3D television technology is becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. Due to the rise of popular 3D feature films (namely Pixar’s Up and James Cameron’s Avatar), major television manufacturers began developing three dimensional home television technology in 2009.
There are several methods that these manufacturers use to create 3D images on an LCD television; some are more expensive than others, and some are more feasible than others. This article will discuss the three primary methods of 3-D home theater technology that will be used in upcoming years.
Lenticular viewing: This technology has been pioneered by Philips, and is available as of today. TV sets that use this technology can be watched without those funny glasses that audiences used in theaters. These televisions use a lens that can send different images to each eye. That is, your left eye will see a completely different image from your right eye, which will emulate your two eyes’ use of stereopsis (the process by which your eyes discern depth). The one weakness of lenticular viewing, however, is that a viewer must sit in a very specific spot in front of the TV. This means that only a couple people would be able to comfortably watch the TV at once due to its small viewing angle.
Passive glass systems: Hyundai is developing this type of LCD monitor which will allow both 2D and 3D images to be viewed. To watch the 3-D images, viewers will need to wear the traditional glasses in order to watch three dinemsional media. This technology is nothing new: the TV has two overlapping images and the glasses have polarized lenses. Each lens is polarized so that it can see only one of the two overlapping images. This technology is very feasible and 40 to 50 inch LCD TVs with this technology are currently available for purchase.
Active glass systems: This system is very similar to the passive glass system, except rather than the TV doing all work, the glasses do. The glasses synchronize with the refresh rate of the TV, then they alternate the polarization of each lens, making the wearers of the glasses see 3-D images. With this technology, people could be watching a 2-D movie comfortably, then at will switch the movie into 3-D. This type of monitor is being developed by Samsung and Mitsubishi, but the downside is that the glasses could be very expensive. Some predict the glasses to be upwards of $100.