Do you take 3D TV health warnings seriously?

Do you take 3D TV health warnings seriously?

Summary: In addition to the worry about epilepsy or stroke from flashing lights, the warning says not to watch 3D while drunk, that it can cause motion sickness, and that sitting too close may damage your eyesight.

TOPICS: Health

It looks at first blush like one of those reverse-psychology marketing ploys.

This movie is so shocking it could make you ill.

Of course this stuff can get serious. Remember Pokemon syndrome? A strobe effect on the kids' cartoon show was implicated in real epileptic seizures. Pikachu indeed.

So maybe this is clever marketing, or just someone covering their potential liability. Whatever. Samsung has put a long health warning (PDF) on its new 3D TV.

(The image is from our Crave UK blog, a story on the history of over-the-air 3D broadcasting. If you're having trouble reading the legend, it's "OMG! This is not even remotely impressive." Those Brits.)

In addition to the worry about epilepsy or stroke from flashing lights, the warning says not to watch 3D while drunk, that it can cause motion sickness, to keep the TV away from stairs, and that sitting too close may damage your eyesight.


Samsung and Panasonic began shipping the new TVs, with their special glasses, last month, and other manufacturers are jumping into the market.

3D TV works by having video recorded with two slightly different perspectives (corresponding to your left and right eye), then combining the image with polarization. They look blurry until you put on glasses that right-and-left shift the images so they come together, giving the illusion of depth.

Since the huge success of the movie Avatar electronics companies have been falling all over one another to create 3D kit. Sony is planning 3D games, 3D Blu-Ray players for summer, and a line of glasses to use them all with.

But it does come with some concerns. A friend just dropped by as I was writing and recounted stories of people getting nauseous, with symptoms of motion sickness, while watching James Cameron's epic movie. Reviewer Mike Pesce insists 3D is bad for you, and is concerned manufacturers haven't done any health and safety testing on the technology.

So the Samsung release is a sort of lawyer letter. Hey if you get sick we told you. You were warned. And as to why Samsung, perhaps this will explain.

Now is that warning good enough for you? Or are you going to run to your lawyer if you fall down the stairs after watching a friend's 3D over some beers for several hours a few months from now?

Topic: Health

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  • Short answer is NO

    I believe a healthy human being can interact with it's environment unharmed.
    • What?

      There are countless potentially life threatening factors in our environment, both natural and man made, from snake bites and hurricanes to all kinds of chemicals and radiation.

      50 000 people die in the US alone in automobile accident annually. So you still think "a healthy human being can interact with it's environment unharmed"? Get real.
  • Could care less

    I could care less about 3D. Due to an issue with my eyes, I can't see in 3D. When I use the 3D glasses, I see either a red image or a blue image because I only use one eye at a time (side-effect of many eye surgeries/eye patches when I was young). So no matter how much retailers want me to consume/buy 3D, it just ain't happening...
    Mark D. Peterson
    • Same here

      Had a lazy right eye during childhood that didn't respond to treatment. As a result, it's not good for anything other than peripheral vision. So, 3D TV is worthless to me. As are those ridiculous 3D "hidden" drawings that were all the rage 10-15 years ago. Go ahead and make everyone else sick and dizzy. I'll stick to the good ol' 2D world I've lived in all my life, TYVM.
    • learn to speak English

      The expression is "I couldn't care less"
      • And another thing

        And what is with the common mistaken use of "it's," as in "it's environment"?

        Proper usage is "its." Go ask your English teacher.
  • RE: Do you take 3D TV health warnings seriously?

    No. Hearing some of those warnings actually makes me want
    to try some of those things out. I'd love to watch some
    3D tv after consuming a few beers, I think it'd be great.
    • hmm...

      right on!
    • Go for it

      Just report back, OK?
  • I'm watching it right now and, and, and, and, and

    John Zern
  • RE: Do you take 3D TV health warnings seriously?

    If someone falls down the stairs after drinking and
    watching 3D, good luck trying to sue the 3D content
    provider for that one.
    • It will happen, trust me

      This is America, where there is a higher percentage of attorneys than in any other country on earth.

      AND in America, if you get sued for some frivolous reason, you still have to pay your often-major legal costs, regardless of the merits of the case. In more-civilized countries like the UK, the loser pays legal costs for both sides. Tends to reduce junk suits. But that's not the system here.
      • Yep.

        There is some discretion needed. 100% loser pays does tend to stifle those with very little money but a valid gripe. I'd like to see a "Loser can pay system" where the obviously frivolous lawsuits the loser pays but MOREOVER, the judge and appellant judges, for those deemed frivolous are REQUIRED to make the plaintiff's lawyer cover at least 50% of the fees.

        Can't see that happening though, it would fix the problem and help society as whole, so Government won't do it.

  • The framerates are still too low...

    ...ask any gamer.
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
  • LMAO

    I have known people to suffer from motion sickness when drunk sitting still with their eyes closed in a dark room. I suspect there are a couple of things you want to avoid doing while drunk. "Refrain from using anything bigger than a 14" chainsaw when drunk, a 16" when buzzed".