Posts Tagged ‘3d television’

History of 3D TV

Monday, April 12th, 2010

3D has been around for many years but 3D television is a recent development, right? Actually 3D television and 3D technology go back quite a bit farther than you might think. 3D actually began with the invention of photography in 1838 and the invention of stereoscope; the very first device that could photograph in 3D. From there, 3D photography grew to be employed in film. The first 3D camera for motion capture came in the invention of the Kinematoscope in 1855 and the first film was released in 1922 and was called The Power of Love. The first color 3D film was produced in 1935.

3D movies continued to be made and as time passed, in 1947 the Soviet Union released Robinson Crusoe. The films Bwana Devil in 1952 and House of Wax in 1953 were some of the first of more than sixty 3D films made during the 50s and 60s, a period during which there were also several advances in the way 3D filming was done. Many of these innovations helped in reducing the amount of equipment taken to make a 3D image and speeding up the process on many levels.  As a result of these films, 3D serials started being aired on television during the fifties. Yes, that’s right 3D TV has been with us nearly as long as the television itself! Unfortunately the medium grew to be too tedious because of the inferior viewing conditions in most movie theaters and the complex and often expensive equipment needed to make the films.

As you may already know, the 3D format began to be used again during the 70s and 80s in such films as Friday the 13th Part 3 and Jaws 3D. These films led to some success but soon interest flagged and the medium was dropped until the IMAX premiered at Expo ’86 in Vancouver. Until 2001 the format saw only sparing use due to the prohibitive costs and limited interest in the mainstream film industry. Since 2001 computer animation, digital cameras and now 3D home theater systems have begun the process of making 3D a fully realized and accessible medium for everyone. With these advances, we are now seeing the return of 3D television in a far richer and more fully realized format.

Starting in 2010, we will have access to 3D televisions, blue ray players, films, and 3D television stations.  Films like Alice in Wonderland and Avatar have opened the eye of the imagination and helped the 3D format to regain enough popularity to bring about renewed interest. Improved image tools, filming equipment and a wide array of advances in film making and production have allowed a very old idea to finally be brought to its true potential. With the new televisions and soon the regularly running 3D television channels there’s a very real possibility that 3D can  not only remain a useful medium but also become a major component of future innovations as color and HD were before it.

How to Find Shows for Your New 3D TV

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Now that you’ve purchased and set up your brand new 3D television, how can you find channels and shows that you can use it for? There are few options currently available for those looking for television broadcasts in 3D but that number is growing as 3D and the many devices that are combatable with it climb in popularity.

1. DirectTV/Time Warner Cable Subscription: The good news is that shortly after the release of many of these 3D TVs, there are going to be several channels available through cable providers like DirecTV and as a result, you should be able to access them through cable or satellite subscription plans. DirecTV is said to be beginning access in partnership with Panasonic to provide 3D channels in June with 3 channels, one of which will be a payperview channel. Despite being a partnership between the electronics company and DirecTV, it is intended to be accessible by all 3D TVs while Time Warner is still in talks with companies like ESPN about how to proceed with such channels in the near future.

2. Sky TV: Those who want to catch a glimpse of how 3D TV will work can do so through Sky TV’s EPG, a preview channel intended to have started by April 3rd. If you have a Sky + HD subscription, you’ll have free access to this preview channel as long as you also have use of a compatible 3d TV and glasses. To gain access, you need to call Sky with the details of your 3D TV. The channel will air movies, sports and entertainment in 3D to those who call. The company is also running access to 3D television in select British pubs where football (soccer in the States) is often viewed.

3.ESPN: The channel intends to begin airing 3D content starting on June 11th. This won’t be a full time investment however, at least not at first. The network intends to air 85 different live events during the first year that 3D television is available though just what those events will be has yet to be discussed. Sports is one of the most popular subjects for 3D TV among enthusiasts and there’s likely to be quite a bit of focus on how it turns out when brought to television outside of the few random airings that have occurred in the past few months.

4. PS3: Those who own a PS3 will also have a chance to gain access to 3D television through a firmware update slated to happen in the next few months. This also means of course that there are likely to be games designed to take advantage of the popular format. It can be assumed that the system’s PSN network will provide access to 3D film and other content once the firmware update occurs.

5. 3D DVD: In the meantime there are several films being produced with a 3D copy on DVD. This means that if you buy your 3D television and you don’t yet have access to channels with content, you can always watch existing and recently 3D formatted films while you wait for that access.

            Samsung 3D TV Vs. Panasonic 3D TV : A Comparison

            Monday, April 12th, 2010

            Plasma V/S LCD

            At its heart, the comparison between Panasonic and Samsung is largely a comparison between plasma and LCD. This was true of both types when HD came out and is true once again with 3D.  What are the differences? LCD offers a focus toward richer blacks and a deeper picture while plasma offers brighter colors and a sharper picture. Inevitably this means that there are differences in the way they display 3D.

