My Bizarre Experience with Sony’s 3D TV

Something strange happened to me this weekend, and I just thought I’d share so see what you make of it. Twas the day after Christmas, and I was at the mall returning things to get different things as is a yearly tradition. While there, I found myself outside the Sony store. I thought I’d pop in and see if they sold batteries for my two year old, fast-dying VAIO, but after being told I might as well take it out to pasture and shoot it, I turned to other matters, namely the TV section.

I was watching Toy Story 3 on Blu-ray 1080p, and DAMN did that look good. Far clearer than I ever saw it in theaters, and it almost makes me think the format is worth $35 a DVD. Just kidding, but it did look nice. But next to that, there was a 3D TV, which I’m told 80% of households will own by 2014 or something. I’ve never actually used one before, so I thought I’d try. I put on a pair of Sony’s hundred dollar 3D shutter glasses, which in theory, should make 3D look 100x better than the shitty $1 glasses we normally use at the theater. I flipped about three different switches before they started working, as they actually have to be powered somehow for the 3D to work, technology I don’t quite understand.

I watched Johnny Depp narrate a movie about ocean fish for about 3 minutes. Glowing jellyfish hovered around in 3D, but the kind of 3D where things have depth inwards, rather than things popping outwards at you, like the 3DS. But it wasn’t shaky or very blurry, so I thought it alright. Not $5K for a TV, must wear glasses all the time alright, but alright nonetheless.

But then when I left the store, and marched onward toward my next location, something strange happened. I began to feel very dizzy, disoriented and almost nauseous. So much so, I legitimately had to sit down on a nearby bench for fear of falling over. I felt drunk without the fun buzz part, just the spins. Standing I could barely keep my balance, so on that bench I sat until the feeling passed about five minutes later.

What the hell happened to me? I’ve been watching 3D movies for years, and though I’m not a big fan of the format as it makes the picture darker, blurrier and more expensive most of the time, I’ve never, ever experienced anything like this. I have to imagine it’s something to do with battery powered shutter glasses, as they must have messed up something with my internal gyroscope and caused me to wobble about. Is this a common problem? I can’t imagine so, or else these things would be off the market. It’s clued me in that I’m never getting one, at least not until these damn glasses go away once and for all.

I have no vendetta against Sony, and am merely reporting exactly what happened. What do you make of what happened to me?

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  1. It can still be on the market if it causes nausea. It just needs a warning on the back of the TV. Just like all of our video games have warnings saying they may trigger epileptic fits. Or drugs with all of their side effects.
    Once the producer warns the consumer, all responsibility is put on the consumer.

  2. I HATE this 3-D crap, it just gives me a headache and doesn’t look impressive at all to me. I’m certainly not a luddite, but I sure as hell wouldn’t sit around with those creepy electronic glasses on. The whole thing sounds like some kind of mind control experiment from a bad sci fi movie. They probably rewire your brain so you are more receptive to marketing ploys and make you a good corporate drone.


  3. Same here Paul. Funny to read this article today, same thing happened to me this weekend.

    So I go to Costco, and I see the TV display for the 3D. I’m wearing my contacts that day and try it out. After a few minutes, I’m dizzy as hell.

    I thought it was just me, since I usually wear glasses (instead of contacts) and 1st person shooters make me nauseous (the display way a demo in a 1st-person-like perspective), so I brushed it aside as just my personal anatomy.

    I also don’t think 3D will take off until it doesn’t require glasses.

  4. those glasses need to be powered since shutter technology is what the name says: they shut individual “lenses” via LCD and thereby show different pictures to the individual eye several times per second creating the 3D-effect. That’s why high refresh rates 200 Hz and up are neccessary for shutter technology to work.

    On your dizzyness and nausea I don’t want to cry wolf but maybe you should have yourself checked for eppilepsy. I’ve got no medicinal background but it is the first thing i associate with flickering lights and people having problems afterwards… still hope it’s not 🙂


  5. Really, really doubt he had a seizure of any sort…most likely just an episode of dizziness from readjusting from the 3D….nothing to worry about I don’t think, but a telling sign of the vertigo-like symptoms we can get when introduced to tech that messes with our natural vision…

  6. I have that TV, and I’ve never felt anything after using the glasses, sadly I rarely feel something while wearing them the 3D is not as powerful as I would wish, but it’s a good TV still, if you have the money buy something else 🙂

  7. i’ve never had a problem with 3d at the movies, but the tv gives me a headache. i checked it out at best buy awhile back and had a headache for awhile after.

  8. They tell people to not wear those glasses outside of movie theaters because they alter your perception. What probably happened was that the glasses had altered your perception long enough to enjoy the movie, but your eyes didn’t adjust back quick enough. This means they’ll have to put warnings on every 3D TV stating that it may cause dizziness.

    The claim that 80% of households by 2014 will have a 3D TV is absurd. Blu-ray penetration is at only 11%, yet it’s clearly superior than DVD’s. We’ll probably see 3D TV’s either go the way of HDDVD’s (does anyone remember those) or remove the glasses. It is just too inconvenient to have to wear silly glasses when you want to watch a movie or play a PS3 game.

    Bluray Market Penetration (

  9. I am a firm believer that watching 3D-TVs with those glasses on makes you look 25-30% more like a rapist/child abductor. These Televisions should come with a late 70s model panel van and a box of candy.
    On the issue of getting dizzy, I can sympathize but have to wonder, were you having a stoke? Do you have an inner ear problem? I know I feel quite faint after taking off a pair of rapist glasses for fear that somebody saw me wearing them and got the wrong idea.
    I assure you I don’t have a panel van nor do I enjoy 3D television.
    Cheers – Giz

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