Monday, 7 February 2011

HD vs. 3D

It seems that technology is changing at an ever rapid pace. We see everything from minor tweaks to current interfaces, to major leaps that astound and astonish us. Hell, just this past weekend, our household saw the introduction of a stunning new touchscreen PC, boasting 720p HD imagery and the super-fast and the funky 'n' groovy operating system that was my idea: Windows 7.

It's the HD part that leads in to what I've been thinking about a lot lately, especially with my current job in the film rental and retail business. I am a huge fan of HD, and no matter what ant cheapskates try and say, it's here to stay. Sport and other television shows look so much crisper and clearer in High Definition. In say, a football match, you could pause the show and count every blade of grass in shot if you so wished. A major step up from the green blur that you'd be treated to in standard definition. As for films, the future is here, and has been for a few years now actually. In case you've been living under a rock, it's called Blu-Ray and gives you so much bang for your buck. I'm a convert, and recommend it to anyone. In fact, I go out of my way to avoid watching standard DVDs these days, although Blu-Ray players do play and upscale DVDs so that they are brighter and better.

Proof that things are moving way, way, way too quickly is the sudden surge in 3D. HD is still infiltrating homes, and already 3D TV and Movies are being thrust upon us. To be fair, Sky HD supports 3D channels, and 3D films are released on the Blu-Ray format, but you still need an obscenely expensive television, and some obscenely expensive pairs of 3D glasses. The ridiculousness of this was summed up by a story that my Uncle told me over Christmas about a guy he knows who spent over £6000 on a 3D setup for his home, but then refuses to pay Sky the extra £10 per month for their 3D service. What the hell!?

Is 3D really worth it though? I mean sure, things have come a long way from the old cardboard blue 'n' red monstrosities that we were once forced to wear, giving us papercuts across our noses. However, the fact is that we're still forced to wear glasses. The 3D effects are always hit and miss too. At the cinema over the last year, I've seen various 3D films including Avatar, Alice In Wonderland, A Christmas Carol, Toy Story 3, Shrek, and Tangled. Of them all, Christmas Carol was the best without a shadow of a doubt. Alice in Wonderland stood out in parts for the effects, such as when Alice falls down the hole, and Tangled produced a very good looking romantic scene. For the most part though, I never notice it, and forget that I'm actually watching a 3D film. The biggie in terms of 3D is Avatar, yet I preferred it the second time I saw it which was on Blu-Ray in HD. I don't get what everyone was going on about in terms of the 3D effects being so great.

Anyways, I'm going to wrap things up for now by stating that I feel HD is where it's at for now. Call me when I can watch 3D films without glasses... 'Oh, hello Nintendo...'

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