By Lauren O’Neil
Q: “What is the future of 3D TV? Will active or passive 3D win out in the marketplace, or is the entire technology only a passing fad? At present there is a dearth of 3D programming. Will that change and, judging by CES, would it be practical to look ahead and buy an HDTV that is 3D?”
– Robert Belyk
A: Hi Robert – it doesn’t loook like 3D is slowing down at all, with all of the new Ultra HD TVs supporting it. One of the niftier features on these TVs that might actually make the glasses a little more useful, and therefore palatable, is the ability to show two individual viewers two completely different images.
This sort of thing works best with video games, where one player is playing on the screen without any glasses while a second player sees a different screen through their glasses. This could theoretically be expanded to regular video too, so one person could watch a program on the screen while another person watches a second program or movie through their glasses.
Of course, the sound would also have to be split, with one person likely having to wear earphones.
Otherwise, 3D is pretty much a standard feature on most new TVs. Passive glasses should have the advantage since they’re lighter and cheaper, but some swear that active versions have better picture quality.
Of course, logic doesn’t always win out in these sorts of standard wars, so it might be best to wait until the dust settles. Glasses-free 3D has been shown off at CES for the past few years, but it still faces limitations such as viewing angle. It’s still a ways off.
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