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Thursday, July 01, 2010


..."Viewing TV using the 3D function can cause motion sickness, and perceptional after effects. Some viewers may experience an epileptic seizure or stroke when exposed to flashing images - please consult with a medical specialist before using the 3D function."

..."In the event you experience dizziness, nausea, or other discomfort while viewing 3DTV images, discontinue use and rest your eyes."

..."Do not watch 3DTV continuously for multiple hours. When viewing stereoscopic images, please take a break every 15 minutes."

The above three quotes are not from a consumer advocate group or medical association but are warnings from 3DTV manufacturers! In this case, Samsung, Panasonic, and Hyundai respectively. These 3DTV manufacturers' concerns are imminent, as it is estimated that 3DTV sales this year will top 6.9 million sets.

Currently there exists evidence that 3D viewing can cause - at best - fatigue and discomfort and - at worst - serious visual and perception problems. This evidence concerns what is termed the "vergence-accommodation conflict." This is caused by a home 3D viewer's eyes focusing at a distance that differs from the point of visual convergence. In the real world, focus and convergence are correlated, but if you place someone in front of a stereoscope display, that relationship is entirely lost. This conflict can lead to a variety of health issues with prolonged home 3DTV viewing.

The industry believes that reproducing the cinema 3D experience in the home will solve the problem. For example, Panasonic is currently working with the Univ. of Southern California on research to determine the "psycho-physical" effects of long-term 3D viewing at home. Panasonic's V.P. of Corporate & Government Affairs, Peter Fannon, feels "Full 3D display in the home at 120 Hz most closely replicates the experience of natural vision since it effectively presents everything the human eye can see". While Mike Kim, American Sales Director, Hyundai, however, sees the future of 3DTV viewing with passive, circular polarized glasses - like those used in cinemas. "We believe passive glasses result in less eye strain and prevent flicker."

Cinemas need not worry about these issues as the 3D viewing at cinemas is not prolonged; although, a small percentage of moviegoers complain of headaches and sight fatigue.

You'll probably hear and read more on this 3DTV health issue as time goes on, and we'll keep you informed as this issue unfolds.