3D TV Buying Guide
Most major manufacturer’s around the world has ardently launched into the latest technology of televisions which has enraptured its audience with its thrill and sensational highlights. The 3D technology involved trendy models are coming up very fast from manufacturers like Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio and Toshiba and many more. The plasma, LCD and LED televisions have stepped up in to the next plane of technical advancement but it is interesting to know that Samsung and Mitsubishi has been incorporating DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology for years in their TVs which were 3D capable.
The world’s first 3-dimensional movie Power of Love was made in the year 1922 and the glasses that were used to view the movie and the following releases were simple. The image of any 3D movie is locked in two dimensions only but it is seen by both the eyes with slight variation in depth and distance. The 3D technology makes use of the natural course of perception and sends different images to both the eyes and the signals are interpreted by the brain. Steven Speilberg’s Avatar has created interesting ripples in the sensations of viewer’s all over the world more than ever before. The technology has revealed many interesting dimensions and increased the pleasure of watching a new technology.
3D TV Technology
The 3D television in a living room or any other area will have to transmit the received special signals and produce the desired effect. Two separate cameras from both the left and right are used to capture the image simultaneously acting like a pair of eyes. The image is then edited to match colours and develop consistency in depth and focus. With a 3D processor, both the images are converted into a unique 3D image. Later a digital MPEG HD encoder helps in compressing this image which can be transmitted via satellite. Homes which have a mini dish that are compatible with this technology receive the signals of this digital image and continue to process through the set top box to the 3D TV set. Viewers are able to see them with the help of the special glasses and the brain processes the depth and focus of the image.
There are many ways to produce a 3D image and the oldest method is to send two different images and the red and blue glasses filter the colour and create the 3D effect. Though this is a crude mode and the monochrome picture gets the effect by filtering the colours. The polarization of the lenses found in the 3D glasses produces a 3D image by altering the light waves. Among the two images which are polarized, both the lenses block out one image and produces a 3D image which is fairly superior to the red and blue glasses. The IMAX and few other theatres which release a 3D movie follow this method as the filters in the lenses allow waves of light pass that do not align with that of the filter. One lens is aligned with the image and it can be seen by the opposite lens and displays a complete colour image. A 3D glass that is polarized appears very normal as any other ordinary pair of sunglass.
Another method involving shutter glasses produce 3D image which is known as the frame sequential display. The glass has an LCD screen in the powered glass which opens and close like that of a camera lens. Alternating the 2 different images, it is seen by an outboard which opens and closes at a fast rate. As the images move with great speed flickering is avoided and the tint found in the glass reduces the brightness of the television by 50 percent.
Shutter glasses are best used in the DLP TVs that are 3D capable from Samsung and Mitsubishi. In this technology, a grid system is involved that resembles that of a checkerboard. Both the lenses are synchronized to one particular colour square which allows a 3D effect.
3D Glass Cost
A 3D effect is created by an illusion of the same image shown at different angles individually to both the eyes and then the brain receives and combines it to a 3 dimensional picture. Starting from the earliest red and blue glasses to the polarized and proceeding to the shuttered lens glasses, each manufacturer has their own individual glasses. A Sony glass cannot be used to view a Samsung or an LG 3D TV. Polarized glasses are mainly used in theatres whereas TVs used shuttered glass. As mentioned earlier, the mini transmitter that is found in these glasses corresponds to the television and alternatively blocks the right and left eye in connection to the image displayed at the rate of 120 times/second. This technology makes them more costly than the ones used in theatres. They range from a 100 dollars to 350 dollars a piece. Though a pair of glasses come along with the television set, for a family to watch the same program simultaneously few additional glasses are required. This also adds to the cost of the purchase of the 3D television. If one decides to purchase more than one 3D TV to be placed in different rooms, it is best suggested to buy the same brand so that the glasses can be used for all of them.
Size and Special Features
One could boldly say that the 3D television is extremely thin, the thickness of a pencil for example, but wide enough to give enough pleasure to watch the technology unfold. There is no 3D TV which is less than 42 inches in the market. The bigger the better best suits this television and the money spent towards this luxurious screen fills one’s field of view with the feel of being there in presence. Larger the screen gives the drastic and dramatic view of the 3D experience.
To have a memorable 3D viewing experience, HDMI is required and a 1.4 version works well with this technology. For all the television sets, blu-ray disc players, home theatre and other AV appliance, compliance with the HDMI 1.4 version is absolutely necessary for good viewing. HDMI 1.3 devices though will be able to handle the 3D content but only in 1080i and not the 1080p form. The HDMI cables are classified to standard, high speed and standard automotive. The images are processed either side by side or top and bottom and sequentially too with a blu-ray disc player.
