By Graham J Baylis
There has been a great deal of interest in 3D TVs recently and the technology is really moving quickly. All the major manufacturers are developing their systems. They are available in a number of designs and sizes so there is bound to be one for you. However, this makes for a bewildering choice for the uninitiated and where to begin could seem quite confusing. There is a way of helping to simplify the types of 3D television and the first is the technology, do you want active or passive?
In order to understand the 2 types, you must first understand the technology. Active 3D requires that the viewer wears special 3D glasses. These special active shutter glasses work in conjunction with the television by alternatively allowing images to either the left or the right by blanking the opposite side. The passive type allows viewers to watch in 3D with less technical glasses. This technology works by combining the images presented to each eye to create a 3D picture by use of polarised lenses.
There are of course pros and cons to all things and this is no different. The active 3D glasses require batteries in order to work. They have shutters which have been built in so that they can alternate the frames to each eye at very high speeds without the viewer noticing. It is the speed of the shutters that create the 3D effect and these glasses are able to interact with the TV by transmitter. The best thing about this system, is that the viewer watches in full HD as well as 3D. The downside is that the glasses can be uncomfortable and they are expensive to buy. They can also occasionally, cause the wearer to feel nauseous or headachy but as the technology develops, this will hopefully become less of a problem.
The passive 3D glasses are much lighter, simpler and cheaper to buy. This system is known to reduce flicker and works by having 2 different lenses which have different polarization. There is also a polarized layer on the television. The downside is that there can be a loss of picture quality.
The next thing you need to look at is the display type of the TV. There are LED, plasma and LCD screens to choose from. You need to look at each display type as a 3D television and the one main difference between them is the refresh rate. Plasma screens have performed well here but LED and LCD screens have caught up as their technology has advanced. For most people the difference in picture quality is not apparent until the sets are seen side by side. There may not be much difference even then until you watch something like a fast moving sport.
Lastly, you should consider the display size. Where 3D TV is concerned, bigger is usually better. However, take into account the size of the room and your budget. An over large screen will not be nice to watch in a small room, so try and choose one that befits the room it will be situated in. As a general rule, the ideal distance to be seated from the screen is approximately three or four times the height of the television.