3-D TV: Your 3-D gut can do without it

2010 was supposed to be the year everybody went out and bought a new 3-D television to explore the world of 3-D sports, entertainment, and movies at home.          

Obviously people missed the memo, as sales for 3-D televisions have been unexpectedly low.  CNET estimated 4 million 3-D televisions were sold in 2010.  Samsung, which holds a 90 percent market share of 3-D televisions, markets their 40 inch screen television at a whopping $2000.  If you were thinking about buying a smaller screen, good luck, Samsung has yet to release one smaller.

Don't forget about the extra $150 you have to spend for a pair of glasses, just to watch the television, which happens to make you look like a Trekkie.  The high price is just one of the reasons why a 3-D television isn't on my wish list for next Christmas.  Probably the most important and often overlooked issue is the unknown health risks associated with everyday 3-D watching.          

On Samsung's website they list all the possible health concerns associated with watching 3-D.  They include: altered vision, muscle twitching, nausea, confusion, loss of awareness, and convulsions among other things.  Samsung also recommends people take frequent breaks while watching the 3-D screens and to avoid from watching at all if you are in bad physical condition or under the influence of alcohol.          

There goes all of you who were planning on having a fresh cold one while watching your favorite sports team or enjoying the pizza and candy that your friends brought over. Besides, the last thing I want to do is take a break from watching when I am right in the middle of the action.

Joe Mercer, a first year student at SMC, was also concerned with the health risks associated with the new TV's.

"It is a negative aspect that would stop me from buying a 3-D TV," said Mercer. When asked if he felt this might deter other people from buying the TV's Mercer replied "yes," but also noted "people do things all the time that are potentially damaging to their health."  And yes, it wouldn't be surprising to anyone if Americans overdid it with consecutive 3-D television viewing, as people currently do with video games, regular television and computers.  

Besides health risks and money, there are other factors that will limit the popularity of 3-D television.  In some cases, 3-D technology just isn't needed.  Next thing we know shows like Iron Chef and Jersey Shore will be broadcasted in 3-D.  Talk about nausea and confusion.

Luiza Quijano, a fist year student at SMC, who recently moved to the LA area from Brazil, addressed an issue that non-English speaking viewers face when watching American television.

"3-D television and subtitles would be too much to concentrate on at once," said Quijano. She also explained that she watches movies and television for the plot, not what effects are put into it.

Despite my feeling that 3-D television is an unnecessary technological invention, television manufacturers feel that sales are going to skyrocket.  The 3-D television market is expected to grow to $100 Billion by 2014 according to a report by Research and Markets regarding the future of 3-D television sales.  The same report also noted that multiple initiatives have been taken by governments to get the technology off the ground.

As if people, especially those native to the ever-obese United States of America, needed another reason to glue themselves to a couch.