HD Guru: Bad Grades for DirecTV 3D

HD Guru Gary Merson scores 3D content on DirecTV and the results are generally grim: "Take it off the air"

Julie Jacobson · July 6, 2010

Last week, DirecTV flipped the switch on 3D, via the first ever 24/7 3D channel and 3D video-on-demand—giving some consumers their first-ever look at three-dimensional video.

Alas, they were probably disappointed.

HD Guru Gary Merson checked out the 3D fare using two DirecTV DVRs and a 50-inch 3D plasma TV from Panasonic. He reviewed four programs from the exclusive N3D channel, a joint effort between DirecTV and Panasonic. Sadly, not all of the video was delivered in 1080p/24. Some of it was a wimpy 1080i—that’s so 2005.

Here’s what the Guru reviewed:

  • Wild Safari: An South African Adventure
  • S.O.S. Planet
  • African Adventure: Safari in the Okavango
  • Encounter In The Third Dimension

Using an old-fashioned grading system, Merson says the first three programs averaged about a C on content. In other words, who would watch this stuff if not for the 3D gimmick?

Worse, Wild Safari earned a D+ in 3D quality and African Adventure failed the 3D test, prompting Merson to write, “At this time we feel it would be best for DirecTV to take it off the air and only rebroadcast it if it can fixed in post production.”

He claims Adventure “is poorly shot 3D, making viewing a strain, as one’s eyes try to compensate for the discrepancies.”

Check out Merson’s full review at

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

News · 3D · DirecTV · Gary Merson · HD Guru · Review · All Topics
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