Watching 3D TV is not bad for your health: Vision Centre

Experts argue 3D TV no worse than 2D

A leading Australian vision research group has weighed in on the 3D TV health debate, stating that 3D television is unlikely to cause a negative effect if viewed under normal conditions.

The Vision Centre, which is funded by the Australian Research Council, argues that the consequences of watching 3D TV are similar to watching normal programming if it is viewed for no more than a few hours a day.

Professor Colin Clifford from The Vision Centre explained that concerns with 3D TV originally arose due to the notion that a different image was presented to either eye. He said that the minimal visual alteration this creates has no serious long-term effects.

“When we look at an object in depth, two things are yoked together — the convergence of our eyes when they point at the object, and the curvature of their lenses. The brain adjusts both of these to focus on close objects and sense the depth of what it sees," he said. “For objects viewed beyond reading distance, however, the eyes are pretty much pointing in parallel and very little adjustment is required to see things in depth.”

However Clifford told GoodGearGuide that if consumers were to watch 3D TV for more than a few hours a day, and closer than the optimal viewing distance of two to three metres, then some issues might occur. These issues are not unique to 3D viewing, though — they also occur when watching normal television.

“The idea we are pushing is that what is reasonable for 2D is reasonable for 3D TV. If you are not watching within these parameters, it is possible for visual stress to occur, along with tiring and fatigue — even if you aren’t aware of it. There are a host of potentially minor things, but most of them would be fairly transient.”

The final decision will rest with the consumer, with the question of buying a 3D TV coming down to personal preference. “I’ve heard some people say that they get migraines from watching 3D TV, so ultimately if it’s not for them then they shouldn’t persevere with it,” Clifford concluded.

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