The enthusiasm for 3D ads before the big game really got to the millions of home viewers. I actually went though three local food stores to get my own 3D glasses. So there we were, a roomful of Super Bowl fans stood in front of a 106-inch projector-powered HD screen, dorky looking paper framed 3D glasses plastered to our faces, waiting patiently for the 3rd-dimension broadcast. The 3D Monsters and Sobe lizards came on as soon as the game halted for the halftime break; but they were a huge disappointment.
The Super Bowl 3D ads were all hype with no substance, easily the most intolerable visual effect I’ve ever experienced. Minutes of demonstration felt like a lifetime to us. As soon as the ad took place, the screen brightness dropped significantly, and so did the image quality. There were 3D effects alright, but visually challenged; nothing jumped out the screen to wow you. The Sobe presentation which followed was much better entertainment, but by that time half of the spectators had already taken off the awkward glasses.
None of the 15 Super Bowl fans I was with raved about the special 3D ads, we were more concerned with the wasted $7m it apparently cost to print an estimated 125 million pairs of 3D glasses. Later tonight, NBC will be airing Chuck with similar 3D effects, but none of us plan to watch it.
Could the Super Bowl debacle do more harm to 3D than good? It's certainly enough to prompt statements from vendors like RealD 3D, whose Chairman and CEO Michael V. Lewis is at pains to highlight the difference between the theatrical version of 3D movies and that which you experienced yesterday:
“We’re excited millions of viewers got a glimpse of 3D during the Super Bowl, but it’s important to recognize that today’s RealD 3D in theatres is a quantum leap better than what they saw on TV or may remember from years past, we’re talking spotless images and definitely no paper glasses. We can’t wait for audiences to see the real thing in a RealD 3D theatre”