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Makers Keep Flogging 3D TV, Viewers Keep Shrugging 457

A Wired article (as carried by CNN) attempts to answer the question of why 3D television hasn't caught on. The reasons listed there (high price, paltry content, the need for 3D glasses for typical sets, headaches and strain) all seem to be on the money, in themselves, but I think don't go far enough. 3D on a set small enough for home use outside a high-end home-theater rig seems to me like a clever novelty that I can't even enjoy unless I've given it my full attention. It's nothing like the jump from black-and-white to color, or even the jump from my old (circa 1993) 19" Trinitron to a flat-panel display. On the big screen, it's another story — there, 3D can be arresting and involving, even when it's exaggerated (and it is). On home sets, even quite large ones, to my eye 3D usually looks phony and out of place. Never mind that the content is limited and often expensive, or that there are competing standards for expensive glasses to wear — I just don't like that the commitment is greater than that required for casual, conventional TV; I can't readily scan email, skim through a magazine, or keep watching out the corner of my eye from another room. (I'm hoping to find some actually watchable no-glasses 3D sets at CES next week, but I'm skeptical.)

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