With the advent of 3D TV now upon us everyone wants to know how it works. As most of us know the concept has been around for a while, but it is only now being incorporated into HD televisions.
Three dimensional televisions use a technology that employs stereoscopy to fool your eyes (actually your brain!) into believing that there is depth to the images that you are viewing. And of course this is just an illusion, but when you watch 3D TV what you see will look very real and just like what you see around you every day. Real images with real depth!
How Does It Work?
The reason that stereoscopy works is that it tricks your brain into thinking that there is real depth to the images your eyes are seeing and it does this by supplying each of your eyes with 1 of 2 slightly different images at the same time.
This increases your brains perception of depth in those images.
The main technique in making this work effectively is to ensure that the two image views that each eye sees is what each eye would see individually in real life, so that these two different perspectives of the same objects in the scene are what your eyes would see naturally due the distance that your eyes are apart on your face.
This sounds complicated but the theory is simple, however getting it to work on a television screen has been difficult until now.
In fact there are three different technologies available that have been used to produce 3D movies and the actually work in different ways and use different technology to get the three dimensional effects required.
The good news is that 3D TV really does work!
Active Shutter – Alternate Image 3D Technology
This the newest of the 3d technologies and this is what is fasting being adopted as the new standard for use in 3D TV technology and is therefore the one you will be watching on your 3D television or home cinema system at home. Alternate Image is an active system and is already available in high definition HD televisions sold by Samsung, Panasonic and LG in the UK.
This 3D technology requires a HD television to work as the slightly different image perspectives of the same scene being viewed are continuously displayed in turn for each of your eyes – first for your left eye, then for your right eye and then your left etc etc. This is also called auto frame sequencing (sometimes referred to as Alternate Image or AI).
On a technical note this means that effectively the frame rate for 3D TVs is halved (one eye at a time!), so you will find that the refresh rate on these televisions will be a minimum of 120 Hz (up from 60 Hz) and often they will be even higher than this at 240 or even 480 hz.
In order for you to see these scenes correctly in 3D your eyes need to only receive the intended image in turn for your left or right eye (as displayed on the TV screen).
These act as alternate shutters for each eye and block off the view to each eye in turn and in sequence with the scene images being displayed on the 3D TV screen.
Be assured though that very soon there will also by 3D TV systems available that will not need you to wear glasses to watch, so just hang on for a while if that is what you want.
The synchronization between the 3D TV and the active glasses is managed and controlled by a radio, Bluetooth or infrared system built into the television. This is currently the system that gives the best 3D effects on a television.
Polarization 3D Technology
This polarization technology, which is often referred to as a passive system, is what you will have seen if you have watched any 3D movies at an IMAX cinema or theater. Films such as the blockbuster Avatar in 3D is typical of how successful this system can be.
When watching movies developed for this passive system you will need to wear special polarized 3D glasses to see the 3D effects. Two slightly different perspectives of the same scene are projected onto the cinema screen through separate polarizing filters and illusions of tree dimensional images are created by a restriction of the light reaching each of your eyes through similar polarization filters in the glasses.
Although the glasses are cheap to produce the 3D images are not quite as good as those provided by the newer active technology, which seems to produce sharper images in three dimensions. These are battery powered (lasting 80 hours or so)
Anaglyphic 3D Technology
This was the first and therefore the most famous of the 3D technologies to be introduced and this use the red and blue paper glasses of early attempts, but to be honest the three dimensional effects of this earlier technology were not really that good. Unfortunately most of the Anaglyphic 3D movies you can get on DVD and more recently BluRay discs will be using this technology, so be aware of this when buying.
New 3D Technologies
The ability of HD TVs to provide a system that you can view in real 3D has only just begun so these technologies are really very new. As there is a great deal of interest in 3D TV and an obviously a large demand from consumers to buy these televisions, manufacturers and technologists are already busy discovering and inventing new ways of providing 3D systems for you to view.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the current system is that the viewer has to wear 3D glasses, therefore it is highly likely that there will soon be inventions and therefore systems that will enable you to watch 3D movies on TV without having to wear glasses for viewing.
When this will arrive only time will tell, but be assured that the current 3D TV active systems available on “three dimension” equipped HD televisions work very well!
Read Reviews For The Best Deals
As this technology is new the prices of 3D TVs is still relatively high when compared with HD televisions, but this will change over time as more manufactures provides 3D TVs and competition will ensure some cheap deals will start to come to the 3D marketplace. Getting a great deal is often what we are all looking for and even now it is possible to get some better deals.
The best thing for you to do as a consumer is to read customer reviews of the latest 3D TV models that they have already bought and used before you even thing about being ready to buy one for yourself. This way you will get to quite appreciate what is a good deal and what is not. What you buy needs to work as well as you want and also meet all your expectations. Owner reviews will tell you how these products perform and how they met the expectations of others and you can learn a lot from this.