There’s been talk of 3D television for a while. However, over the last couple weeks the buzz seems to be building. Here at CES you will find a company around every corner that is preaching to you about the glories of 3D TV.
The first thing you need to understand is how 3D TV works. It all starts with a 3D DVD or BlueRay player along with some sort of 3D content. If the media output is not “3D” encoded, then some of the TV’s can automatically convert the signal into 3D-like signal. Although, everyone is quick to point out that this isn’t TRUE 3D. Think of this like “up-converting” DVD players – it does the job, but it’s not really HD content from a regular DVD. If the signal is already 3D, then it’s passed directly to the screen and you can sit back and enjoy your movie in 3D.
Oh, but wait – there’s one thing missing from that whole equation. Without special 3D glasses on, you’re not going to see the “amazing” picture. Instead you’ll just be looking at a blurry mess. It’s not horrible, but it’s not the picture you’ve come to expect from HD TVs. Here’s the thing, with the special glasses on, the picture does jump out from the TV and is kind of cool to see. Is it worth buying a new TV, DVD, and glasses?
While 3D can be fun on some movies, I find that anything with high speed motion across the screen doesn’t tend to display as nicely in 3D as on traditional TVs. Further, and the big gotcha in my books, is the glasses. I don’t need or wear glasses in daily life, outside of sun glasses, and I really don’t care to wear them just to watch a movie. And what if you don’t have enough glasses for all your friends that have dropped by?
I’ve put the glasses on at a couple of the booths and talked with the reps to try and figure out why I should really care about 3D TVs. As expected the images do pop on the screen, but it’s not that much better. It’s not like I’m jumping back to avoid an object that appears to be coming right for me. The good news is that all of these 3D TVs have a button that will allow it to display in regular 2D – Yeah!