I had to hunt for this thread. I'm curious what others are experiencing while watching 2D to 3D conversion.
I have to confess up front that at first I didn't like 2D to 3D conversion on the Samsung TVs. There are lots of drawbacks, of course, and it will never be the equal of native 3D. I occasionally get a bit queasy when the conversion fails badly.
For me, the most serious downside is what the conversion does to human beings. Instead of having a rounded, natural look, figures can look like cardboard cutouts. Long shots of people usually look best to me, while closeups can suffer from "flat face," where flattened facial appearance can almost look concave at times. It can be very disturbing.
That said, there have been a few shows that look pretty decent and that I've actually enjoyed more than I've hated.
Avatar was the obvious choice, and it works about as well as anything I've viewed in conversion mode on my Samsung plasma. Since it was shot and edited as a native 3D film, it lends itself to conversion. That is, it avoids an abundance of fast cuts and gives the viewer a chance to explore each 3D shot. I find fast cuts frustrating in 3D. Even something as simple as a still of 3D graphics works better if I can explore the individual elements. Avatar also works hard to provide foreground, middleground and background objects, to accentuate 3D space.
These qualities also work in some TV shows that I've watched in conversion mode lately. I watched a couple of episodes of Firefly the other day and noticed immediately that the framing of shots had distinct fore, middle and background objects. The smallish quarters aboard Serenity opened up when conversion isolated individual objects and set them apart from the rest of the elements in the shots.
I'm a fan of Eureka, the Syfy series. I decided to see how well it would translate to 3D. I was very pleasantly surprised by how convincing some of the spaces were in faux 3D. Inside Cafe Diem, the counters and seats had a rally solid 3D feel, and the perspective was remarkably convincing. I noticed also that Eureka avoids fast paced editing for the most part. The actors are capable of delivering lines in extended shots, which helps.
Lighting is at least as important to the conversion process as any other single element. Good lighting technique, creating distinct separations of objects, and good back light (and hair light), help the process. Flat lighting, and low contrast shots, generally don't work as well and don't have much "pop." I liked the Fan Favorites Blu-ray disc of the first and last episodes of Stargate Atlantis. Although it was IMO not a very good Syfy series, its lighting was always among the best on television. It lends itself to conversion, especially in shots such as those in the control rooms.
With the dearth of real 3D, I find myself drawn to conversion. When real 3D films start to appear in larger numbers, it will become less and less attractive. That's only natural. Meanwhile, I'll probably watch 2D to 3D fairly frequently. I'm glad I got a set that has the option, and I regret being so quick to dismiss it a few weeks ago. As much as anything else, it swayed me toward the Samsung instead of the Panasonic. I also happen to like the Samsung plasma's image, even though the Panasonic probably has the edge in certain areas. In terms of 3D, they're very close.