View Full Version : 3D TV... Really?

Mitchell Andrus
03-10-2010, 10:30 AM
Is there really a difference in the TV or is the difference just printed on the outside of the box?

Well, I thought it was going to be a gimmick similar to all of the "microwavable" stickers that suddenly showed up on frozen foods in the 80's. Can't a great big HDTV do it?

'parently not.

Here's the poop:


3D television technology is becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. Due to the rise of popular 3D feature films (namely Pixar's Up and James Cameron's Avatar), major television manufacturers began developing three dimensional home television technology in 2009.
There are several methods that these manufacturers use to create 3D images on an LCD television; some are more expensive than others, and some are more feasible than others. This article will discuss the three primary methods of 3-D home theater technology that will be used in upcoming years.

Lenticular viewing: This technology has been pioneered by Philips, and is available as of today. TV sets that use this technology can be watched without those funny glasses that audiences used in theaters. These televisions use a lens that can send different images to each eye. That is, your left eye will see a completely different image from your right eye, which will emulate your two eyes' use of stereopsis (the process by which your eyes discern depth). The one weakness of lenticular viewing, however, is that a viewer must sit in a very specific spot in front of the TV. This means that only a couple people would be able to comfortably watch the TV at once due to its small viewing angle.

Passive glass systems: Hyundai is developing this type of LCD monitor which will allow both 2D and 3D images to be viewed. To watch the 3-D images, viewers will need to wear the traditional glasses in order to watch three dinemsional media. This technology is nothing new: the TV has two overlapping images and the glasses have polarized lenses. Each lens is polarized so that it can see only one of the two overlapping images. This technology is very feasible and 40 to 50 inch LCD TVs with this technology are currently available for purchase.

Active glass systems: This system is very similar to the passive glass system, except rather than the TV doing all work, the glasses do. The glasses synchronize with the refresh rate of the TV, then they alternate the polarization of each lens, making the wearers of the glasses see 3-D images. With this technology, people could be watching a 2-D movie comfortably, then at will switch the movie into 3-D. This type of monitor is being developed by Samsung and Mitsubishi, but the downside is that the glasses could be very expensive. Some predict the glasses to be upwards of $100..

Horton Brasses
03-10-2010, 10:48 AM
Neat concept, I guess. I don't want to wear special glasses (what about those who wear prescription lenses?), nor do I want the narrow viewing angle (remember the early big projection TV's?). The middle option-using glasses for 3D while still seeing 2D without kinda sorta seems almost practical.

This needs a 2.0 version to be viable IMHO. On the other hand, you need a 1.0 in order to have a 2.0.

JohnT Fitzgerald
03-10-2010, 11:38 AM
There are several interesting possibilities with this technology. 2 people could watch totally completely different shows on the same tv (like the 'Picture-in-Picture', but better).

Another is that 2 video gamers could have totally different 1st-person views of the game they are playing together - or against each other.

Pat Germain
03-10-2010, 11:49 AM
(what about those who wear prescription lenses?)

The 3D glasses for home use fit over prescription eyeglasses, just like the theater versions.

For me, the bigger question is, why? The only movie I've seen where 3D really added anything is "Avatar". Every other example was cheesy, gimicky and just distracting from the movie as a whole. Unfortunately, studio executives are now scrambling to crank out anything in 3D thinking it's the new perfect formula for box office success.

Although, sporting events might be fun to watch in 3D.

Bob Borzelleri
03-10-2010, 12:03 PM
If theater and television 3-D is supposed to create a viewing experience that is similar to that which we see with our own eyes, then it is a total flop, in my opinion.

The vast majority of 3-D I have seen in theaters has depth of field on two planes only; the background and everything that is being thrown at the audience (foreground). There is no incremental depth of field as we (those of us with two eyes) see every day. I wouldn't want to walk around in a world where the background is flat and the moving objects jump out at me; why should I be expected to appreciate those conditions in a theater. The last time I looked, regular old Blu-ray looked just fine on my screen. At least I don't get the impression that I'm looking at a giant pop up comic book.

Yes, some do it better than others, but this technology has been around since Vincent Price was a young guy. It's about time they make some more progress with realism as opposed to gimmickry.

Horton Brasses
03-10-2010, 12:18 PM
There are several interesting possibilities with this technology. 2 people could watch totally completely different shows on the same tv (like the 'Picture-in-Picture', but better).

Another is that 2 video gamers could have totally different 1st-person views of the game they are playing together - or against each other.

Those are two great ideas that never even crossed my mind. I don't play games but I can see how that would be wonderful. And as I am stuck watching HGTV some nights two shows at once would be great-guess you'd have to wear headphones.

John A. Callaway
03-10-2010, 12:49 PM
after seeing Avatar and then Alice in Wonderland yesterday, I am sold on the technology. I will be be due for a upgrade in another year or so for our living room ( sony 50" 1080i LCD projection currently ) . I will most cetainly consider the new real D 3d technology when I start shopping.

Mitchell Andrus
03-10-2010, 2:09 PM
Although, sporting events might be fun to watch in 3D.

Sports events will drive half of the movement. Easy to 'add' to the current content.

Video games will drive the other half.

Paul Steiner
03-11-2010, 10:39 AM
I am for new technology and I will say that HD TV is definitely much better that standard def, especially watching hockey. But all the perfectly good TVs, dvd palyers, dvds, going to the land fill with in the next 5 to 10 years really bothers me. For example a good friend of mine has a large DVD collection 500+ and he is replacing all the titles as the blu-ray edition comes out. He either gives the DVD away or throws it out. Personally I do not see a large difference in the quality to justify space in the landfill. And now the industry is gearing up for the next wave of products that will create the next generation of waste. We do this with everything now. And I have students that view items as worthless if it is not the latest and greatest.
I remember when we we able to upgrade things and devices lasted 20 years. In the 80s my father was able to buy a box to add to add a remote to our 1978 sony tv. In the 90s my brother and I could upgrade our computer with new parts. Now we just buy new things and forget about the old stuff.
At least the next round of technology will probably incorporate data so we may eliminate things like disks all together.

alex grams
03-11-2010, 2:01 PM
When i went to see avatar the engineer in me was focusing as much on playing with the glasses as watching the movie. I did some reading, and some of the 3d Projectors have to use ridiculously large lights to achieve the 3d effects, a 6.5 Kilowatt lightbulb in the unit... ouch...


Bill Cunningham
03-11-2010, 10:08 PM
With memory chips getting cheaper every few months, it will only be a matter of time before a slot in the TV replaces the disk for both play and record. I already have a slot in mine for looking at .jpgs
Gad! I can remember spending $800.00+ for a lousy 24k of memory for my old H8 computer..And i had to even build those boards myself.. But 200, 2102's 'would' keep your coffee warm on top of the machine:D