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Surviving the 3D Format War

by Product Specialist


Most high definition televisions (HDTV) today come with the capability to watch programming in 3D. This is excellent news for home theater enthusiasts who want their picture to be as vibrant and realistic as possible. Since different brands offer different types of formatting, consumers must educate themselves on the features and differences between them before bringing a new television set home. Major name brand manufacturers offer either active-shutter or passive 3D technology. The types of glasses required and the images the TV sets produce are the major differences between the two.

Differences in 3D Glasses

When a viewer wears active 3D glasses, images alternate between the left and right eye at a rapid pace. The glasses contain LCD lenses that act like shutters, which mean that one is closed when the other is open. However, the alternate images move so quickly that the brain blends them together as one. Glasses with passive 3D technology are the type used by most movie theaters. With this type, the left and right eye images appear on the screen at the same time. This accounts for some of the larger differences in picture quality.

Detail and Resolution Available with Each Type of 3D Glasses

The makers of active 3D glasses and HDTVs claim they are the best because it allows the full display of 1,080 pixels on the screen. This allows the viewer to take in much more detail. Since only half of the image is displayed at one time with active-shutter 3D glasses, it reduces the quality of vertical resolution. This type also displays faint resolution lines on the screen. Although the viewer normally can't see them, they are visible if he or she takes off the glasses or gets too close to the screen. Passive glasses also display a wider horizontal viewing angle to allow for greater seating options.

Active-shutter glasses don't require batteries to operate and are more comfortable to wear for most people. They are also more durable and cost less to replace. These are just some of the reasons people choose this type of technology over one that offers a better overall picture quality.