3D capable TVs: Should you get one?

In the blink of an eye, 3D televisions have lingered in the display market for more than a year. And as much as stereoscopy is an integral part of TV makers’ portfolios, many consumers are still baffled by the entire 3D hype and what it entails. Moreover rapidly evolving 3D technologies aren’t making it any easier for anyone either, so before you splurge on one, please consider these tips which we hope can help you better understand these 3D displays.

What is a 3D TV?

In its simplest sense, a 3D TV is a broad description for televisions capable of reproducing video, pictures or gaming content with a stereoscopic impression. Unlike conventional displays, a 3D set is able to offer the illusion of depth besides displaying 2D images as well.

What You Need To Complete the 3D Experience

Requisites include a 3D-capable HDTV, 3D Blu-ray player, 3D BD content, and accompanying 3D glasses. Alternatively, you can obtain your stereoscopic fix via cable or IPTV services, but you might want to note that native 3D content is still scarce for now. Some 3D televisions are also able to convert 2D sources to 3D on the fly, such as DVD content, for example.

Types Of 3D HDTVs

Alternate Frame Sequencing Display with Active-Shutter Glasses

Essentially, left- and right-eye images are filmed from different perspectives and shown in alternate sequences on the TV. In turn, these images are synced with a pair of glasses which shutters the left and right lens to view the corresponding frame onscreen. A stereoscopic effect is achieved when the brain perceives the pictures as one. In most cases, each lens shutters at a rate of 60 times a minute.

Film Patterned Retarder Display with Passive Glasses

Developed and introduced by LG, Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) displays create a 3D effect by means of a polarizing film which sends discrete left and right circular polarization images to the viewer. The polarized glasses are used to filter the images. For instance, the left lens is designed to let in odd lines of one frame, as the other lens allows the even lines to pass through to the right eye. Collectively, they create a picture with a sizeable 3D depth.

Generally, prices of stereoscopic HDTVs include one or two pairs of 3D glasses, but not the 3D Blu-ray player. Also note that 3D TVs can cost up to between 20 and 40 per cent more than a corresponding 2D model. If watching 3D content isn’t your cup of tea, we’d advise you to spend that money on a better 2D HDTV instead.