Comprehensive Guide To 3D TV
You Are Here .....3D Documentaries
Latest Site Articles
Learn how 3D TV works
Easy to follow guide to the 3D TV technology used to deliver 3D imaging. Answering the question 'how does 3D TV work?'
Is watching 3D bad for your health?
Examining the latest published 3D TV health warnings - is watching 3D images bad for your health?
Discover the parts that make up the 3D experience.
Revealing what you need to watch 3D TV - an introduction to the TV sets, Blu Ray players, and glasses.
The why, what, how, where, and when of buying a 3D TV.
The top 'need to know' facts you'll want to consider when looking to buy a 3D TV.
Where can I get more info on 3D TVs, Blu Rays, glasses etc
One of the best ways to get good information on any subject is by participating in forum discussions. Here you'll find a good choice of 3D TV forum threads chosen for their interesting discussion value.
3D TV Manufacturers - The latest developments and models from the leading TV manufacturers - Toshiba Samsung Mitsubishi
Panasonic Sony LG Vizio
3D TV Models - Revealing the latest new 3D models to hit the stores.
3D TV Networks - Get the lowdown on the 3D content providers, and find out who has plans for dedicated 3D channels - Cablevision, Cox, Time Warner, Comcast, DirecTV, Verizon, Sky
3D TV Converters - Guide to 2D to 3D converters.
3D Blu Ray Players - Read about the latest breakthrough developments in DVD players - an essential piece of the 3D TV puzzle.
3D Glasses - Understand why 3D glasses are required to see good quality images in 3D.
3D Movies - Examining the meteoric rise in popularity of the new 3D films to hit the cinemas.
All 3D TVs Get the latest reviews and development news on the full range of available 3D TV models
Toshiba Samsung Mitsubishi Panasonic Sony LG Vizio Philips Sharp Loewe
Seven Types of Documentaries You Can Watch in 3D
With 3D TVs set to become the next big thing in home entertainment, and advanced gaming entertainment like the recently announced Playstation 3D TV due to arrive late in 2011, these days you don’t even have to leave the living room to enjoy the kind of fully immersive audiovisual experience that previously could only be found at your local IMAX. 3D documentaries are becoming increasingly popular among 3D TV fans. Clinging white-knuckled to the armrests as the universe explodes into existence all around you? Check. Transporting you to the deepest reaches of the Mariana Trench to watch the local fauna swim all around you in a jaw-dropping show of bioluminescence? Strap yourself in.
Filmmakers are jumping on the bandwagon in increasing numbers, and 3D documentaries are one of the perfect ways for them to demonstrate their film-making skills . Wim Wenders calls 3D the “ideal tool” for documentary makers. His new biopic “Pina”, about renowned dancer/choreographer Pina Bausch, made its world debut at the Sarajevo festival on 17 June. James Cameron joined the party long ago, with his groundbreaking 360-degree tour of the Titanic, “Ghosts of the Abyss” in 2003. “Aliens of the Deep” (2005) took audiences to hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic and Pacific, populated by a bizarre gallery of glowing sea creatures that inspired the iridescent inhabitants of Pandora in his box-office smash Avatar.
How does 3D TV work?
Bringing 3D to the home doesn’t actually entail a major overhaul of existing TV technology. A primary requirement is a high refresh rate: the picture must refresh over 100 times a second, delivering alternating images to the left and right eyes in order to trick the brain into seeing a coherent image. Also required are 3D glasses which sync with the set via infra-red or radio. And 3D TV without glasses is on its way, with Toshiba and Sony leading the pack, showing off prototype models at this year’s CES floor show.
Space: The final frontier just got closer
Remember Stephen Hawking’s Universe, way back in 1997? It featured CGI that was groundbreaking at the time for a TV documentary. Time travelers flirted with the event horizon of a black hole. Bizarre extraterrestrials heaved their way in shimmering heat across the blasted surface of a distant high-gravity world. Now imagine all that in 3D. Imagine riding on a beam of light as star clusters wheel overhead and gas clouds soar majestically past. Previously this meant a trip to the Natural History Museum and an extra admission fee to their screening room, on top of the one you paid to get through the front door. Now you can watch Space Station 3D at home on Blu-ray - journey to the stars without leaving the couch. Sales reports show this is one of the most successful 3D documentaries created so far.
