Been put off from watching anything in 3D through the fear of looking unfashionable in those red and blue cardboard glasses? Well, 3D has moved on. Find out how now.
3D TV is the newest home viewing technology to hit the TV market. This technology, while exciting, can be a little bit tricky to understand. But to make the most of 3D, it does pay to understand it a little bit more.
To achieve your very own 3D viewing experience home, there are various ways you can employ and utilise several technologies now available on the TV market.
It is also worth reading about what 3D TV technology has to offer before investing in the product.
Take the standard flat screen TV, what you get is a flat 2D image. But we have two eyes which allow us to view in 3D in real life. But on screen, there is no depth to the image that is being displayed- it is simply a flat array of pixels and different colours which is basically like looking at a moving photograph. But it is of course possible for a TV to create the illusion of 3D. This is known as ‘artificial 3D’ as there isn’t actually a 3D object protruding from the screen.
3D technology explained
When talking about 3D technologies, there are in fact several selections of categories in which you can divide the topic in to. There’s anaglyph 3D technology, polarised 3D technology, which is commonly found in cinemas, active 3D technology, which is the one most commonly used for home 3D systems and finally there is parallax-barrier 3D technology. They are all essentially just different ways to feed different images to each eye.
Anaglyph 3D technology
The oldest form of 3D TV technology is the Anaglyph technology. This version of the 3D TV has been around for a very long time and is the one where the image is broken into two colours, red and blue, which gives us the 3D image. If you use this technology, you do not need a special 3D TV as it works even on standard colour TVs, as long as you have the right glasses with the red and blue filters.
Polarized 3D technology – passive 3D technology
You would only find this in cinemas where they show modern 3D films like Avatar. It works well and the required glasses are cheap and light. But Passive 3D is not mainstream technology, therefore cannot be used in the home on any current 3D televisions, but it is an option that could become more prevalent in the future.
Active 3D technology
Currently the leading 3D technology for the home 3D entertainment is Active 3D. Most of the major television manufacturers have active 3D TV models either released or will soon be launching models for sale in the TV market. The technology works well, but it requires each viewer to wear ‘shutter glasses’ which are heavier and more expensive that the polarised glasses required for passive 3D TV technology.
How this technology works is within the active 3D TV technology, the screen switches rapidly between showing the image intended for separate eyes. It switches between images at least 100 times per second, sometimes even more frequently on many 3D TVs.
Parallax barrier technology
The last of the 3D technology types is called Parallax barrier which is becoming fairly popular on personal devices like handheld gaming systems such as the Sony PSP. The beauty of it is that you don’t need glasses, but have to be positioned exactly at the right spot to be able to see the 3D effect. This is because of the limitations of the technology and it’s not yet fully developed for home use.
Having reviewed the various 3D technologies that are available on the market for consumers, this guide offers great tips and a thorough break down of the products for better understanding. This should help you decide on your specific needs and budget when your interest in 3D TV technology starts growing.