A seriously meaningful post for a change

Last night, Chuck was back on with a new episode. Which I only learned because the local paper had a sidenote about it (it wasn’t flagged “new” in TV Guide, and we don’t watch a whole lot of NBC shows).

In 3D.

So, where do you get glasses? The NBC Chuck site sayeth not…just that the whole episode is in 3D (but you can watch it later, on the NBC site, in either 3D or 2D).

Other sites led me to believe that most grocery stores should have them. So, off to one that should. They said they’d had a stack, but they were all gone…oh, wait, one sheet of four pairs. (You can’t get one pair or two pairs, just four at a time.) Apparently, the Big Deal was a superbowl ad in 3D, not a half-hour TV show.

Up to this point:

  • NBC does spectacular job of not saying where these glasses would be available–I mean, not on the website itself? Hello?
  • Actual distribution mechanism doesn’t work all that well.
  • Focus of distribution is a Monsters Vs. Aliens ad, not a 30-minute show.

So we tried the glasses. I wear eyeglasses all the time. My wife usually doesn’t (not when watching TV, for example). We have a first-rate, 11-year-old, CRT-based TV (a 32″ Sony XBR). We were getting a pretty decent signal.

My wife tried the glasses for about a minute, then stopped…dealing, instead, with the slightly strange color and focus issues of a 3D picture viewed in 2D. Why?

  • The glasses darkened the picture so much that she could barely see at all out of one eye and mostly saw blurs out of the other.
  • The glasses were so uncomfortable that she didn’t want to deal with them.
  • Because of the first issue, she never really saw 3D effects.

I tried them a little longer, but eventually gave up as well.

  • Yes, I saw the 3D, and it was in fact far more natural than most previous efforts.
  • But the picture was too dark to enjoy, and I didn’t think 3D really added anything to the show.
  • The glasses were not, shall we say, great when used in front of regular glasses, and hopeless behind regular glasses. If I don’t wear my regular glasses, I’d see nothing but blur…

After the show, I realized who would find the picture more acceptable: Owners of LCD TVs with “torch mode” settings (what you usually see in the showroom), bright enough to cause headaches under normal conditions. Torch mode might balance the darkness of the 3D lenses to yield a plausible picture. (And if you got a headache, you wouldn’t know whether it was torch mode- or 3D-induced.)

All things considered, I look forward to seeing Chuck in 2D next week…

What? You really expected a meaningful post with a title like that? Sorry.

4 Responses to “A seriously meaningful post for a change”

  1. Jennifer M says:

    I was never able to actually find the glasses. I agree that NBC didn’t do a good job of informing people where to get them. I had some vague notion that I should be able to find them in the grocery store near a Pepsi display. However, I never did see any (and I am not one to ask). So, my husband and I watched without the 3D glasses – and while I don’t know about him, I got a headache because of the ghost 2nd image. I am also looking forward to getting back to 2D!!

  2. walt says:

    Apparently, it was Sobe, and one particular variety of Sobe–which is owned by PepsiCo, to be sure.

    And of three stores I visited that sold Sobe, none had the supposed display of 3D glasses; I finally asked. (Just at a guess, stores aren’t bending over backwards to put up displays of free items that don’t seem likely to yield other sales…)

  3. Jennifer M says:

    Ahh! So that is where the Pepsi notion came from. All in all, it seems as if the entire thing was a rather large waste of money!!

  4. walt says:

    I’m guessing a fair amount of the money came from Intel, which used the ad and the glasses to promote their InTru3D technology–which, with better glasses and theater brightness, definitely does produce a superior (more natural) 3D image. I would say it’s too bad they hooked up with a failing network, but that would be mean…