Biography: The not-so-secret life of objects
An important factor in the success of a biographical feature is its ability to reach out to the viewers and make them feel with and for its subject. Bringing the audience into their world in a spatial sense, beyond pure narrative, will only heighten emotional impact. Wim Wenders (the German auteur behind “Paris, Texas”) shot his new documentary “Pina” in 3D, and screened it to considerable acclaim in Sarajevo last month. And Angelina Jolie will play Cleopatra in “Cleopatra: A Life”, with “Fight Club” helmer David Fincher being sought to fill the director’s chair.
Under sea: No scuba apparatus? No problem
We’ve already mentioned Jim Cameron’s expeditions to the bottom of the sea in “Ghosts of the Abyss” and “Aliens of the Deep”. A more recent entry is “Under the Sea”, a 3D documentary now available on Blu-ray, which showcases the vivid beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, with its kaleidescope of corals, tropical fish, sea snakes which wriggle past you through the air and rainbow-colored crabs which will make you flinch as they reach out to snap you with their claws.
Nature: Into the rabbit hole and down the waterfall
“Cane Toads: The Conquest”, about the environmental devastation left in the wake of the cane toads’ rampage across Australia, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year. The environment is a hot-button theme for 3D documentary filmmakers at the moment, with “Born to be Wild 3D”, a heart-rending examination of the plight of orphaned orangutans and elephants, released for IMAX in April this year. Being able to get audiences up close with endangered species is a powerful way for enviromentalists seeking new ways to bring these issues to the public conscience.
Adventure: White water rafting, sofa style
If you can’t find room in your budget for a trip to New Zealand to bungee jump from a bridge, or maybe leaping from great heights just isn’t your cup of tea, doing it vicariously in 3D might be the next best thing. There are plenty of thrills in “Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk”, which came out in 3D Blu-ray last October. Then there’s “Project Borneo 3D”, which follows 10 young ‘action agents’ travelling the globe on a mission to save the world in 100 days. Adventure based 3D documentaries get you right into the action in a way that traditional 2D filming can't achieve.
Dinosaurs: A T-Rex in the living room
A 3D remake of the 1999 six-part series “Walking with Dinosaurs” is currently filming, for release next year. An $80 million budget makes it the most expensive short 3D documentary series ever. Now viewers will be able to experience (almost) first-hand the terror of being chased through primordial forest by a pack of Raptors, and have front row seats at the Yucatan for the asteroid strike that ended their reign on Earth.
Sports: Murderball in the safety of your lounge
It was recently announced that this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships will be broadcast in 3D, with Sony backing the enterprise. Whilst it is unlikely that the tournament will be broadcast domestically any time soon, it will be offered to international 3D broadcasters and will visit the big screen via Sony’s own distribution network. Fujio Nishida, President of Sony Europe, said it is as close to the “excitement of Center Court” as live sport broadcasting has ever come.
You can see that even though there's still some doubt surrounding the future of 3D entertainment, and there is a widely held belief that there is insufficient 3D content available to watch, there are a number of examples of high quality 3D documentaries already available that compliment other forms of entertainment such as 3D movies and live sports.
Getting 3D at home doesn’t have to break the bank. Prices of good quality 3D TVs are falling all the time. It doesn't mean having to invest in a 3D Blu-ray, although we think that any self-respecting 3D fan should. Standardization of 3D broadcast technologies is still in the works, but a number of 3D TV channels are available now, including Cinema 3D in the US and Eurosport 3D in the UK.
With the prices of sets continuing to drop, the IMAX people are going to have to find come up with ways to keep people coming through the turnstiles. Will Smell-O-Vision make a comeback? Feel-O-Rama? (Actually, that one makes us shudder. Just a little.) Exciting times lie ahead not just for the audiovisual junkie, but for everyone looking for a heightened entertainment experience. Watching 3D documentaries is a great way to get some real life action into your TV viewing experiences.