The 3D viewing experience has gained quite a bit of momentum over the past few years. No longer reserved exclusively for the big screen, a plethora of TVs now offer viewers with a 3D experience. Get the scoop on everything you need to know about enjoying a proper 3D experience in your very own living room by reading the following article.
What Is 3D TV?
First, an important clarification: 3D isn’t a new type of TV, rather a new feature available on higher-end HDTV models. What this means is that viewers who own 3D-compatible TVs will still be able to watch 2D content whenever they want, but have the option of switching to 3D mode when they want to watch certain movies and programmes or play 3D-compatbile games. When the TV is set to 3D mode, it will display two distinct images of the same scene at the same time: one meant for the left eye and the other for the right eye. With the help of special 3D glasses, both images are fused together for the ultimate viewing experience.
Active vs. Passive 3D
If you’re looking to buy a new HDTV with 3D compatibility, you will likely encounter the terms “active 3D” and “passive 3D.” The simplest way to explain the difference between these two types of 3D TVs is to talk about the type of glasses you will need to view 3D content. Active 3D TVs require glasses that use liquid crystal shutters and run on batteries, while passive 3D TVs require glasses with simple polarizing lenses. Which type of 3D TV offers the better viewing experience is up for debate. It should be noted, however, that in addition to being cheaper than active 3D glasses, passive 3D glasses tend to be easier to wear.
Finding 3D Content
The major criticism lodged against 3D TVs right now is the shortage of 3D content. While a growing number of Blu-ray discs are being released in 3D each year, the majority of that content still falls under the category of children’s animation. TV channels that offer 3D content are rare as well: while the UK’s famous Sky 3D channel is holding strong, both the BBC and ESPN have made the decision to indefinitely suspend 3D programming as of this year. Perhaps the best selection of 3D content is offered by the makers of 3D TVs themselves, some of which provide 3D pay-per-view streaming services. For those of you looking for the ultimate gaming experience, 3D content is currently supported on the Nintendo 3DS, and will be supported on the Xbox One and PS4 when they are released this November.
There’s no denying that 3D TVs are changing what we expect from the home viewing and gaming experience. In the future, we may even see an affordable glasses-free 3D TV on the market. Until then, test out the 3D capabilities on current HDTV models to find the one that gives you the best at-home viewing experience.