- Audio & Video
Why your next TV should be 3D ready
It's likely that if you've been looking at a TV upgrade recently, you will have been bombarded with lots of different jargon to describe the myriad new technologies that have become available recently.
1080p, Smart TVs, wireless connectivity, passive 3D, active 3D, upscaling, 3D upscaling... all explained in the least clear of terms by your friendly neighbourhood salesman.
Most people don't understand the ins and outs of such technology, and many will not bother with it and get the largest screen they can for their money. But is that a wise thing to do?
Quality is key
A good quality TV from 3 years ago will have been 1080p ready (having a resolution of 1920x1080), had 3, 4, or more HDMI ports, and will have had a high contrast ratio. 100Hz or higher image processing will have been available (interpolation of images to smoothen the output). To achieve those specifications on a TV today requires a TV that also has 3D capabilities.
The TVs that lack these new features will be redesigned versions of older TVs that, whilst often having slicker menus, sacrifice certain features and component quality to meet the need as a low price point TV. If you bought a TV that lacked these new features simply because you wouldn't use them, you would be shooting yourself in the foot. If you want the same or better picture quality in your new set, you need to have these features included.
It might sound like a bit of a waste - however, we have reached a point where 3D is becoming more of a standard in large sets. A few years ago, HD content was rather limited in the UK - however, it has grown dramatically due to the larger penetration rate. The inclusion of HD channels on free-to-view platforms like Freeview and Freesat has also helped a lot.
Although the best advice is to always try and watch the TV you are about to buy, it is often a good rule of thumb not to rule out features you don't think you'll use, unless said new feature is truly too expensive for you. This applies to any other features like Smart TV.
If you are a Sky HD customer in the UK with the full Sky package, the 3D pack (which currently consists of the Sky 3D channel) is completely free to add to your package. Therefore, if you have bought a 3D TV, you may as well claim the 3D content that Sky is handing to you on a plate (as long as you already fork out for all the other channels).
Although the quality is lower than that provided by Blu-ray, it does give you an insight into whether 3D is for you. You can also try it at one of the many pubs in the UK where 3D football is available.
And, if you don't have Sky, the 3D is not only good for future-proofing, but will also confer the benefits that I explained above.