So yesterday along with apparently a good portion of the rest of the Australian disc viewing population I dutifully obtained my Blu Ray copy of Avatar. I am not disappointed in this movie ... in fact I consider it an absolute fest of special effects and I love the biology details of the forest.( by the way it is a good example of market forces that yesterday I paid $35 at Borders and today I get a copy of the Blu Ray free at JB's when I spend $100 on CD's ...) It is in fact a movie that is best watched in five minute demo sequences as one is therefore not overly exposed to the painful and cliched plot line ...

When I first saw Avatar it was at our local Imax theatre and I was thefore compelled to don the plastic spectacles to partake of the 3D rendition. Whilst I did not enjoy the actual technicals of the 3D I did find it gave one a vaguely inebriated sensation that in the company of friends that was not completely unpleasant, the ensuing brief headache was less than that incurred by a typical nights self abuse of red wine by comparison.

I am slightly bemused by the sudden resurgence of 3D as a marketed consumer technology, the essential spectacle configuration has been available in B Grade Sci fi movies since the advent of colour films. It should really be described as stereoscopic rather than 3D, in no way does it allow one's vision to independantly focus on separate objects within the viewing field and as such will leave you straining to seek out visual details that are simply not obtainable in the film print. Especially in a movie such as Avatar where one is more interested in the surroundings than the central actors.

In truth it appears we are in an industry where the major TV segment sees itself as being dependant on the release of a new technology to keep the consumer interested enough to make a purchase ... it is said that Harvey Norman which only experienced a 1.2% growth last quarter and is now looking to 3D TV to save it from an investment rating downgrade for example. In the space of 12 months in consumer television technology the marketing interest has transferred from Blu Ray through LED TV and now to 3D TV with side forays into 600HZ and Neoplasma.

Alas poor Yorick the the default consumer appears to be oddly enough acquiring a degree of cynicism with the ever increasing rate of "revolutionary" technology product / marketing cycles and has gone from being an early adopter to a wise and weary cynic who is starting to carefully evaluate the real subjective performance benefits of a product with an increasing disregard of the prevailing hype.

In this way the CE TV industry is starting to soil its own nest as it fights back against consumer disinterest with increasingly exaggurated specifications and seeks ever more emotive adjective to hang off its marketing campaigns. My friend Yorick is no longer swayed by a ten million to one contrast ratio or claims of outstanding brilliance. If you show him a good picture of Carlton vs Collingwood however he might just be convinced ...

A true 3D TV of course is in no way simply a 2 plane device, for the TV to be real it would possess a depth definition equivalent at least equal to its lateral definition. In other words a 1920 x 1080 x 1080, this being a device capable of a true 3D holographic reproduction of a particular scene, perhaps one resembling the displays so often portrayed in Sci Fi such as Avatar. Two layers of 1080i information at 50 Hz is a very long way off the holo ideal and as such is in danger of living on planet Gimmick rather than joining Yorick in his living room.