Thick Moustache: Gentlemanly Studies on Modern Leisure

The light’s dying and Sony killed it

Posted by David on May 27th, 2011

The main take away from Roger Ebert’s recent article is this: We’re being screwed over by the movie industry, and Sony is providing the screws.

Since going to the movies is becoming less and less popular as the quality of home entertainment continues to rise, studios are shoving 3D down our throats as a way to compensate. The problem is that it’s not working out as planned. People don’t give two craps about the “extra dimension” that newer movies are being presented in, and this is actually ruining 2D movies (or as we used to call them, movies) for everyone else.

How? As it turns out, when 2D movies are improperly projected through 3D lenses, the 3D lenses steal as much as 50% of the light from the projection. The result of this light heist is a dark, crappy-looking movie, which is likely to make The Hangover II even more bewildering.

But the problem doesn’t exist with all 3D lenses. This is a problem primarily found in Sony lenses. Why don’t they just remove the lenses, you say? Because removing Sony’s 3D lenses requires technical know-how that your average projection jockey didn’t learn in shop class. See, there are security clearances and internet passwords required to take the 3D lenses off. Most theaters don’t want to spend the time to remove them in the first place, and if they do it wrong, the lenses stop working. Why the hell would you even password protect a lens? Piracy doesn’t work that way, Sony.

Fortunately, Ebert has some sage advice to avoid these murky projectors.

Your best bet is apparently to (1) find a theater that doesn’t use digital at all, (2) doesn’t use Sony projectors, or (3) still projects light through celluloid the traditional way.

If that’s not enough (and it’s really not), there are even more tips further down the page.

What can you personally do to be sure you see an ideal picture? Matthew Humpries at writes:

  • The title of the movie listed by the theater will have a “D” after it if it is being shown on a digital projector
  • If you are in a D movie, look at the projector window when seated. If you see two stacked beams of light it is a Sony projector with the 3D lens still on.
  • A single beam of light means no 3D lens, or a different make of projector that doesn’t have the issue
  • If you see the two beams, then get up and go complain. You paid good money to see the movie, so make a fuss until they either give you back that money or remove the lens. Seeing as that’s an involved and time-consuming process, expect a refund.

Still, I crave a slightly more personal solution, so I’m off to Japan to thank Sony’s executives for making the moviegoing experience an even more craptastic one. I already picked out a present! Let’s hope they like my gift-wrapped foot repeatedly kicking them square in the rocks.

[Source: Chicago Sun-Times]

One Response to The light’s dying and Sony killed it

  1. You know, its starting to make sense now. I have heard that a lot of 3D movies were showing up too dark, and its interesting that its a technological shortcoming rather than a stylistic choice.

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