TechNotes: Cutting Through the 3D Hype

At the Consumer Electronics Show back in January, the major TV manufacturers made it clear: this year was going to be the year when three-dimensional technology came out of the movie theaters and into your living room. They called 3D “…the next big thing,” and were making the same claim that going from high definition TV to 3D is the same as going from standard definition to HD. Lofty claims for sure, especially when we all know the difference between HD and SD is so great. While the technology that makes 3D at home a possibility is indeed groundbreaking, it’s hard to escape the feeling that it’s also shrouded in an inordinate amount of hype.

SoundVision's opinion of the difference in overall experience between SDTV, HDTV and 3D TV.

It is our opinion as an organization that the technology behind 3D still has some significant maturing to do before it can become as widely adopted and essential as HD. The technology behind the 3D TV sets today is a vast improvement over the anaglyph method that has been used to reproduce both still and moving 3D images since the turn of the 20th Century, there still is a requirement to wear glasses in order to view 3D images. The glasses required by today’s 3D displays use active shutter technology, opening and closing the lens in front of each eye many times per second. The human eye cannot detect this motion, and the technique tricks our brain into seeing a 3D picture. This technique of reproducing 3D can also slightly sacrifice image quality by reducing the overall resolution of your TV.As we talked about last week in our post about the new 3D flat-panel TV lineups from Panasonic and Samsung, with the upcoming 3D Blu-ray Disc and cable network launches, there is going to be demand from early adopters to integrate 3D technology into media systems. As always, SoundVision is here to help our clients navigate the 3D waters. Most high-performance plasma and LCD TVs will be “3D ready” in 2010, so it’s a very real possibility for anyone purchasing a new TV this year will be bringing this new technology home, and we’ll be here to help you get the most from it.Do you have an opinion on the new 3D technology? Let us know in the comments!

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