A new scientific study has suggested that our attention levels are nearly 30% higher when watching a 3D Blu-ray movie compared to a standard-def DVD. Even when pitted against a regular, 2D-only Blu-ray disc, 3D Blu-rays have been found to command more attention as well as provoke more emotional response among viewers, contributing to a more engaging experience.
The study was carried out on behalf of the European division of the Blu-ray Disc Assocation (BDA) by Mindlab International, a Sussex-based research firm that specialises in using non-invasive methods to monitor brain activities for marketing and commercial purposes. 24 people – divided equally between both genders – aged 18 to 54 (with an average age of 34) participated in the trial.
These participants were hooked up to a concoction of measuring equipments and wires for monitoring of their heart rates, skin conductance levels or electro-dermal activity (EDA), and brainwave activity through EEG (electroencephalography). They were then asked to watch a total of nine film snippets (Clash Of The Titans, Despicable Me and Step Up, each having the same sequence delivered in 3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray and DVD formats) displayed on a Sony 3D-capable HDTV. Although the order in which the clips were shown had been randomised, it was probably pretty obvious to the subjects which one was 3D BD (active-shutter 3D glasses required) and 2D BD (more definition and detail than standard DVD).
The results were exactly what the BDA would have wanted to hear when they commissioned the research. In comparison with standard-definition DVD, Blu-ray 3D footages elicited higher levels of attention (up 29%), engagement (up 18%) and emotion (up 8%). The same parameters were also increased versus regular non-3D Blu-ray, though to a lesser extent. While the obvious bias of the BDA and the small number of subjects may dent the credibility of this study, that the increased detail on Blu-ray discs and the immersive effect of 3D movies should enhance one’s viewing experience is probably indisputable.