3D TV --- A few things to know.

Sep 28th 2010 at 1:50 PM
Here an overview of what you can expect as you see more and more 3D TV's hit the market!


Can I watch 2D video on a 3D TV?

Absolutely. All of the upcoming 3D TV models will play 2D television and it should look top notch. Nothing about the tech needed to make 3D-capable sacrifices 2D images quality. Even if you intend to watch 99-percent of your programming without glasses, you shouldn’t think twice about buying a 3D TV.

Will I absolutely need 3D glasses? How do they work? How much will extra pairs cost?

Every consumer-grade 3D TV today requires glasses to produce a 3D effect. Unlike movie theaters, which use polarized glasses, 3D TVs use active shutter LCD glasses. This means a tiny transmitter inside actually communicates with the TV to block your left eye when an image for the right eye is on the screen, and vice versa, 120 times per second. This rapid-fire trickery requires electronics and a small battery, making them heavier and bulkier than the 3D glasses you may have used in a 3D cinema.

Most 3D TVs will come with a pair of glasses, be prepared to buy additional pairs unless you really plan on sitting in your basement watching movies alone all the time.

What will I be able to watch in 3D?

not that much, right off the bat. Although standards for generating and distributing video in 3D have expanded, the market is still pretty slim at the moment.

Your best bet will lie in 3D Blu-ray movies. Manufacturers only recently ratified a 3D standard for Blu-ray, which means these movies are still a ways down the pipe, but cartoons like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Monsters vs. Aliens are already confirmed for 2010. Television stations will start to offer 3D content soon, too. DirecTV will fire up three 3D stations in 2010, ESPN will broadcast select games in 3D, and Sony and IMAX are slated to start their own 3D nature channel.

Do I need a special Blu-ray player for those 3D Blu-ray discs?

Unfortunately, yes. The same companies pushing 3D TVs have committed to producing 3D-capable Blu-ray players this year as well. So far, it doesn’t look like any previous Blu-ray players will be upgradable, except Sony’s PlayStation 3!

What is HDMI 1.4?

A certified HMDI 1.4 cable is the only way to carry a 3D signal. That means that your existing HDMI 1.3 cables won’t do the job. A new cable isn’t much of an upgrade investment, but keep in mind that other HDMI accessories won’t work, either, including A/V receivers.

How big of a screen do I need?

If you have the extra money to throw at a luxury like 3D TV, make sure to go all the way and buy the largest screen you can reasonably afford or fit in a room, because it will drastically affect your 3D experience.

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