Guide to Watching 3D Movies at Home

Get the most out of your viewing experience

While 3D TVs are no longer made for consumer purchase, there are still millions in use around the world. There are also still many video projectors available that offer this viewing option, and there's a continuous flow of 3D Blu-ray discs and some 3D streaming content available to watch—at least for now. With that in mind, we're maintaining important tips that 3D TV and video projector owners can take advantage of to get the most of the 3D viewing experience.

3D TV and Home Theater: The Very Basics

There's a lot of confusion regarding the 3D home theater experience. What do you need to watch it? What's available to watch?

You need a 3D TV or video projector, a 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player, and some 3D-compatible Blu-ray discs. If you want to watch 3D content via HD cable or satellite, you need a 3D-compatible box and a subscription to some 3D channels.

Yes, you need to wear glasses to watch 3D. But, they're not the cheap paper glasses you remember from your childhood (more on them below). You may even find some devices with glasses-free 3D.

The Pros and Cons of Watching 3D at Home

3D at home can provide an immersive experience for movies, sports, games, and more, and some 3D TVs perform real-time 2D to 3D conversion. However, you're looking at spending quite a bit more money on home theater gear, and you might be disappointed in the amount of content available at this point. For help weighing the options, learn all about the pros and cons of 3D TV.

3D Glasses

Yes, glasses are required to watch 3D content at home. All 3D glasses work by providing a separate image to each eye. The brain then combines the two images into a single 3D image. Unfortunately, not all 3D glasses work the same way, and not all work with all 3D TVs.

How to Adjust A 3D TV For the Best Viewing Results

One of the frustrating things about watching 3D at home is needing to adjust your 3D TV to get the best viewing experience.

Let's face it, most consumers bring their TV home, unbox it, go through any "quick setup" function, and leave it at that. But the quick setup or default settings may not be the best ones to use when watching 3D.

At a minimum, make sure you adjust the screen's brightness and turn off motion blur when watching 3D movies. Toggle through your TV's presets to see which looks best. Note which one results in 3D images with the least amount of ghosting or crosstalk.

Some 3D TVs and projectors have default 3D presets. They might appear under names like 3D Dynamic or 3D Bright Mode.

Connecting a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player to a Non-3D Receiver

As 3D continues to make inroads into the home theater and home entertainment environment, consumers are faced with upgrading their TVs and adding or upgrading to a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player. However, what about that home theater receiver?

The good news is that surround sound formats don't affect 3D operations. However, what home theater receiver you have determines how you might make the physical audio connections between a 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player and the home theater receiver.

In other words, if you really want to be fully 3D signal compliant across the entire connection chain of your home theater system, you need to have a receiver that's 3D compliant by having HDMI 1.4a connections, especially if you rely on your home theater receiver for video switching or processing.

Luckily, you can avoid this additional costly upgrade by planning ahead. Check out our guide on how to use a non-3D AV receiver with a 3D TV for three ways you can still use a non-3D compliant home theater receiver with a 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray Disc player.