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3D TVs could be the next big electronic product, but there are some factors to consider. The technology gets pricey while compromising the viewing experience at times. Although HDTV intensifies the viewing experience with vibrant colors, the 3D TV makes explosions and landscape almost real at an arm’s length.

During the past couple of years, the 3D TV market has exploded resulting in home theater systems and move theatre products. With market boom of 3D, the consumers are asking the same question, do I need a 3D TV?

Many new TVs have 3D capability to display high quality 3D. The common source of 3D content is blu-rays, but some channels and games are also being shown in 3D. The 3D TVs can also convert 2D into 3D. But it doesn’t beat the original 3D content.

As of yet, 3D is just an added feature. It can go either ways since the technology is uncertain and needs considerable research. Unless the 3D mode is turned on, the TV will work like a normal 2D TV. Amazingly, in the process of amplifying the 3D experience in TVs, the LCD and Plasma TVs became much better. Hence, by extension, 3D TVs are sure fire equipped with a high quality 2D viewing experience, which feels superlative to low-end 2D TVs.

The 3D effect

The 3D TVs work by showing the human eye a new image each time creating an illusion of viewing the same object from multiple angles. For instance, the red-blue 3D glasses pulled off this effect by making use of colored lenses for filtering red light in one eye while filtering blue light in the other eye.

Types of 3D TV

3D TV is categorized in two types:

  • Active
  • Passive

Active 3D TVs are the most common ones using battery driven active shutter glasses. The glasses work like LCD screen in synchronization with the TV. They brighten and darken at different periods to transmit the necessary instruction to the user. The prime benefit of active 3D TV is that the viewer is exposed to 1920*1080p viewing experience. The downside is that some users notice flicker of glasses. The glasses are quite expensive and at times, cumbersome.

Most corporations such as Panasonic, Sony and Samsung have lightweight 3D glasses to relieve users of pain. However, they aren’t as comfortable as their passive counterparts.

LG, Toshiba, and Vizio use feathery polarized 3D glasses to manufacture passive 3D TVs. The experience is at par with a movie theatre. Moreover, these 3D glasses cause no flicker and are lightweight. The major downside of passive 3D TV is the resolution is cut down by half, 1920×540p. Sitting near the passive 3D TV will result in lines around the edges of a 3D glasses pair.

3D Ready

Many HDTVs are sold with a 3D feature known as 3D ready. Major HDTV manufacturer sell their models with this feature. The definition of 3D Ready differs for every manufacturer. The downside of 3D Ready is that it lacks IR emitter needed for harmonizing the TVs picture with 3D glasses. In addition, it will support 1080p showing the picture quality at half the resolution.

Costs of 3D TV

Purchasing a 3D TV along with its add-ons can become quite an expensive experience. At a lowest end, the investment of a 3D TV is $2000 along with separate surround sounds speakers and 3D blu-ray player. The net cost can be around anywhere near $3000.

Glass-free 3D TV

The much awaited glass-free 3D TVs albeit with certain limitations. Certain manufacturers have made some advancement in this regard. Glass-free 3D sends eye different information each time. The TV needs to exact this phenomenon. The present glasses based 3D perform this by keeping information in the glasses.

In case of glass-free 3D TV, fancy optics is used aiming the user’s eyes. The catch is that user needs to sit at specific places to soak in the 3D experience. Moving the head even a few inches will diminish 3D experience. The image becomes blurry.

When they work, glass-free 3D is quite cool but it lacks the attributes of a best selling product. It needs proper research and perfection before it becomes a household product.

The Downside

The downside of having a 3D TV is lack of content. With Avatar fueled launched a few years ago and wild predictions about transforming the visual experience, incorporating 3D in movies, sports, and TV shows, 3D remains uncommon even today. Even on a 3D TV, there is not much to watch.

Only a few hundred titles exist in Blu-ray for now. It is the only source of 3D material. In comparison, there are limited titles in 2D blu-ray. Apart from movies and TV shows, games are mostly 2D even today. 3D streaming content is less and lastly, 3D channels providing 3D content are declining fast. Major channels are dropping their 3D extension due to lack of 3D adoption in homes.


Movies, TV shows, and documentaries will look clearer than before. The ensuring debate about wearing 3D glasses while watching TV has become a side issue since people wear glasses on a routinely basis. Instead, people would welcome a fine-grained 3D experience wearing 3D glasses.


  • There are a certain hurdles to 3D technology:
  • Dearth of programs in 3D
  • Viewers facing hurdles watching it
  • The technology costs a lot


Unless consumers are willingly ready to part with $2000 amount, the 3D technology isn’t worth that much. Most predict advent of 3D technology in the nearby future. James Cameron’s creation, Avatar 2009 and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland 2010 are visual spectacles, which can only be fully appreciated in 3D screens. Sky TV proposes to show sports channel in pure 3D providing rich experience to sporting fans. Users have complained about weary eyes and eyestrain after watching 3D movies, rest assured, and they provide unparalleled clarity and quality in terms of viewing experience. Some TV shows are also being filmed in 3D now.

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