Are 3D TVs worth it?
First we had colour, then we had wide screen, then we had flat screen. After that came HD, and now, finally, after years of expectation and wondering, 3D TV is here.
It is no surprise that three dimensional entertainment has reached the living room. The technology has been a huge success at the cinema, with films like Avatar and Alice In Wonderland paving the way for countless other 3D films. It now seems like almost every film has a 3D version as well as a 2D one, with some, it has to be said, working better than others.
On the big screen is one thing, but 3D TV always seemed like something out of a science fiction novel – things flying out of the screen towards you while you sit in the comfort of your own home. Well, now it is here and is very much a reality. And there is more and more content being made available all the time, with broadcasters like Sky introducing 3D channels. But is the new technology worth it? Or is there simply still not enough content available in 3D to justify spending all that cash?
Despite its space-age connotations, 3D technology has been around for a long time. Much longer than, say, high definition TV for example. Remember those cardboard glasses you used to get to make pictures seem 3D? That was the first form of the technology. It involved taking a single image, and adding two extra image layers with slightly different perspectives.
So when you watched some 3D films you would wear the cardboard glasses with one blue lens and one red lens. These would trick the brain into creating a 3D image by mixing the two images together.
It was a very simple way of doing it, but very effective. And the modern-day 3D glasses work in a similar way. But rather than using coloured layers to create a 3D image, the layers use two different polarisations. In cinemas it works by having multiple projectors to make the extra layers of images, but at home this is obviously not possible.
So 3D Active glasses are used instead. These work by alternatively blocking vision in each eye in time with the different images on the television, creating the 3D image.
All this cutting edge technology is obviously quite pricey, but the results are impressive. All 3D films are available on 3D blu-ray, so you can get the movie experience in your own home. But it is not just films that you can enjoy in 3D.
The new 3D channel from broadcaster Sky offers a range of entertainment and sport, including rugby and football. Even the BBC has jumped on board, broadcasting the Wimbledon Men’s and Women’s Final in 3D on its HD channel.
3D TVs are obviously expensive, and then of course there are the 3D Active glasses to be bought too, as well as the expensive blu-ray discs. But with the advent of the 3D channel from Sky TV, and other broadcasters stepping into the 3D market, now might be the time to invest.
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