Different manufacturers produce receivers which are capable of receiving 3D content. They are the STR-DN1010 from Sony, TX-SR308; TX-SR508; TX-SR608 from Onkyo, VSX-1020-K; VSX-520-K; VSX-820-K; VSX-1120-K from the Pioneer, AVR-991; AVR-891; AVR-791; ; AVR-1611; AVR-1911; AVR-591; AVR-391AVR-4311CI; AVR-3311CI; AVR-2311CI from Denon, 840W from Samsung, RXV367BL from Yamaha, AVR 2600; AVR 3600; AVR 7550HD from Harman Kardon and the DTR-30.2; DTR-20.2 Integra. These receivers help in receiving the image content accurately without any loss and transmit to the viewers.
|2D Television Image
||3D Television Image
Most of the 3D televisions come with various added features like picture in picture viewing, using a play station for games and also accommodates a 3D blu-ray device. Images can be viewed side by side or top and bottom or even sequential slide show display.
2D combined in 3D Television
These days market is open widely for 3D television which also has the means to watch two dimensional video in it. The technology for three dimensional video does not necessarily make any need to sacrifice watching two dimensional videos and pictures in the same television set. Most of the manufacturers see to it that this hindrance does not happens as still there are no sufficient 3D programs available and the viewers may not wish to sacrifice the programs that they have been already used to.
Content of 3D Television
Outright opinion is that there is nothing much in the way of programs with 3D technology. This is the Achilles heel of this newfound technique. The World Cup Football of 2010 has to be written in the history as it was the first one of its kind to be recorded in 3D technology. Other options are that there are the blu-ray movies which are fast upcoming but it requires a blu-ray that is 3D compatible. There are a few satellite broadcasts especially for 3D programs like the Direct 3D or the Sky TV. It is a fact that whatever relates to 3D at present is cost oriented, be they the television set or accessory kit, programs etc. Blu-ray 3D movies are the best options today as content to watch as the program market for this new technology is rather slim.
Myths related to 3D TVs
There are a few myths that pass along with the new 3 dimensional televisions that have come in to vogue. One of them is that it is new in 2010 but actually this has been introduced in 2007 itself by Mitsubishi and another is that it is quite expensive and the answer is a definite yes. But it is not only because of the technology alone but due to other features like the super slim design, increased levels of black with a high end processing engine and an extreme good rate of Hz with other special features.
Also many think that the 3D glass is must while watching the TV but it is not so. The glasses need not be used while watching the 2D videos or programs. The misconception that all the 3D glasses are the same does not have any solidity as each company has their own individual glass which is definitely not compatible with other companies.
Concerns in adapting to a 3D television
There were days when a flat TV costs more than an expensive car which now have come down a whole lot cheaper and this goes the same with the new 3D TV. It is quite expensive to start with and another 1000 or more dollars for two pairs of glasses. The 3D adaptable blu-ray disc is yet another point to invest with. As it is the initial stage, there is not much content or programs to watch as in the case of a two dimensional television. It is also a bit difficult for persons who use corrective spectacles to also wear the 3D glasses as they have to try it over their spectacles.
The depth that is projected by the 3D television has to be adapted to the eyes and the brain has to combine the images. This may cause headache and nausea in some of them when watching for long hours with the 3D glasses. Most importantly, many of them have the habit of multi tasking while watching a two dimensional television. They may work on the laptop or computer, use a mobile phone messaging or texting, or engage in a group gathered discussion. This does not go well with the usage of 3D glasses. Images cannot be correlated for both the 3D and non 3D images.
Right distance for a 3D TV viewing
In viewing different sized 3D television, there is the issue of positioning oneself without creating vision impairment and enjoy the full field of view. It is always best to have a reasonable distance in relation to the size of the TV and best to avoid sitting too close as it may create headache easily. The given below chart is an approximate estimate and individual preference is the best.
|Different TV Sizes in Diagonal Inches||Approximate Estimate for the 3D TV Programming as a Viewing Distance|
|42″ diagonally||7 feet in distance|
|46″ diagonally||8 feet in distance|
|50″ diagonally||9 feet in distance|
|52″ diagonally||9 to 10 feet in distance|
|55″ diagonally||10 to 11 feet in distance|
|60″ diagonally||12 to 13 feet in distance|
|63″ diagonally||13 to 14 feet in distance|
In total, the year 2010 has seen a new wave of technology in 3D along with the LED and Plasma flat screen television. Though there are some of them which can be upgraded to 3D, it is still an expensive business. If one decides to go for the top of the technology it is best to go for 3D televisions inspite of the slight controversies which will be resolved in course of time. It takes a bit of time to get used to the technology and that’s what is needed at the most at present.