Blogger Breakfast with Panasonic Asia: 3D TV!

[EVENT REPORT] To be frank, prior to the invitation to experience a 3D movie on Panasonic’s 3D enabled TVs, I am not prepared to tell anyone to empty them wallets for a 3D TV. Yet, I could be prepared to do that to some selected ones. All will be reveal in due course.

The event is a causal one. Panasonic Asia probably wants the crowd to purely enjoy the movie and for specifications to take the back seat. To top it off, the breakfast served by Brotziet (313 Somerset) is brilliant.

But I did not forget my objective for every event. To understand and blog.

Let’s talk about the 3D experience first. Admittedly, Panasonic VT Series produce some of the best home cinema experiences. At the event, Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (3D version) is screened on a Panasonic VT Series TV. Compared to the early 3D TVs, the images are surprisingly vibrant. The fast motion of the cartoon characters are very smooth and in fact, I have to say that the 3D effects are probably the most natural one I have seen so far.

I think it is largely because the 3D effects are implemented well within the movie itself. For instance, when Scrat (the saber-toothed squirrel) digs for the nut beneath the stack of dry leaves, the motion of the leaves exploding into the air is perfectly illustrated by the 3D effects. I feel that the leaves are falling right into front of me and that leaves are fallen everywhere.

In another moment, a layer of ice cracked and the camera is positioned as if we are watching from beneath the layer of ice and as a result, the TV screen “acted” as that piece of ice and it “cracked”. Refreshing stuff.

After 20 minutes of the movie, I got to admit, the experience is damn pretty good. 3D can certainly create more visual entertainment than we think it could and I think most people will enjoy Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs on 3D than on 2D.

At this point, we have to talk about the glasses, don’t we?

Right off, I am short-sighted. So I am putting on the 3D glasses on top of my own regular glasses. And yes, it is not the most comfortable experience I have but neither is the level of discomfort at the point of irritation. Panasonic also tried to make it better for bespectacled people like me. The glasses come with removable nose pads. So if you are already wearing a glasses, you can remove the nose pad on the 3D glasses.

The issue of glasses is really dependent to individual’s preference. Those without glasses already should not have too much of a trouble. Other things you should know about the 3D glasses are that there is a on/off switch and it is powered by battery with a life of around 40 hours. Also, the glasses don’t work well if you are sitting too far to the side. And of course there is the problem of buying more 3D glasses (if you have more than 2 viewers at one time) which there have been no solution yet.

So, the question that you ask and I probably should try to give you some clues is: Should you buy a Panasonic 3D TV (VT Series) then? Or 3D TVs in general?

The first part of the answer is the content. Will there be a wide range of 3D movies make available soon? Will those movies be making a use of the 3D effects? There isn’t a lot of value add watching 500 Days of Summer on 3D. So content are largely dependent on the likes of publishers and maybe in the future, cable TV suppliers; SingTel and Starhub. For now, 3D content is still limited to an occasional movie, though it seems that many companies are trying hard to push for 3D content.

If that occasional movie is Ice Age 3, I think money will be well spent.

The second part of the answer is perhaps more intriguing. In case you didn’t know, 3D effects are actually a feature of a standard HDTV. And therefore, when you purchase a Panasonic VT Series TV, you are really getting a premium plasma TV instead of a “3D TV”. Hence, underlying question is more important: Is Panasonic VT Series a HD TV that you would buy? 

The conclusion to the 3D TV debate revolved around the prices then. If there is no significant price differences, then buying a 3D enabled TV is great. If there is, then it is worth considering if you have the extra budget or 3D movies are something that you craved. Which is why I would only recommend 3D TVs to certain people.

At the end of the day, I guess a combination of the hassle of glasses, the limited content and uncertainty about the technology makes 3D enabled TVs still a product for the early adopters.

But you should try it out if you haven’t, especially on Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

Link – Panasonic 3D Microsite

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