Why 3D TV May Not Be the Next Great Thing — At Least Not Right Away

According to a Digital Home story,

Samsung Electronics has posted an advisory on its corporate web site warning that children and teenagers may be more susceptible to health issues when viewing 3D content on their televisions.

The company also recommends that pregnant woman, the elderly and anyone under the influence of alcohol should refrain from watching programming in 3D.

Samsung also says that wearing 3D glasses for any other purpose may be physically harmful and could weaken your eyesight.

Given such concerns and the tempting thought that glassless 3D technologies may displace the current crop of 3D sets (which require rather expensive glasses) throws doubt on the rapid acceptance of 3D television.

Incidentally, while there are a number of companies working on glassless 3D TV, the fact that Sharp, one of the leading manufacturers of TV sets, recently unveiled its own entry, which is initially aimed at the cell phone and mobile device market. As DailyTech reported earlier this month that:

… Sharp aired its stunning new 3D display.  The mobile display offers switchable 2D and 3D display modes and best of all does not require the user to wear any goofy glasses.

The television manufacturing industry at CES 2010 revealed itself to be deeply enamored with 3D sets.  However, doubts remain over whether users will be willing to don special glasses every time they want to watch events broadcast in TV.

More From Life: Ernie Kovacs

Ernie Kovacs Show Electronic Sight Gag
The Life archive notes: “Electronic sight gag created by comic Ernie Kovacs in which he appears to be peering thru head of actress Barbra Loden as part of his TV special ‘Ernie Kovacs’.”

Life cover: April 15, 1957 This and the photo below (which shows how the effect was done) were by Ralph Morse and done in March 1957, which were probably included in the cover story on Kovacs. Kovacs created something of a sensation with his half-hour NBC special, The Ernie Kovacs Show. Usually, NBC specials were 90 minutes, but Jerry Lewis was only willing to do a hour-long show and Kovacs very willing stepped into the breach to fill the allotted time slot. He took this opportunity to experiment with a show done entirely in pantomime; he also showed his penchant for experimenting with the medium, including doing visual effects. These type of “electronic” effects by Kovacs and other early TV pioneers in many ways anticipated today’s digital effects.

Anyway, as The Ernie Kovacs Website describes notes:

The 30-minute show Ernie did was devoid of any dialogue, and featured the silent character Ernie had been developing, Eugene, as well as the Nairobi Trio. The show’s centerpiece was an extended series of surreal sight gags following Eugene, a mute, meek character as a fish out of water in a stuffy men’s club. The sketch included the famous gag involving the gravity-defying olives and thermos of coffee.

Ernie Kovacs and Barbra Loden demonstrating how electronic sight gag was done for Ernie Kovacs Show
“Comic Ernie Kovacs pasting black patch on forehead of Barbra Loden before posing her against black background which will create the illusion of a hole in Loden’s head for sight gag to air on his TV special.”

Life Magazine Photos Online!

Walt Disney photographed for Life in 1938 by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Life magazine’s photo archives are in the process of being posted online, thanks to Google.  The magazine was the picture journal of its day and was published weekly from 1936-1972, and continued to be issued in various stand alone forms until 2000. And its roster of photographers reads like a Who’s Who of Photo Journalism during the middle part of the 20th century.

Needless to say, Life‘s coverage of the arts, especially film and television, was extensive. The images being posted include photos never published before, along with production stills and posters not easily found elsewhere online. The high resolution (300 dpi) images are apparently free for nonprofit use.

My first instinct was to search for animation-related material and, naturally, Disney-related material, such as the 1938 photo of Disney by Alfred Eisenstaedt above , were most easily found. Much of the material I initially looked at lacked full identification; e.g., a picture of Gore Vidal and Melvyn Douglas only named Vidal, and some photos of live TV shows from the 1950s I looked at were not identified in any way, other than that they were TV shows. Anyway, here are some images of interest I came across, starting with  several by Hart Preston of Disney’s 1941 South American tour, which he embarked upon after the Bank of America told him to settle the strike by the Screen Cartoonists Guild:

Mary Blair in Brazil on 1941 Disney trip.
This is identified as “Disney artist Mary Blair (R) working in Brazil w. company founder Walt Disney (L),” with Sugarloaf in the background; however, that’s doesn’t look like Disney to me.+
Frank Thomas and Walt Disney on Brazilian Beach
“Artist Franklin Thomas (L) standing with Walt Disney (C) on Brazilian beach.”
Fantasia's Brazilian Premiere
“Audiences gathered outside theater for the Brazilian premiere of Walt Disney’s ‘Fantasia’.” Brazil’s President Vargas was in attendance.
sid caesar by gordon parks
“NBC TV actor Sid Caesar (2nd R) rehearsing the Saturday night show with actress Janet Blair (2nd L), Carl Reiner (C) and others.” The Saturday night show was, of course, Caesar’s Hour, which along with Your Show of Shows, was an incubator for a whole generation of comedy writers and comedians, including Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Danny Simon, and Larry Gelbart. I’m not sure who the woman on the left is, but the man in the center is Carl Reiner and Howie Morris is on the right. Photo: Gordon Parks.
No Time for Sergeants on Broadway
“Scene from the play ‘No Time For Sergeants’.” The 1955 Broadway play was inspired by the popular live TV adaptation of the Mac Hyman novel, and also starred Andy Griffith, who later went on to also star in the movie version. On the right is Don Knotts, who had been a mainstay on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen, made his Broadway debut in the show. Photo: Yale Joel.