Enjoying The 3D TV Experience

Alison Stewart
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January 27, 2010
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Panasonic 3D goggles

Thanks to the movie Avatar, 3D movies are more popular than ever, and 2010 will see the introduction of 3D TV into homes. 3D TV lets you experience the content on your TV (TV shows, movies or games) with a stereoscopic effect. It adds the illusion of a third dimension and depth to your viewing experience.

Most of you probably remember the old-fashioned glasses with the redand-cyan lenses. This type of 3D is the anaglyph method, where the red and cyan are used to combine two false color images. If you recently watched a movie in the IMAX theater, you wore passive polarized 3D glasses. The 3D TVs we’ll see available soon use alternate-frame sequencing, and you’ll have to wear active liquid crystal shutter glasses or headgear.


The shutter glasses work by very quickly blocking the left then the right eye in sequence (typically about 120 times per second), and sync to the TV via infrared or Bluetooth.

At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, the six major TV makers announced their 3D TV models - LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Vizio - with the best coming from Panasonic (VT25 series) and Sony (Bravia XBR-LX900 and XBR-HX900 series).

Sony Bravia 3D TV

Panasonic’s VT25 series won the prestigious CNET “Best of Show” and “Best in Television” awards at CES this year. Boasted to deliver a full 1080p resolution to each eye, these 3D TVs will ship sometime this spring and range from 40 to 65 inches. Sony’s line of

3D TVs will be available in the summer and comes in 40 to 60 inches. Neither company announced any pricing points for its 3D TVs.

While it’s cool the technology exists, at this point the biggest issue with 3D TV is the lack of content. So far, some of the Blu-ray 3D titles announced this year are Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Monsters vs. Aliens and Disney’s A Christmas Carol. Also, DirecTV will be the first provider with 3D content that will have three 3D channels of its own, and ESPN and Discovery will launch 3D channels this year. There are currently no Blu-ray players that support 3D unless you have a PlayStation 3 (PS3). When Sony’s new 3D TVs are released, there will be a software update for your PS3 that will allow you to view 3D content.


 

Overall the 3D TV experience is great, probably best for sports or gaming. But the downside is watching 3D TV for long periods of time can be difficult and may give you a headache (some people may not even be able to perceive 3D). The glasses can be bothersome and expensive (anticipated to be about $100 a pair). If you do decide to invest in a 3D TV this year, I suggest sticking with the Panasonic or Sony series mentioned above. But, if you’re patient enough, I suggest you wait!

Glow Doodle art

Click Chick’s iPhone App of the Week: Glow Doodle

Glow Doodle is a fun way to draw with lights/glow effect on your iPhone or iPod touch. The best part is you can save your light glow doodles to your photo albums and share them. You can draw in red, green, blue or yellow and erase your previous stroke if you make a mistake. If you have a tendency to doodle on paper when you’re bored, this is a better way. It sells for 99 cents on the iTunes App Store.

 

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