3DTVs have been on the UK market for a while now. They allow viewers to watch 3D television programming, Blu-ray movies, and even play games.
For the average consumer, this segment of the market can still feel rather new and strange, and most still have many questions, so here's a series of answers:
How does it work? The 3D is much the same as in a movie theatre. It works by displaying two distinct images simultaneously. One of these images is for the right eye, the other for the left. In a visual phenomenon known as stereopsis, our brain fuses these images together, providing the sensation of depth. To learn more watch this video:
Can everyone see 3D? No, not everyone can. In fact, various studies estimate that as many as 5-10 per cent of people in the UK have stereo blindness. Many of these people have no other issues with their sight, and the extent of the problem can range from slight discomfort to total inability to perceive it as a single image.
Do I have to wear glasses to watch a 3DTV? The simple answer is yes (at the moment, new TVs in development mean we won't have to), everyone watching the TV must wear special glasses. There is technology that allows viewing without glasses, but there are shortcomings, such as the inability to display 2D and 3D simultaneously. Therefore, this technology is not practical or commonplace yet.
Do I need a new TV? You most likely do need a new television. Although there are a few rare exceptions, most HDTVs on the market do not upgrade to support the newer 3D formats, such as those used by the PS3 and Blu-ray. In some cases, there are conversion kits available. However, these kits are expensive, and it is usually more cost-effective long term to buy a new television.
How much do 3DTVs cost? Typically, a they are about £125 more than the non-3D version from the same manufacturer (at the time of writing). At that price difference, most sets do not include the special glasses. Which range anywhere from £30-160, and the average is about £60. So if the standard 2D model costs £650, the 3D model along with four glasses would cost a little over £1,000.
Can I turn 3D features off? Yes, you can turn them off. In addition, all Blu-ray discs include a 2D version of the movie, so you won't have trouble watching them. Therefore, it is possible to buy one as your new TV, and then wait to buy the glasses.
Is it true that watching 3Dcauses headaches? Yes, it can cause headaches. However, most people who suffer from this effect only do so only after extended viewing. This is why manufacturers recommend a 10-minute break each hour. Earlier, we mentioned viewers who have an issue with this type of perception. These people may experience more frequent and most severe discomfort, and breaks may not provide relief. These viewers should consult a doctor.