If you are looking forward to watching Hockey Night in Canada tomorrow evening in stereoscopic 3D, MTBS has urgent instructions for you.
We have discovered that while the broadcast is made possible in a side by side format, some (maybe all?) modern 3D HDTVs require an HDMI connector to activate the 3D mode – even manually. Many cable providers have been offering digital HD set top boxes that are based on component cables, not modern HDMI connectors. In fact, even when HDMI is offered, many customers opt for the component cabling because it’s cheaper and doesn’t require extra “add-on” expenses. For example, our local cable provider (Rogers) doesn’t provide HDMI cabling, only component. Some 3D HDTVs lock out the 3D options with the component HD inputs – which makes the side by side mode useless.
One quick test to see if your existing cable system will work is to see if your TV lets you force a side by side mode, or hides the 3D option altogether. It won’t look correct because you don’t have 3D content yet, but at least you will know if the television’s 3D functionality can be activated.
There is a slim chance that a 3D HDTV firmware update can resolve this. If not, don’t panic because there is still some time to fix this! If your digital box doesn’t have an HDMI connector, most cable providers will let you swap your box at no extra cost at their retail locations. They probably won’t include an HDMI connector, so you will need to buy that separately. Once done, you can enjoy 3D broadcasts on your 3D HDTV.
If you own a 3D HDTV and your cable system is based on component cables (not HDMI), please comment below and list your 3D HDTV brand and model # to confirm whether or not side by side mode (3D) can be activated with the component output. This way consumers will know whether or not it’s necessary to get a new HD box and/or an HDMI cable for their existing unit before the broadcast. Thanks for your assistance!