3D Tech

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Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 29, 2010  |  4 comments

Now that 3D broadcasts have begun in earnest with the World Cup on ESPN, I'd like to explain how this system works. It's not the same as Blu-ray 3D, which I'll cover in a future blog.

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 28, 2010  |  6 comments

Yesterday, Tom Norton and I attended a presentation called "3D For Real" put on by Stewart Filmscreen, Digital Projection, S1Digital, Crestron, and AV Partners at Stewart's training facility in Torrance, California. That's about an hour's drive from my house, not counting traffic problems. To make sure we got there before 9:00 AM, I set my alarm for stupid o'clock, which turned out to be unnecessary, since the morning traffic was much lighter than we expected, even through downtown LA. Fortunately, the trip was well worth the early alarm.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 21, 2010  |  0 comments
The first thing you’ll need to bring 3D home is a 3DTV. While they’re outwardly similar to any HDTV and fully capable of 2D playback, 3DTVs can decode and display 3D from one of several standard 3D formats. In general, 3D sets also offer separate setup menus for 2D and 3D material, plus additional 3D controls that can help you get the best out of 3D sources.

Some of these sets, like LCD models from Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba, and some new Panasonic plasmas, include special processing that converts 2D sources into a semblance of 3D. Our limited experience with this feature so far suggests that it can be effective with some material, but it’s no substitute for the real thing.

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 25, 2010  |  1 comments

The Society for Information Display (SID) hosts an annual conference called DisplayWeek, during which the latest display technologies are unveiled, often long before they become available in actual products. At this year's show in Seattle, Washington, several 3D-related announcements have already been made, and it's only the first day.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jun 18, 2007  |  First Published: May 18, 2007  |  0 comments
We're getting there, maybe.

For 50-some years, 3D has been promised as the next big thing in entertainment. In reality, it has been around a lot longer than that. Everyone remembers (or at least has seen references to) the red-and-blue or polarized glasses of yore that let you experience the likes of Captain EO and Jaws 3D in all their "glory." Some heavyweights in the movie industry are really pushing for 3D again, and its success in theaters may or may not have any effect on whether you bring 3D into your home. Personally, I feel my life is 3D enough and would prefer more 2-D, but that's just me.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jan 28, 2008  |  0 comments
A few months ago I wrote an article on various technologies in development that promise to bring 3D into your home, sans funny glasses. They're all a ways off from home use, but that doesn't mean you can't get 3D into your home. Two recently released products allow you to enjoy 3D in your home, right now. Maybe.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 05, 2010  |  0 comments
Comin’ at Ya!

Remember the TV commercial that showed a Sony TV perched on the edge of the Grand Canyon? The set displayed an image of the canyon, and a family gathered around and eagerly watched… the TV.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 18, 2011  |  0 comments
Another Road to 3D

Up to the present, all 3D HDTVs have used active shutter glasses, and most still do. The two separate 3D images—one for each eye and each of them full 1920-by-1080 resolution—flash on the screen in sequence. Active shutter glasses are triggered by an IR signal generated by the 3DTV (or a separate transmitter attached to it). To isolate the 3D images to their respective eyes, the glasses alternately open and close each eyepiece. The alternating is rapid enough that even though the two pictures are displaced in time, the brain fuses them together and sees them as a single 3D image.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 03, 2010  |  8 comments

As I wrote in a previous blog entry, there are two approaches to 3D that use passive glasses, and I explained one of them—polarization—in that entry. Here, I'll explain the other one, which is marketed by Dolby Labs and called, appropriately enough, Dolby 3D.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 26, 2010  |  20 comments

You get home from a long day at work, and you want to watch a movie on your brand new 3DTV. You collapse into your comfy chair, turn on the system, and—wait, where did you put those 3D glasses?

Shane Buettner, Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 15, 2010  |  0 comments
It’s getting better all the time.

When we wrote this feature for last year’s HDTV Buyer’s Guide issue, the flat-panel HDTV market was much simpler. 3D was nowhere in sight, and much of our analysis boiled down to the pros and cons of LCD and plasma technology. This year, 3D is just one of the newer wrinkles in the market. The number of plasmas in the market isn’t what it was just a few years ago, but plasma is not only hanging on, the best plasmas still stake a legitimate claim to being the best flat panels available. With LCDs, manufacturers are aggressively using the backlighting techniques to market the sets. In fact, LCDs are getting more and more sophisticated and offering serious potential value. There’s a lot to learn, so let’s get going.

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 04, 2010  |  10 comments

A couple of weeks ago, Tom Norton sent me a link to a blog entry on the website of Orson Scott Card, one of my favorite sci-fi authors who wrote the Ender and Alvin Maker series of books as well as many other fascinating stories, such as Songmaster and The Worthing Saga. In this particular blog entry, Card writes about why he hated Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and why he hates 3D in general.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 10, 2010  |  First Published: Jun 11, 2010  |  7 comments

Tom Norton and I must have very bad traffic karma. After Wednesday's slog to Sony Pictures Studios for the Sony 3D Launch, we faced a similar hurdle yesterday on the Ventura Freeway as we made our way to a 3D briefing from Panasonic at the Hotel Intercontinental in Century City. Fortunately, it wasn't as far as the Sony event, and I had a few alternate routes up my sleeve, so we made our appointment on time.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 19, 2011  |  0 comments
As far as I have understood up to now, a passive-3D LCD flat panel displays 3D Blu-ray images in the following manner—the odd-numbered lines of left-eye information are displayed in the odd-numbered lines on the screen, and the even-numbered lines of right-eye information are displayed in the screen's even-numbered lines. As a result, the TV simply discards the undisplayed lines and each eye sees a resolution of only 1920x540 pixels. However, the image on such TVs that I've seen looks sharper than this would seem to indicate, though I do normally see thin, black horizontal lines, especially if I'm too close to the screen. The explanation I've heard most often is that the brain fuses the two images into one 1920x1080 3D image, but LG tells a somewhat different story.
Scott Wilkinson  |  May 07, 2010  |  12 comments

As I explained in a previous entry in this blog, virtually all direct-view 3DTVs coming to market now use battery-powered active-shutter glasses to ensure that each eye sees only the image it's supposed to. But if you've gone to see a 3D movie at a commercial cinema lately, you were undoubtedly handed a different type of glasses that includes no electronics at all. These so-called passive glasses are much less expensive than their active counterparts—which is why they're used in public settings where they can be easily damaged or stolen—and there are two different types, depending on the technology being used in a particular theater. In this blog entry, I'll explain how one of these technologies—polarization—simulates 3D on a 2D screen.