We at NYSS want to be fair and balanced in dealing with the Great Pinhole Glasses 3D Controversy. Sheldon Aronowitz, whom I think we can safely say has seen more images in stereoscopic 3D in more different formats over the years than just about anyone alive today, received a review copy of these glasses last weeek and they haven't worked for him.
For me, that would equal case closed, move on, nothing to see here, Elvis has left the building.
Add to this the fact that the TV Eyes 3D Glasses as shown on eBay are NOT what a purchaser receives. That, in itself, seems fradulent to me. If I post a picture of a horse on eBay, you buy it and I deliver a cow to your home, you're gonna cry 'foul.'
However, Sheldon has received comments from the seller and we've decided to post them.
But we're also going to make an open request that the seller send us a clear picture of the glasses that he actually ships to purchasers, so our audience can make a more informed judgment.
Finally, while perception is subjective, the fact remains that either these glasses produce a 3D effect or they do not.
The seller claims that he's got over 500 positive responses for selling only TV Eyes Glasses. That's being a bit, um, generous. He's also not telling the whole truth when he claims he's only selling these glasses: he's also selling a number of DVD's. If you scroll through the comments, you'll find it's a little hard to tell if buyers are happy with the glasses or the DVD they received. But here's one I thought is particularly relevant:
Gimmicky little thing that kind of works with a little imagination
If these revolutionary new glasses require 'imagination' to 'kind of' work, I wonder if the seller's car operates under the same principle: the needle may point to 'E' but I imagine I've got a full tank of gas. How far can I drive?
As far as 500 positive feedbacks go, I'd submit to you that this still fails to make a convincing case. After all, according to a New York Times poll, 3 million Americans believe they've had close encounters with UFOs or alien intelligences. That number doesn't prove anything about UFOs.
I used to attend a barbaric weekly ritual where I ate the flesh of my chosen deity while the local cult leader drank his blood; I was a Roman Catholic and the process is called transubstantiation. Did my belief make this ghoulish practice true?
It also seems to me that the seller is committing a logical fallacy when he explains that these glasses work because of the "overlay" of pinhole viewing's infinite depth of field as compared with the filmed (or televised) version's finite depth of field.
That might be true only if one were capable of viewing both the TV screen's image and the actual scene on location. How can one TV image contain both sets of depth information, the finite depth of the camera's lens and the infinite depth of a pinhole view?
And what could possibly explain the claimed "increased color separation?" Color separated from what? (You Reds wait over here on East 32nd Street; all you Blues and Greens come with me to Waverly Place). The seems a disingenuous attempt to co-opt the anaglyph process without actually making anything remotely resembling an anaglyph.
I invite the seller to contact us with clarification on these two points.
We'll let you decide if the explanation below seems reasonable and plausible. . .
Hello, TV Eyes 3-D here. I noticed a couple of articles on the New York Stereoscopic Society pages. If you're looking for some comments by people who have actually used the glasses, please don't forget to look at the eBay feedback for this item. With over 500 feedback, and selling nothing else, the feedback score is over 99% positive.
They do work. I guarantee them. I'm aware the glasses look like a hoax. It's been an uphill battle to get people to actually try them because they "look" like they won't work.
And despite appearances, they aren't the "pinhole glasses" mentioned in the NYSS articles. They are based on a pinhole lens, the same as a pinhole camera is (and pinhole cameras are well known for their depth of field) but TV Eyes 3-D Glassses are specifically engineered for TV viewing. The tolerances are exact.
Trying to use regular "pinhole glasses" like the ones shown in that article just makes the picture look like you're looking through a colander. I know, I tried.
I thought you might like a technical explanation of how the glasses work. The simplest way to explain it is that movies are filmed with ground optical camera lenses, those lenses, because of the way they focus, create a "finite depth of field."
A pinhole lens, on the other hand, creates an "infinite depth of field." By overlaying the finite depth of field in the movie with the infinite depth of field created by the glasses the TV picture looks deeper and more three-dimensional.
(For more specifics see our "How it works" page at http://stores.ebay.com/TV-Eyes-3-D/How-it-Works.html.)
It also increases color separation, so in the right conditions it can create a slight ChromaDepth-like effect. Unlike regular pinhole glasses, TV Eyes 3-D Glasses have been specifically formulated for TV viewing. Every single part of the glasses; frames, shape of lenses, size and spacing of holes, is specifically designed to create the clearest possible 3-D picture. (Regular pinhole glasses are not.)