If you’ve been inside an electronics retail store within the last 2 years or so, chances are you’ve seen a 3D television on display. If you put on a pair of 3D glasses to demo the TV, you probably noticed that the 3D rendering is actually quite impressive. However, you probably noticed the price tag too. When it comes to the technology, the question is, “how does 3D work?” When it comes to the price, the question is, “is 3D worth it?”
3D technology itself isn’t new, but it has continuously evolved over the years. You probably remember wearing those horrifically uncomfortable cardboard 3D glasses during Fourth of July fireworks shows growing up. The technology has improved to a point where movies are being released left and right in theaters in 3D. And now, you can get that experience at home. You won’t be able to use the same glasses that cut into the top of your ears though (sorry). This is because the movies are filmed and rendered in a way that allows television manufacturers to bring the experience into your living room or home theater. Basically, when a movie is filmed in 3D, the filmmaker(s) use a special camera that duplicates each frame shot. That way, the film can be edited with one take rendered as the left eye, and the same take rendered as the right eye. The two takes are then layered on top of one another. This is why you see a duplicate of the image if you watch a 3D movie without the 3D glasses on. 3D televisions require “active” glasses rather than those stylish ones used in movie theaters. These glasses are powered and sync with the television used to watch the 3D content. When powered on, the 3D glasses turn each lens on and off at an extremely fast frame rate, ensuring that both eyes do not see the same exact image at the same exact time. The reason 3D televisions use this technology instead of the flimsy “passive”, or non-powered, glasses you’re probably more used to is because first of all, there isn’t much content rendered in 3D currently. You can watch thousands of different movies on Netflix, but can only buy about a dozen movies in 3D at a retailer. Second, the technology to make televisions 3D all the time, with everything you watch is out there. But manufacturers aren’t diving into it yet, simply because the technology would make the televisions even more expensive than they currently are (similar to OLED televisions).
The main question regarding 3D televisions relates to whether it’s worth buying yet. As with any new technology, you buy it one day and six months later it’s half the price. And there isn’t a large selection of 3D movies out there yet; most movies are animated, simply because it’s easier and less expensive for production companies than live action films. But if you are in the market for a good television, 3D is worth considering. Mainly because the new 3D TVs look better than any other televisions available when watching movies in 2D, simply because they utilize other technology to make them the latest and greatest to enjoy. And although there might not be much in terms of 3D content to buy right now, if you did have a 3D TV, you would have the ability to watch 3D movies as the number of movies grow down the line.