            1. Processing Speed: LCD TVs and Samsung with them are still coping with issues in this area though there has been a marked increase in the slow down issue that once caused issues for the TV. Current models are able to offer 120, 240, and 480 Hz in refresh rates far better than original levels. Panasonic’s plasma TVs never really struggled on this issue and as a result have had an edge.  Plasma doesn’t deal with motion blurs or side to side panning blurs in their models and have been estimated to have a refresh rate at about 600 Hz.  This means that Panasonic offers true HD 1080p while Samsung is only able to offer 600 to 800 lines of resolution. Overall both offer a great picture and for those who aren’t 1080p purists this wont pose as much of a factor.

            2. 3D Performance: Overall, the image results are similar and both offer good depth to the image on viewing but crosstalk (the effect of the twin images that make up 3D crossing each other) caused both to be a little frustrating when the effect occurs.  In the Samsung, this effect was slightly worse likely due to the slowdown issue caused by its lower refresh rate. As a result, the Panasonic model works better for a longer period such as during a full length film.

                Other Factors

                3. Glasses: One of the largest drawbacks of having a 3D TV is the glasses that are a required part of the experience. None of them are very attractive and can become uncomfortable over time this is more true with the Samsung glasses, which are heavier and weigh on you as time passes.  Panasonic’s glasses offer 3 different nose bridges and a neck strap to offer more comfort to the wearer.

                4. Cost: Again the differences in price are quite clear.  Samsung forgoes offering a set of glasses with their model while Panasonic includes a set (each pair of glasses cost about $150). This means that you’ll need to pay for any extra glasses and a blue ray player made to play 3D as well (this is about $400) unless you have a PS3 and can hold out for the update. If the average family of  four were to buy a 3D set the costs would be about $ 3350 for the Panasonic and  $3700 for the Samsung (largely due to cost of buying all the glasses needed). That’s a difference of $350.

                    Pros and Cons of Buying a 3D Television in 2010

                    Monday, April 12th, 2010

                    Deciding whether or not to buy a 3D television this year could be a major decision in many households. This is due to the several factors both pro and con and merits some serious discussion. Here are some of the major points that could affect your decision.

                    Pro: Having 3D television means getting your hands on some of the latest tech: Buying one of these 3D wonders means that you’ll be enjoying some of the best imaging, improved black and color features, excellent add-ons and features such as hand touch controls.

                    Con: The viability of 3D Devices is thus far unproven: Nobody wants to be spending money on a service or device that never takes off or fails. The risks involved with investing in 3D television can be enough to give even the most tech hungry reason to pause as it is too new to predict the potential outcome.

                    Pro: This isn’t your grandpa’s 3D: If you had images of Jaws 3-D in mind, you’re in for a surprise. Several new films have come out which were filmed in the 3-D format this time to great success. In fact, the new trend in 3D devices stems from the renewed interest in the medium generated by those films and the far improved image and validity of the format.  This is a potential breakthrough in media and like color and HD television before, it could be the next major and lasting change to the medium.

                    Con: It still requires glasses and may still cause eye strain for some: While they’re no longer blue and red (the new glasses are in fact more like shades), yes the glasses are still a required part of the package. This is because 3D relies on tricking the eye to get the desired visual response through filming with two cameras representing the vision of each eye. This means that our eyes attempt correct any image issues such as blurring however and this causes eye strain.

                    Con: The cost: There’s a great deal of money involved with getting your 3D system to work at its optimum. This means buying a TV, most likely a compatible blue ray or DVD player and almost certainly a few pairs of the glasses. While some of the companies say they’ll be including at least 2 pairs of them with each TV, this doesn’t cover guests or extra family members. If you only recently afforded your HD system, you’re also unlikely to be able to afford the upgrade.

                    Pro: There are options:  The cost is high no matter what you do; it’s new tech and most 3D systems are 45-55 inches in size.  The good news is that many companies offer special package deals or in the case of Vizio’s model a reduced rate (about $2,000). Panasonic’s model is offered through Best Buy with a compatible blue ray player for instance.

                    Con: Few shows, stations or other media are offered in 3D: For the moment, the options of media directly available in 3D are very limited and this can be a major drawback for those who want to have an optimum 3D setup.

                    Pro: It’s on the way: While the amount of 3D media is limited, for now there are already steps being taken to remedy this. With the popularity and success of recent films such as Alice in Wonderland and Avatar, there is a lot of action being taken to produce more films and shows in the medium.

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