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(ARA) – Did you know that 3-D TV options have been increasing in both availability and affordability? With growing interest in 3-D movies and sports, many people want to learn more about the new flat-panel HDTVs that display immersive 3-D images. If you’re curious about 3-D TV, here’s what you need know about the new wave of technology so you can decide what’s best for you.

How does a 3-D TV work?

It’s important to understand the different versions of 3-D TVs that you can take home. 3-D technology has come a long way over the years. First came anaglyph 3-D that used red and blue glasses. Then, active-shutter 3-D arrived last year with flickering, electronic eyewear. New this year is 3-D TVs with comfortable passive glasses like the movie theater offers.

The emergence of passive 3-D is making the home experience more convenient than ever, and works much like a 3-D movie you see in a theater. The video content uses stereoscopic effect – meaning the screen shows two separate images that, when viewed together with special glasses, create an illusion that appears three-dimensional to the human eye. The main difference between 3-D in your home and in the theater is the size of the screen.

What do you need to watch 3-D movies and shows at home?

In order to view 3-D in the comfort of your own home you’ll need a 3-D TV, a 3-D Blu-ray player and special glasses for each person. When shopping for TVs, you’ll have to decide if you want active-shutter or passive 3-D technology, both of which use different types of glasses.

What is the difference between active-shutter and passive 3-D?

If you want comfortable, 3-D glasses that don’t require batteries or need to be charged, you’ll want a passive 3-D TV. They’re flicker-free, lightweight and affordable. The alternative is active-shutter eyewear that flickers on and off, must be charged, must sync with the television and can cost more than $50 per pair. Both offer a similar stereoscopic 3-D effect, the big difference is in the glasses.

What home TVs have this new technology?

One of the most popular 3-D-capable HDTVs , the LG LW5600 featuring Cinema 3-D, brings the movie-theater experience into the home with comfortable 3-D glasses. This TV provides a full HD 1080p picture and features LED Plus technology that provides better contrast, clarity and color details, as well as greater energy efficiency compared to conventional LCD TVs. This model also features Light Boost, a thin film covering the screen designed to counteract dimness, a common drawback of conventional 3-D technology.

Does the 3-D home experience live up to the hype?

Just like picking out living room furniture, when selecting your 3-D TV you’ll want the most comfortable experience possible. Watching 3-D at home is immersive. You can find yourself in a romantic villa across the oceans, soaring through outer space among the cosmos, being chased by lurching zombies or front row at your favorite rock concert, all from the comfort and convenience of your home.

Active-shutter 3-D TVs require the viewer to be directly in front of the screen to get the best 3-D experience. There are fewer viewing limitations with the new Cinema 3-D glasses. You’ll get a wider horizontal viewing angle, up to 178-degrees, which is ideal for family and large group viewing. These new glasses also provide a greater variety of head positioning without the glasses going dark: up to a 45-degree angle.

There is a growing amount of 3-D programming to watch on Blu-ray Discs and delivered by cable and satellite. Still most of our daily viewing will be in 2D HDTV for some time. So, if you are concerned about losing access to regular 2D shows, movies and video games, don’t worry. If you purchase a 3-D TV, you have the option to turn off the 3-D technology for a fantastic 2D viewing experience.

As 3-D TVs are becoming more popular, and with advanced technology, they’re more affordable than ever before. First generation 3-D TVs exposed the weaknesses of conventional 3-D. With passive 3-D available now and with more content arriving daily, it really is the time to bring this exciting technology into the home.

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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