London – In case you needed clinical documentation, a team of
neurological researchers here has determined that 3D Blu-ray delivers an
enhanced emotional entertainment experience that engages viewers more than
standard Blu-ray Disc or DVD — at least in England — according to a new study.
Working on behalf of the European Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA),
the Sussex Innovation Centre, Brighton, tested over three days last November,
24 subjects evenly split between males and females between the ages of 18 and
54 years old.
Test participants watched three clips in all three formats (3D
Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray and 2D DVD) from 90 to 180 seconds in length. The clips
were all from major Hollywood studio produced films from the last 12 months
covering three different genres.
The team measured skin conductance (electro-dermal activity EDA),
which is a sensitive psychophysiological index of changes in sympathetic
autonomic arousal that is integrated with emotional and cognitive states, using
small electrodes attached to two fingers of the non-dominant hand.
In addition, brain activity was measured using EEG to distinguish
attention, and emotion direction (approach or withdrawal response determining positive
or negative reactions).
The result: the 3D Blu-ray format was the most effective,
followed by Blu-ray Disc and then DVD.
The study findings were released in conjunction with new Blu-ray
Disc sales figures conducted by Futuresource Consulting, showing that the total
European market for Blu-ray Disc sales in 2010 was 45 million units, virtually
double 2009’s figure, according to the European BDA.
With the U.K. sales accounting for nearly 30 percent (13 million
sales) of the European total and more 3D content now making the transition from
cinemas to the home, Blu-ray’s popularity within the U.K. looks set to continue
in 2011, the Euro BDA said.
After comparing the total attention levels for each format, the study
results showed that on average, subjects were 12 percent more attentive when
watching Blu-ray 3D compared with a Blu-ray Disc, and 17 percent more attentive
when watching a Blu-ray Disc over a standard DVD. When comparing attention
levels between Blu-ray 3D and a DVD, attention levels jumped by an incredible
For emotional response, “a significant increase” was determined when
watching Blu-ray over DVD, but peaked with 3D Blu-Ray at an 8 percent increase
when watching 3D Blu-ray compared to DVD.
Audiences were 7 percent more engaged when watching 3D Blu-ray
over a Blu-ray Disc, and 12 percent more engaged when watching a Blu-ray Disc over
a standard DVD.
When comparing engagement levels between Blu-ray 3D and a DVD,
subjects were found to be 18 percent more engaged with 3D Blu-ray.
“This study shows that Blu-ray isn’t just a huge step up
technically, it also delivers a better and more engaging viewing experience in
the home. When you watch a Blu-ray Disc, you feel every moment with more
emotion, drama and excitement. When you add 3D to the mix, it only enhances the
experience further,” stated Graham Heaton, European BDA promotions committee
“This study has shown how format change affects the viewer on
both a conscious and a non-conscious level. The sharper contrast of the Blu-ray
formats allows the brain to process more of what is being seen as less effort
is needed to focus on certain objects,” said Duncan Smith, Mindlab International
managing director. “3D is a fully immersive format, increasing engagement in
viewers. The fact that subjects were witnessed as having increased eye movement
and head movement is testament to this. The 3D technology draws attention to
peripheral images on the screen and, coupled with Blu-ray quality definition,
it is able to deliver footage that increases engagement and emotional response
over all other formats”.
“Psychological research into perception suggests that the brain
inherently prefers 3D images and interprets 2D images as 3D where possible,”
said David Lewis-Hodgson, Mindlab chairman and research director. “This makes
evolutionary sense since the real world is 3D; 2D images such as images in
print or on screen have existed only since our vision perception evolved to the
stage at which it is now. As evidence suggests that humans decode visual
information as 3D, we can therefore infer that actual 3D images are more
pleasing to the visual system than traditional 2D images.”
A full report on the study and/or additional data on the
Futuresource sales report contact the European BDA at