Comprehensive Guide To 3D TV
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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
3D TV Technology - Revealing The Secrets of How 3D TV Works
Over the last year or so the advances in 3D TV technology have been nothing short of amazing, and it seems that from a standing start the major 3D TV manufacturers have got to the stage where they have different models of 3D TVs in every online and high street store.
In this article we're going to spell out exactly where we are with the development of 3D TV technology and explain how 3D TV works. One thing we can be sure of is that the advancements we've seen to date in 3D TV technology may well be only the tip of the iceberg. The race is on to get 3D TV accepted and take its pride of place in the home entertainment arena. That arena is of course your home. Understanding how 3D TV works may give you a good guide in future when the time comes to buy a 3D TV for the first time.
There's potential for huge growth in the take up of 3D TV over the next few years, with that potential growing in tandem with the availability of more 3D content from the likes of the new 3D TV channels and the 3D TV networks they operate on, or by coupling your TV with a 3D Blu Ray player.
With new 3D movies like Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, and Clash of the Titans raking it in at the box office, it may seem like 3D is the newest wave in media. Surprisingly, however, the technology to make images appear in three dimensions has been around for over a century.
The first of the 3D movies made its debut in 1922 using the oldest form of technology - anaglyph images - to produce stereoscopy. To understand this we need to consider how our eyes work to see in real life. Assuming no vision issues, your eyes are spaced a number of centimetres apart, so when looking at any object your eyes send information to your brain from two slightly different perpectives. Your brain interprets this information and combines the two images to create depth perception and see one 3 dimensional image.
Stereoscopy originally involved taking a single image, and adding two additional image layers with slightly different perspectives. One layer was tinted red and the other blue. When watching a 3D movie, the audience would then wear cardboard 3D glasses that had one red and one blue lens. Each lens would filter out its similarly colored image layer, thereby tricking the brain into creating a 3D image by mashing the two images together. There was a problem with these colorful anaglyph images, though. They altered the coloring of the movies and interpreting the different images would often cause headaches after a short time. With these issues, it's no wonder the red and blue glasses began fading from use in the 1980s. This led to the creation of the polarized 3D glasses we see in cinemas today.
Polarized 3D glasses operate in a similar way to the red-blue disposables. But rather than using color layers to create an anaglyph image, the layers used two differing polarizations. Each lens would only let the a single layer hit the eye, so the brain could still mash the images together to create a stereoscopic effect, this time in full color! Today, most major cinemas use polarized glasses to produce the 3D perspective in major blockbuster 3D movies.
Now that the 3D revolution has begun, television manufacturers are pushing 3D-at-home and 3D TV technology as the next wave in media content. Unfortunately, the two forms for producing 3D in the theater don't work in the living room. Movie theaters use multiple projectors to produce the extra layers, and that's impossible with a television.
To overcome this the newest glasses innovation is in LCD shutter glasses which work on a system known as 'active technology'. These active shutter glasses work by alternately blocking the vision in each eye in conjunction with the refresh rate of the display screen. 3D TVs that use this form will display alternate images with slightly differing perspectives at a high rate, and the glasses darken each lens in time with the alternating images, causing the brain to do the classic image mash-up.
This technology works in a similar fashion as the older glasses, by blocking what image enters which eye. Shutter glasses simply take the idea to the next logical step by literally blacking out the lenses at a high rate of speed. Subsequently, shutter glasses are able to offer a much clearer three-dimensional picture than older methods. Most 3D TVs coming out in 2010 will require the use of LCD shutter glasses, though not all of them.
There a small number of 3D televisions on the market that boast they produce 3D images without need for clunky glasses. This is possible through the use of either a parallax barrier or a lenticular lens on the surface of the display, giving us true 3D TV without glasses.
The parallax barrier works a lot like polarized glasses. A latticework of angled holes across the screen's surface directs different light into each eye, causing images to apparently jump right off the screen. There's an issue, though. With a parallax barrier in place the 3D effect can't be turned off in most cases, and the viewing angle is incredibly limited. Viewers must look straight at the screen to see the 3D.
Using two LCD layers in a single television can conquer this problem. The first layer is the traditional LCD, allowing the use of glasses for 3D content. The second layer contains the parallax barrier, which can be turned off, to create the glasses-free effect whenever it's desired.
Of course, there's also a difference in how the 3DTVs work as well, with each of the manufacturers developing their own particular flavours of 3D TV technology. In particular, the display types need consideration. There are Plasma 3D TV models, LCD 3D TV models, and LED 3D TV models all using different displays. Some Tvs don't just offer 3D imaging using specially filmed 3D content, but employ 2D to 3D conversion technology to convert native 2D content.
Now that the 3D wave is in full swing, this is bound to be only the beginning of viewing innovation. Several companies are working already on holographic TV bringing 3D images right out of the screen and projecting them into the air. Eventually we may be able to walk through the forests of Avatar's Pandora without leaving the comfort of home. Now, isn't that a mouthwatering thought?
Resources & More Info
The videos above do a great job of explaining how 3D TV works. It's hard to beat watching a good explanation of any subject rather than reading about it.
Website 3DTVTechnology.org.uk is a great, easy to follow site with some simple illustrations that's dedicated to explaining the technology behind 3D and how 3D TV works. The author, Martin, explains the technology with great style and in a way which even a total beginner can understand.