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Am I Going to Catch 3DTV-itis?

Julie Govan is the Brand Manager at Crutchfield, and has been writing about consumer electronics since 1999. Her areas of expertise include home theater, surround sound, digital cameras, and HDTV. In her spare time, she also writes book reviews and fiction. She earned a B.A. in English from Davidson College, and went on to receive a master's degree in English literature from the University of Virginia.

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I read this CNN article about 3DTV making people sick with much curiosity. I've heard speculation about this before, and found myself wondering how much hard science was behind the warnings.

So, in my limited 3-D viewing, here's what I've found. Watching a half hour of 3DTV does not make me feel sick in any way. Watching the 2.5-hour movie Avatar in 3-D on New Year's Day, with movie theater 3-D glasses on top of my regular glasses, gave me a mild headache by the end of the movie, which went away when I took the glasses off and reduced the pressure on my lower temples. (The experience was worth the headache, by the way. What an awesome spectacle.)

When I deconstruct this CNN article, what I take away from it is that some people can get dizzy (hey, that's a warning that should be posted on most homemade YouTube videos, too!) or a headache. There's a risk of seizures, but no one quoted in the article discussed this ever actually happening. (Perhaps the risk is the same as that associated with video games, roller park rides, and anything else with flashing images? Don't ask me; I'm not a medical expert.) And, although no one knows for sure yet, some of the experts are "concerned about serious consequences for children who watch 3-D television for long periods of time." Well, c'mon -- does it take an expert to worry about kids who spend hours zoned out in front of a screen?

Actually, it does. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been recommending limited TV viewing, no TVs in kids' bedrooms, and other measures associated with kids and TV for almost 20 years.This really shouldn't be news, that too much daily TV exposure is not ideal.

So, overall, while I won't be putting a 3DTV in the kids' bedrooms anytime soon, I think I'm not going to worry about the technology of 3-D movies and TV frying my brain. Instead, I'll spend my time worrying about the content of what I'm actually watching, and what I'm going to do now that Lost is winding to a close.

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