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. There are also video projectors available that offer this viewing option and a continuous flow of 3D Blu-ray discs and 3D streaming content. If you own a 3D TV or video projector, here's how to get the most from your 3D viewing experience.

3D TV and Home Theater: The 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 3D channels.

You need to wear glasses to watch 3D. However, these aren't the cheap paper glasses. 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. Some 3D TVs perform real-time 2D to 3D conversion. However, you'll spend more money on home theater gear, and you might be disappointed in the amount of content available. For help weighing the options, learn the pros and cons of 3D TV.

3D Glasses

Glasses are required to watch 3D content at home. 3D glasses provide a separate image to each eye. The brain combines the two images into a single 3D image. Not all 3D glasses work the same way, and not all 3D glasses 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 the need to adjust the 3D TV to get the best viewing experience.

Most consumers bring their TV home, unbox it, go through any quick setup function, and leave it at that. The quick setup or default settings may not be the best ones to use when watching 3D.

At a minimum, adjust the screen brightness and turn off motion blur when watching 3D movies. Toggle through the 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. These presets might appear under names like 3D Dynamic or 3D Bright Mode.

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

As 3D moves into the home theater and home entertainment environment, you may be faced with upgrading your TV and adding or upgrading to a 3D Blu-ray Disc player. However, what about your home theater receiver?

Surround sound formats don't affect 3D operations. Your home theater receiver determines how to make the physical audio connections between a 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player and the home theater receiver.

If you want to be fully 3D signal compliant across the entire connection chain of your home theater system, you need 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.

You can avoid this costly upgrade by planning ahead. There are three ways to use a non-3D AV receiver with a 3D TV and still use a non-3D compliant home theater receiver with a 3D TV and a 3D Blu-ray Disc player.