March 28, 2010 in City

3-D TV will flesh out viewing experience

By The Spokesman-Review
 

One day last summer my lovely wife, Sherry, turned to me and uttered the most shocking words of our then-36 years of marriage.

“Why don’t you go down to Huppin’s and get us a new TV?”

I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought Sherry knew me better than this.

Sending me off alone to purchase home entertainment equipment is like Jim Morrison going on a booze-and-heroin run.

See, Sherry wanted me to replace the clunky, outmoded 32-inch boob tube in our den* with a flat-screen in the same weenie size.

I, on the other hand, want what every real man wants:

The Imax.

Fortunately, my wife is a forgiving soul. And the past eight months of watching the super-size high-def Sony I bought has given me as much joy as I’ve ever had with my pants on.

But that changed when news broke earlier this month:

“Samsung and Panasonic will start selling 3-D TVs in U.S. stores this week.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I missed out on 3-D TV by eight lousy months?

On Friday I went back into Huppin’s to check out what might have been.

See, James Cameron’s hit sci-fi movie, “Dances with Aliens” (oops, I meant “Avatar”), had nothing to do with my 3-D obsession.

That began when I was about 6 or 7. My parents gave me one of those View-Masters where you insert the round photo wheel into the hand-held viewer and click the lever to look at scenes in 3-D.

My favorite disk contained shots of the giant squid attacking the Nautilus in my favorite Disney movie, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

Click. Ooh. Click. Ahhh …

I went to every so-called 3-D movie that came to Spokane. I bought 3-D comic books. And now that 3-D technology has finally come to television – well, count me in.

Chris Reeves, the guy who sold me my Sony, was only too happy to let me check out the big Samsung that was playing the animated movie “Monster vs. Aliens” in 3-D.

He handed me a pair of hip-looking eyewear. This was a far cry from the flimsy cardboard glasses with red and blue cellophane lenses that we wore while watching flicks like “13 Ghosts” and “House of Wax.”

I put them on over my glasses and …

The picture was sharp and brilliantly conveyed that deep, 3-D illusion.

“This is cool!” I told Reeves.

As with any new technology there are a few drawbacks.

Money, for example. The Samsung runs about three grand with another $800 to cover the Blu-ray machine, glasses, etc.

Plus there’s not a lot of 3-D content at this point.

But mark my words. The day is coming when 3-D TV will be standard fare.

And think of the exciting viewing possibilities, like …

• KREM news anchor Randy Shaw’s famous mole extending 3 feet out of your set.

• Spokane City Council President Joe Shogan unleashing “hell” on his colleagues in a three-dimensional temper tantrum.

Come to think of it, the council has been operating in a state of dementia for years.

• And too bad the technology wasn’t available to catch Pamela Anderson’s recent appearance on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

That would be 3-D meets double-D’s.

(*Infestation update – In last Sunday’s column I reported on the hideous infestation of carpenter ants through the light switch in my aforementioned den. I’m ecstatic to report that whatever poison our exterminator Aaron sprayed on our home has wiped out all traces of life including the ants. So except for recurring nightmares that involve bugs burrowing into my sinus cavities, things are back to normal at Clark Manor.)

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman- Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or dougc@spokesman.com.


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