How Do 3D TVs Work

Have You Seen a 3D HD TV in Action?

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The Latest Advancement in Television

We paid a lot of money a few years ago for high-definition televisions because the pictures were supposed to be so clear, and now they create another type of television they want me to buy? Sure, companies are making innovations in technologies all the time so that the products we own need to be updated too.

But let me ask you this. Have you seen one in a store, put on the glasses, and seen the picture? I have, and the sooner more people buy one, the sooner those prices will come down so I can afford one. Okay, that is selfish, but if you haven't gone to your local Best Buy or Sears or other electronics store, put on your pants, go to the store, and be prepared to be blown away.

I thought it was kind of cool when I first heard of how 24 frames were converted into 48 by the use of a shutter, and people were convinced they watching moving film, instead of a lot of pictures flashing on the screen really fast.

High-Definition Televsion

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What High-Definition TV's Did for Us

One shows were made available in our homes by use of a picture tube in the original televisions, we continued to watch shows in a 480i format until hi-def TVs. That translates into 480 horizontal lines on the screen. The little "i" stands for interlaced, and this is similar to what the original picture shows were, in a way. Every other line is displayed for 1/60th of a second, and then the other half of the lines not displayed will display for 1/60th of a second. This happens sixty times a second, so your eyes cannot catch the image not displayed.

This process happens so fast, your eyes think they are seeing a full screen of information, when they are really not. This was one area in which enhanced definition televisions helped us, and it is called progressive viewing, or the "p" in 480p, 720p, and 1080p. All horizontal lines are displayed so that no information is missed.

The other area in which high-definition televisions improved our viewing was the amount of information we can now fit on the screen. There are not only 480 horizontal lines anymore, but 720 and typically 1080 horizontal lines. For the 1080 tv's, there are 1920 vertical lines, providing for a total of 2,073,600 pixels of information, not the original 307,200 pixels found on previous tv screens.

3D Camera

(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)
(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET) | Source

The Beauty of 3D HD TV

If you have seen a high-def tv, then you know that the video you see looks so much better. I've even had my parents say that it looks like you could reach out and touch things on the screen. Well, 3D televisions will make that a more realistic possibility to me.

That is where the glasses come in that some people complain about. I guess I can understand that, until I actually watch some 3D content. I don't want to go back. I want to watch the National Championship Football game in 3D, or the All-Star Home Run Derby, or maybe even a movie. You have to take advantage of both eyes for the three-dimensional technique to work. But these aren't the red and blue 3d glasses of the past.

They film or record these events with cameras that have two hi-definition lenses, so when the information is sent back through capable television receivers, the two images can be displayed. The glasses are clear, so there is not the color distortion that old style glasses had. The purpose of these glasses is really to shut off your eyes ability to view the wrong image at the wrong time.

With two images being recorded simultaneously and then being displayed on your television in an alternating manner, you eye needs to see the right image at the right time. Without glasses, the image looks blurry, but that is because the two images are being shown right, left, right, left, at many times per second. The glasses make it so your left eye only sees images recorded by the left lens, and the right eye only sees images recorded by the right lens.

So, not only do you have high-definition television with every pixel on the screen filled with information, but now you also have it in three dimensions.

The ultimate 3D televisions are still being developed to their full potential, but they will not require glasses. I haven't had the chance to see how those work at my local stores anywhere, so I'll tell you what I think of them when I get a chance to see them. Until then, glasses for me.

Jump on the 3D HD TV Bandwagon, and let me know what you think

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