It seems that the TV Technology vogue for 2010 is going to be 3D technology. Films like James Cameron’s Avatar and Pixar’s Up have caught people’s imagination and studios and TV manufacturers alike are going to run with it. Obviously the goal is to drive technology and enhance the viewing experience. However the cynics among us including Mark Kermode believe 3D technology is just the latest technique to combat video piracy. To be honest he is probably right but if 3D technology can be pulled off it will be greeted with open arms by most of the viewing public.
Does this mean the death of 1080p Televisions? I very much doubt it. It will mean that the cost of getting a good full HD TV will further decrease which can only be a good thing. But for the majority of films having 1080p televisions is always going to best until the 3D technology has all the kinks ironed out. And of course the classics are not shot in 3D.
How the Technology works?
Like 1080p televisions each manufacturer will have its own patented technology for delivery of the 3d experience. And currently there are three main methods being employed.
Lenticular technology has been pioneered by Philips, and is available as of today. By utilizing a special lens these TV sets enable viewers to do away with the traditional glasses you will have seen in the cinema. The purpose of the lens is to send a different image to both your left and right eye. That is, your left eye will see a completely different image from your right eye, which will emulate your two eyes’ use of stereopsis (the process by which your eyes discern depth). The limitation of this technology is that in order to achieve the full effect you will need to sit directly in front of the TV set reducing the viewing angle. This could be limited in certain room setups.
Hyundai is developing passive glass technology this type of LCD monitor will allow both 2D and 3D images to be viewed. To watch the 3-D images, viewers will need to wear the traditional glasses in order to watch three dimensional media. This technology is essentially a smaller version of what you will have seen in the cinema. To achieve this TV has two overlapping images and the glasses have polarized lenses. Each lens is polarized so that it can see only one of the two overlapping images. Your brain will then do the rest.
The final technology is referred to as active glass similar in some respects to the passive glass system, except rather than the TV doing all work, the glasses do. The glasses synchronize with the refresh rate of the TV, and then they alternate the polarization of each lens, making the wearers of the glasses see 3-D images. With this technology, people could be watching a 2-D movie comfortably, and then at will switch the movie into 3-D. This type of monitor is being developed by Samsung and Mitsubishi. The downside to this is that the glasses that users will ware could be relatively expensive with predictions of around £50 could be limiting for some.
For the time being a better purchase would still be a good quality 1080p TV which will offer an exceptional viewing experience with a proven technology. However in a few years once the technology has matured 3D sets could feature in the majority of living rooms.