After the 1080p full high definition televisions and LED television now it is time for 3D televisions. The 3D display technology is not new to us. We have all watched 3D movies at theater. What is new in the market is the influx of 3D plasma and 3D LCD TV models.
How 3D TV Works?
When we watch an object the lights that falls on the object reflects and enters into our eyes. The brain processes the lights falls on our retina and to create the image of the object in our brain. When the object is close to us, the light that falls into left eye and right eye are from slightly different angle. But since we are focusing on one object the brain process combined image to create the 3D effect. However when we watch a video on a flat screen the right eye and left eye sees image shot from a single camera and hence we see only 2D images.
In case of 3D TV, each eye is shown the same image shot from slightly different angles. When the brain combines these slightly different angle shots it will appear 3 dimensional. The 3D television technology requires different camera to shoot the object as well as different display technology on the television.
3D TV Without Glasses:
The 3D television technology has undergone various developments in the past including the invention of watching 3-dimensional video without wearing a 3D glass. Three dimensional televisions that doesn’t require 3D glasses uses filters or lenses in front of the display screen to direct separate images to left eye and right eye. However you need to sit at a particular distance from the TV screen to view the 3 dimensional effects. Today with the help of modern face recognition software a camera fixed on this type 3D TV can calculate the adjustments needed on the screen to generate the 3D effects. However things become complicated when two or more viewers sitting at different distances want to watch the 3-dimension television.
3D TV which needs 3D glasses.
Most of the three dimensional televisions require you to wear a pair of glasses to watch the video with 3D effect. There are mainly two types of 3D glasses. Active glasses and Passive glasses.
Passive 3D Glasses:
The older Anaglyph passive glasses have two different color lenses (red and blue) to filter the images on the television display screen. The 3D television will display two images one with reddish tint and other bluish slightly offset from each other. When you watch the 3D television through the anaglyph glasses the blue lens absorbs all the blue light from the television and as a result will not allow you to see the bluish images on the screen. Similarly the red lens will only allow you to see the blue tinted images and will block the reddish images. Since each eye can only see one image the brain interprets that there is only one object on the screen. However since each eye sees a different angle of the same image the brain produces a 3D effect.
Modern passive glasses utilize poliarized glasses which work on the same principle as above. Instead of using two sets of images with different colors, the polarization technique alters the waves of light the viewer sees.
However passive glasses have certain disadvantages. First, the use of anaglyph glasses will hinder us from viewing accurate colors of the images. The polarized glasses on the other hand require you to coat your television display screen with a special polarizing film first.
Active 3D Glasses:
Active glass as the name suggests have a very active part in viewing the 3D video and requires power source connected to it. The active glass alternately opens and closes the view of each lens to show each eye a different image at any time. This means that the 3D glasses need to be synchronized with the 3D television display. This type of 3D glasses makes use of LCD lenses to control the view of each eye and utilizes infra-red technology for synchronization.
Active 3D glasses don’t hinder the display of colors and hence offers superior picture quality.
However they do have certain disadvantages. Unlike in case of passive 3D glasses, the 3D TV that utilizes active glasses will display only one set of image on the screen at a time and will alternate the images shown to each eye at half of the number of frames. That means with 30 frames per second each eye will see only 15 frames of images each. This will effectively reduce the number of frames per second into half and will adversely affect the smooth motion of the video especially in fast action videos such as sports.
It is due to this fact 3D televisions were not so popular in LCD and Plasma TV models. However today the Plasma and LCD technology have considerably improved and HDTV models are coming with very high refresh rates enabling manufacturers to develop 3D plasma and LCD TVs.
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