3D Geek v 3D Consumer - a new look at the passive v active 3D debate.
Once 3D was a novelty act in cinemas. Now its a rapidly developing technology that helps movie directors and progressive TV channels find new and better ways to help you feel part of the action.
Early 3D technology made it possible for manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and Panasonic to introduce 3D TV sets into homes. They applied the early-adopter rule of money being no object and technical specification being everything. So they developed the geektastic active 3D technology systems that require shutter glasses with powered lenses and transmitter mechanisms to sync the tech-heavy 3D glasses to the display unit.
Active-shutter glasses are actually small LCD screens that alternately dim the left and right lenses at speeds faster than the human eye can detect. They use an infrared signal emitter in the TV to ensure each pair of synched 3D glasses dims each of its lenses at the appropriate moment. Each eye's glass contains a layer, which flickers between dark or transparent when voltage is applied. The timing signal allows the glasses to synchronize together with the refresh rate of anything between 100Hz and 240Hz.
Active-shutter 3D glasses, thanks to the technology involved are relatively expensive. So much so that manufacturers dont often include them with active 3D TV sets you have to buy them at a substantial additional cost. Besides the cost of the glasses anything from £50 - £150 per pair, you also have to stump up for the batteries they need to keep them running. Its these batteries that also give active 3D glasses a bit of a weight problem that can cause discomfort during full-length feature films. An issue that becomes even more problematical if you already wear prescription glasses.
The final difficulty with active 3D glasses is that no two systems use the same signal emitter set-up: you can only use them on your own system and will have to wait for the development of universal active 3D glasses to head round to your pals to watch the football in 3D.
Fortunately a solution, in the form of passive 3D systems, arrived on the fast developing 3D TV scene.
As other TV manufacturers such as LG, Philips, Toshiba, Vizio, Cello, Manta, Bush and Finlux began to develop 3D TV systems aimed at mainstream consumers, they opted for passive 3D glasses technology. Making passive 3D glasses is no more complicated than making a pair of standard sunglasses. Only the specially designed polarized lenses are different.
When you watch a 3D film and the cinema or on a passive 3D TV, the polarised lenses in the passive 3D glasses simply block different kinds of light from each eye to create that immersive illusion of depth inside the mind of the viewer. The circular polarised lenses are set at angles that match a combined image on the screen. The glasses simply decode the images with any need for those flickering shutters that can cause headaches on active 3D glasses. Whats more, you dont ever have to replace any batteries or miss out on the football in 3D because they are flat. So why doesnt everybody see passive 3D glasses as sounds like the perfect 3D solution?
The makers and enthusiastic fans of active 3D systems often refer to the fact that technically passive 3D glasses do not provide a true HD experience on 3D TVs. With passive 3D, the viewer sees 540 lines of resolution to each eye, or half 1080p (provided the source is 1080p). So, theoretically the picture will have less depth and quality than one of 1080p - the norm for active 3D systems. However, active 3D supporters claim that this difference is only noticeable a couple feet from the TV. As nobody buys a large screen TV to use as a laptop the issue seems to be nothing more than manufacturer spin.
To prove the point, LG has recently won ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority that allows them to state that the passive 3D glasses experience is a full HD experience. Perhaps that is why Panasonic and Sony have both recently began making passive 3D systems?
The real difference lies not in whether active 3D glasses are too heavy, cause dizziness and headaches, or passive 3D glasses offer a less immersive cheap as chips experience: real difference lies in the eye and the mind of the beholder.
Each of us experiences 3D in a way that is unique to our own viewing physiology. Our eyes, our experiences and our preferences, shape the way we see things. The fact is, we simply do not see exactly the same things as people sitting right next to us. Moreover, 3D is a depth-perception illusion created in our minds unique eye. While technical facts and research can advance all manner of claims, it is only you who can decide what rocks your 3D world.
At a geek v consumer level, each of us is either the kind of avid technology buff that wanted to be the first to experience 3D TV in the home or someone who was always going to wait until the technology developed to a point where updating the old TV with a state of the art but relatively inexpensive passive 3D TV seems like a no brainer. Especially when you consider that you are likely to be watching a mixture of 2D (60%) and 3D (40%) programs on your 3D TV.
Even if you adopt a try before you buy approach, evaluating passive or active 3D TVs is fraught with difficulties. For one thing, it is impossible to experience what it is like to live with heavy active 3D glasses unless you spend hours in the showroom watching a film. Equally, the quality of passive 3D glasses is enough to make anyone think twice about making an impulse purchase.
May we suggest a solution?
Perhaps before you risk investing in a prohibitively expensive active 3D system because of the perceived picture quality or dismiss the very idea of a passive 3d system because of the poor quality passive 3D glasses, you should take the opportunity to experience the outstanding passive 3D experience delivered by Designer 3D glasses by Oskav.
All our wayfarer-style glasses are made to the same exacting standards as designer sunglasses. Our lenses are made to a particular specification that ensures a high definition 3D experience and lasting durability. Our collection of designer finishes is simply without equal in passive 3D glasses. So what have you go to loose? From just £19.99 you could get the LG, Philips, Toshiba or Panasonic passive 3D TV test drive of a lifetime and in the process get a pair of designer 3D glasses that also allow you to go to see any 3D film in style. Put the 3D geek v 3D consumer debate behind you in a pair of designer 3D glasses by Oskav. Buy designer 3D glasses by Oskav online
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Article Added on Saturday, June 23, 2012
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