All About 3DTV

Understanding the Options

3D glasses and a TV set /

3D Television (3DTV)

3DTV is television that emulates the 3rd dimension by conveying depth perception to the viewer, enabling them to enjoy three-dimensional movies, television and video games. To achieve the 3D effect, the TV must display offset images that are filtered separately to the left and right eye. 

The best 3D TVs can add another dimension to your home theater experience. Movie aficionados will appreciate viewing feature films as they were intended to be seen, and gamers will enjoy the hidden split screen feature.  Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Panasonic, LG, Vizio, Hisense and JVC all manufacture highly-rated 3DTVs.

The History of 3DTV

Stereoscopic 3D television was first demonstrated on 10 August 1928, by John Logie Baird in London. The first 3D TV was produced it 1935. In the 1950s, when TV became popular in the US, many 3D movies were produced for cinema. The first such movie was Bwana Devil from United Artists in 1952. Alfred Hitchcock produced his film Dial M for Murder in 3D, but the fit was released in 2D because many cinemas were not able to display 3D films. 

Evaluating 3DTVs: Passive vs Active 3D

TVs operate with either active or passive 3D. Most viewers regard active 3D as the better-looking option (and certainly, we are all better-looking without those glasses). Picture quality suffers a bit in passive 3D, but the equipment is a lot cheaper so passive 3D is more popular.

Active 3D requires battery-powered glasses with shutters that rapidly open and close, alternating from left eye to right. The glasses electronically synchronize with your TV so your brain receives the correct image information. Active 3D glasses are more expensive and because they are battery operated, bulkier than passive 3D glasses.  

Whichever you choose, be sure to ask about the number of 3D glasses that are included with the equipment. The more they give you, the fewer replacements you'll need.

WI-FI and Smart TV

Check out 3DTVs with built-in Wi-Fi with smart TV functions. Smart TVs not only connect you to the internet but also include popular apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pandora and Amazon Instant Video. These apps connect to the web, grant you access to social media and allow you to stream video content right to your TV screen.

Equipment and Connections

Of course, you'll need a 3DTV, but you'll also need a 3D Blu-ray player or a video game system that plays 3D games. Some satellite and cable companies offer limited 3D channels. You'll also need HDMI cables to connect everything. The more HDMI ports you have, the more devices you can have connected to your TV, completing your home theater system.  

Help & Support

Be sure to look for a good warranty when you buy a 3D TV; the industry standard is one year, though some warranties are up to two years. You should also look for a 3DTV manufacturer with a large customer service department and a reputation for handling customer concerns quickly and efficiently. For the most part, the top companies offer a variety of ways to contact customer ​support day and night.