Wednesday, February 1, 2012

3D TV - What's it all about anyway?

In my last post I explained how we were lucky enough to be sent a 3D Home Entertainment system in order to review some of Warner Brothers' 3D movies (I know!!)

Now I must make a confession. Prior to receiving it I had zero knowledge of 3D TVs and what was involved with watching 3D movies at home. Can you watch non-3D programs on it? Do you need to wear glasses? Will the movies work in a normal DVD player?

I better take a picture of this - just to make sure it's real...

It's a bit like when Sky+ came along advertising the ability to pause live TV and we all looked at each other with confused faces, secretly wondering what would happen to everyone else if we paused the 9 o'clock news seven minutes in.

Anyway - I am here for the clueless - to answer your questions (which were my questions) and to let you know all that I have learned in the week since we got our package.

So, first question - What do you need in order to be able to watch 3D Movies at home? 
Answer: A 3D TV, A 3D Player, 3D Glasses and a HDMI cable.

Does the TV work normally too?
Absolutely - you can switch between 2D and 3D with the remote control.

Do you need to wear 3D glasses?
Yes. In fact the glasses should be matched to the TV you are using. We have Toshiba TV and glasses, if your TV was Sony then Sony glasses would be recommended. This is because there is no industry standard across the board yet so different makes use slightly different technology.

Can you use the glasses that they give you at the cinema?
No.* The glasses used in cinemas are 'polarised' and work with the projection that cinema uses. Home 3D glasses use 'active shutter' technology. The glasses that we were supplied with are lightweight, rechargeable ones - they're fabulous for adults although a little on the large side for the kids.
*Update: See comment from Aly below re. inactive and active TVs. 

How does 3D work?
Well, in a very simplistic explanation....the scenes are filmed from two different angles and then amalgamated together. The technology beams one image to one eye and another to the other eye giving the 3D perspective. (This is my very basic understanding of it - feel free to correct me here!)

Are all 3D movies the same quality?
No. We've tested out a number of films on DVD and also programmes on the Sky 3D Channel and the standard has varied quite a bit.  I'm delighted (and a little bit relieved!) to say, hand on heart, that Warner Brothers has come out on top for us so far.

My next post will be a review of some of the Warner Brothers movies we've seen so far and how they compare to the other things we've watched.

In the meantime if you've any burning questions that I've missed feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer it for you.

Disclaimer: As stated I was provided with a 3D home entertainment system by Warner Brothers for the purpose of reviewing Warner Brothers 3D Movies. All words and opinions are my own.
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