3D cinema and TV is supposed to be the next big thing in terms of the visual medium.
Certainly the TV manufacturers would have us believe, given the concentration of 3DTVs at this year’s IFA show in Berlin.
And a poll we reported on yesterday, commissioned by Panasonic to question 500 attendees at Disney’s D23 Expo, certainly showed a great deal of American enthusiasm for 3D technology.
71% of those polled said that 3DTV was actually “much better” or even “dramatically better” than standard 2D viewing.
However, one survey does not a summer of heady viewing make, and a recent YouGov poll of UK cinema-goers has shown a rather different view on 3D films.
Using a bigger sample size of nearly 3,000, the YouGov research asked the central question: “Generally speaking, do you think watching a film in 3D instead of 2D makes the overall cinema experience better, worse, or about the same?”
Only 22% said they felt 3D was an improved cinematic experience when it came to watching the silver screen. Nearly as many – 19% – declared 3D made their film viewing a worse experience.
28% said it was about the same, and 31% admitted that they didn’t know what difference it made. Admittedly, half of those questioned hadn’t seen a 3D film in the last five years, so some (one in five theoretically) were guessing or going off their recollections of seeing Jaws 3D thirty years ago.
But still, it’s a clearly negative piece of research. Panasonic declared it “couldn’t be happier with the results” of the Disney Expo survey, but we’d imagine it will want to brush this YouGov poll under the carpet.
Of course, this study focused on cinema and not 3DTV, but that’s still three-dimensional viewing, and it’s a whole lot more expensive to bring the experience into your living room.
Even if cost wasn’t a factor in the equation, there were still a lot of naysayers. When asked which they would prefer if a film was shown at the same time, for the same price, but there was a choice of 3D or 2D, 47% plumped for the 3D film, but 37% chose 2D. 16% didn’t know.
Half of those questioned said they weren’t prepared to pay a penny more to see a film in 3D rather than 2D.
When asked if 3D films were over-hyped and a “phase”, 49% agreed.
Not glowing stats for potential 3DTV adoption, certainly, although it doesn’t seem like manufacturers are going to give up on pushing 3D any time soon – in the quest to sell more sets, naturally.
Public opinion may change, however, in the future when technology such as glasses-free 3DTV is eventually brought to the fore at an affordable level.