Q&A: Is My DLP Ready for 3D?

Question: I have a Mitsubishi WD-82837 TV and a Pioneer Elite VSX-01 THX receiver and would like to upgrade the system for Blu-ray 3D. What do I need to do? Is my Pioneer receiver outfi tted with HDMI 1.4, or do I need a new one?
Peter Drees | Taylor, MI

Answer: Your Mitsubishi WD-82837 happens to be one of the company’s 3D-ready models, so the good news is that you don’t have to buy a new TV. The bad news is that you won’t be able to connect just any old 3D Blu-ray player to it. DLP rear-projection sets like the WD-82837 display 3D using a special format where the left and right pictures in the signal are sampled and then combined into a “checkerboard” configuration. Panasonic 3D Blu-ray players can output signals in the DLP-friendly checkerboard format; with 3D Blu-ray players from other manufacturers, you’ll need to buy Mitsubishi’s $99 3DA1 adapter, which converts the Blu-ray 3D “frame-packing” signal to the checkerboard format. Of course, you’ll also need a set of active-shutter glasses. (Mitsubishi sells a 3D starter kit containing the adapter, an IR emitter, and two sets of active-shutter eyewear for $399.)

According to Mitsubishi, as long as the 3D Blu-ray player that you use can output signals in the checkerboard format (i.e., it’s made by Panasonic), the above setup should work with your current receiver’s HDMI 1.3 connections. (That’s right: Like other pre-2010 models, it doesn’t have HDMI v1.4.) Just place the adapter between the receiver’s output and the TV’s input and you’ll be good to go. With all other 3D Blu-ray models, you’ll need to make a direct HDMI connection between the player, the adapter, and the TV.