Posted Thursday 30th October 2014 at 02:30pm
3D or not 3D, that is the question...
With the cinemas currently flooded with 3D movies there’s been a lot of discussion about how the 3D experience will be making it’s way into our lounge rooms.The good news is that 2010 has seen great technical advances that help deliver this technology. The BBC recently did a study of students watching a 3D movie and a standard 2D movie. The results were not surprising. Based on the individuals heart rate and brainwave activity, the students watching the 3D movie had a 25% more heightened experience. So there’s little doubt, a 3D movie is more exciting to watch.
The bad news is, for everyone to be able to watch 3D movies at home, you’ll need to replace virtually all of your home theatre equipment. Feature films are also only just catching up with the Blu-ray DVD technology introduced 3 years ago, so to add yet another format, 3D Blu-Ray, will take some time to be accepted by manufacturers and consumers.
How does 3D TV work?
3D TV uses the human brains ability to percieve distance due to the seperation of our eyes. Two images are displayed on the TV screen, one for each eye. The trick is how to send the image created for the left eye so only the left eye sees it and the image for the right so only the right eye sees it.
There are 3D TV techniques on the market right now, they are Lenticular, Passive and Active.
-Lenticular allows the viewer to watch 3D TV without glasses. This is achieved using lenses at the TV screen to aim separate images at the viewers eyes, taking advantage of stereopsis, our depth discerning ability. Phillips have pioneered this technology. Viewing angle at this stage is limited allowing only a couple of viewers the 3D experience.
-Passive Glass Polarisation of the image is used and the viewer needs to wear Polarising glasses to produce the 3D image. The images on the screen are created in a way that the left image cannot be seen by the right eye and visa versa. This method is currently being used very successfully in Cinemas around the world.
-Active uses a battery powered pair of glasses which open and close each lens 60 times per second in sync with the TV screen. Although the viewers eyes can't see the flickering, the human brain separates images being displayed on the TV screen. This technique is proving to be popular as it allows for brighter images. Samsung have these 3D TVs ranging from 40'-63' in LED and Plasma.
The Bottom Line
A 55” LED TV with 3D capability has a RRP $4800. Add a 3D Blu-ray player and two pair of glasses and you’re looking at an additional $899. Whilst not exorbitantly expensive, the technology is still very new and things always come down in price as the technology becomes more wide spread. Our recommendation is to wait 12 months when the technology has matured a little and prices begin to fall.
Manufacturers of home theatre projectors must be working overtime to catch up with the 3D hype lead by Samsung for the TV market. We aren’t aware of a 3D capable projector that has been released yet, but as I mentioned, I’m sure they’ll be just around the corner.
With a 110” projection screen and a quality 3D projector, you will really feel like you’re in the middle of the action. People will begin to question whether they want to drive down to the local cinema, pay $17 each to get in and $12 for a supersize coke to watch the latest blockbuster. The quality of home cinema is truly coming of age and people are designing their homes to improve their lifestyles.
The future of 3D TV on free-to-air broadcasts
In a world-first, the Nine Network broadcasted the "State of Origin" rugby league games in 3D to viewers in capital cities around Australia. Channel Nine was temporarily allocated special transmission adjustments to technically allow the broadcast of the matches, the first of which took place on May 26th. Viewers needed wireless-enabled, active shutter glasses to watch the games on a 3D enabled TV.
Nine’s broadcast was the first sporting event ever to be broadcast live in 3D on free-to-air television, ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2010 which had been widely tipped to become the first 3D terrestrial broadcast. Nine CEO David Gyngell said, “It’s early days ofcourse because the technology is still developing, and its availability to consumers right now is limited. But 3D is about to arrive with a bang across the world, and the Nine Network wants to pioneer the revolution in Australia."
“Capturing an event in 3D involves different camera positions and viewing angles. Because 3D carries a level of emotion and involvement beyond regular HD, it can literally put you in the best seat in the house. Our experienced Wide World of Sports producers and directors will be working to harness this new technology and develop the coverage leadership for which they are renowned.”
"All three State of Origin matches will be captured in 3D. Nine is working with ACMA to extend the broadcast into other capital city markets. Senator Stephen Conroy said: “I welcome this initiative to provide to Australian viewers the first glimpse of 3D television. This trial broadcast will demonstrate the potential of 3D TV and the enhancements enabled by digital technology.”