to look at it this way. As for watching sitcoms and the nightly news in 3D, I just don't see the appeal.