Anyone who has seen one of the latest 3D movies in a cinema naturally wants the same viewing experience in their living room. It’s no surprise then that the latest craze in home entertainment is the three-dimensional (3D) television. The current models are also capable of showing high-definition (HD), so a more appropriate name for them is 3D HDTV. Movies and television broadcasts filmed with this new technology are few and far between, but there will surely be many more of them in the future. Right now, buying a 3D HDTV may seem like an extravagant expense, but it will not be long before everyone has one in their living room.
We view the world around us in three dimensions so it makes sense to film movies that way too. The original technology used for 3D movies has been around for ages, and most people will have experienced it at some point in their lives. However, it suffers from many problems that makes it unacceptable today. The need to wear silly colored glasses to separate the red and blue pictures is a big drawback, and it also means that you do not see the movie in full color. Until recently, there was simply no better way to achieve the 3D effect. The development of high-speed liquid crystal shutters made the 3D HDTV possible. Glasses are still required but they are very different to the colored glasses used in the past.
There is surprisingly little difference between a 3D HDTV and a regular high-definition television. As mentioned before, the key to making the 3D effect work is the liquid crystal shutters in the glasses, which show or block the picture for each eye. Every 3D HDTV has a transmitter that keeps the glasses in sync with the picture. A 3D movie is filmed simultaneously from two viewpoints that are slightly apart, but only one picture is shown on the screen at a time. The pictures alternate so quickly that viewers fail to notice that they are changing, just so long as they are wearing the glasses. Viewers who are not wearing them see enough flicking and blurring to make the picture unwatchable.
The shutter glasses worn when viewing a 3D HDTV are far from stylish, but that hardly matters in the dark of a theater or living room. They have a thick plastic frame that contains the battery and electronics which changes the liquid crystal shutters from clear to black. Before buying a pair of these glasses, it is important to make sure that they are compatible with the 3D HDTV. Of course, the glasses need to be charged once in a while, otherwise the shutters will not work and you will see a flickering picture on the screen instead of the 3D effect. Comfort is important when you are spending hours in front of a 3D HDTV, so look for a pair of glasses that that fits well and is not too heavy.
Choosing a 3D HDTV is no more difficult that choosing a regular television. Make sure that it supports full high-definition (1080p) if the screen size is greater than thirty-two inches, otherwise the picture may appear blurry. To get the best picture, choose a model that also has high brightness, high contrast, and a low response time. A model with a video processor is generally better than one that does not have one, because it makes the picture sharper and enhances the colors. A 3D HDTV with LED backlighting has a much thinner profile, but that only matters if it will be mounted on a wall. Energy saving modes, dynamic backlighting, and support for internet television (IPTV) are some of the other features to look out for when choosing a model.
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