Are You Ready, for 3DTV?
One, two, three – Peter, Paul and Mary are all doing 3D. Yes folks, whether we like or not – we will be seeing the word 3D slapped on our gadgets and home appliances a lot and more people will flock to the new technology. As for 3D TV, though it may take a while to catch on, just like HDTV, sooner or later the technology will enable manufacturers to mass produce them so that it won’t cost an arm and a leg. Case in point, the Samsung PNC50C490 – that now costs less than $1000.
Most 3D TVs still require us to wear those silly eyeglasses for maximum effect — though they won’t be your grandpa’s 3D technology, which used red and blue lens glasses. Looking goofy aside, it does provide some nice effect that can enhance our cinema experience.
If you are still on the fence about getting 3DTV or want to know more about it first before investing in one – you’d do well by reading our guide on 3DTV. So without further ado, let’s start with the basic.
How does it work?
Just like life sometimes is, 3D is but an illusion. A trick played by our brain to create the illusion of seeing something more than one angle – something of a third dimension. 3DTV works by showing you two different images of the same scene at the same time – one image for each eye. The two images, which occupy the whole screen, will appear intermixed – where objects in one image will be shown repeatedly or slightly skewed – when viewed without the 3D glasses. Upon wearing the 3D glasses, the two images will appear as a single 3D image.
Since our left eye and right eye are apart by about 7cm – this allows us to see objects from different angles. The two images on the 3DTV screen are presented from two different angles as well. Using the glasses, the illusion of depth can be achieved. But it’s all in the mind, really.
What should I get to watch 3D?
Most older TVs will not have 3D capability, so you will have to get a 3D capable HDTV along with the 3D glasses. If you want to watch 3D movies, you need to get a 3D Blu-ray player. By the way, watching 3D movies on your PS3 will not work for now – but a firmware upgrade for the support of 3D Blu-ray playback should come this September.
How much will it cost me?
Being early adopters, you will have to pay some premium to enjoy this technology. In general, the price of 3DTVs start from around $1000 to — well they can go very high. These are some recent prices we collected on the Internet just to give you a hint.
Samsung UN32C6500 32″ 3DTV – Price range: $895 – $1200
Samsung UN40C7000 40″ 3DTV – Price range: $1300 – $2000
Panasonic TCP50VT25 0VT25 50″ Plasma 3DTV – Price range: $1800 – $2600
Sony KDL-46HX800 46″ 3DTV – Price range: $1800 – $2900
Samsung PN63C8000 63″ Plasma 3DTV – Price range: $2500 – $3800
Don’t forget you have to get the 3D Blu-ray players as well, which will cost anywhere between $200 and $400. The active shutter glasses – fancy name for 3D glasses – should set you back about $150 for a pair. So the grand total that you have to shell out is around $2000. If you are not sure that your budget can cut it, please ask Suze Orman first.
What 3D contents can I watch?
Your selection for now might be limited. So apart from the odd 3D Blu-ray movies, if you are a direcTV subscriber, you can watch ESPN’s 3D channel– though it is only available for specific games and events. There are also a host of other 3D channels available there. For gamers, PlayStation 3 has received a firmware upgrade to support 3D gaming, so expect many 3D titles to come out soon. PC gamers can use nVidia GeForce 3D Vision to play games in 3D with a compatible 3D display.
Anything else I should know?
The technology used for viewing 3D movies in theater is different from 3D viewing at home on your 3DTV, so don’t bother trying to get those 3D glasses home. Further, 3D glasses that you get for one specific manufacturer will most definitely not work on other.
It is important not to set your expectation too high. Technology evolves and things can only get better from here. Do note that there is a danger in watching too much 3D content. It is not recommended to watch 3D if you are in less than ideal condition, such as if you have been drinking too much alcohol. (Seeing double are you? That’s not from the 3D TV).
Well, that wraps up our little 3D TV guide. Enjoy your 3D experience at home.