Is 3D TV all that it’s cracked up to be and which TV manufacturers are making the biggest waves in the new world of 3D? We will continue our previous quest to find the best HDTV brand by looking at the main players in the 3D TV arena in 2011.
Certainly, Samsung, the renowned electronics manufacturer, has revealed that it is anticipating sales of 3D TVs to crash through the two million barrier this year alone. Other major brands, such as LG, Toshiba and Panasonic are thinking likewise, estimating that by 2012 3D TVs will account for 50% of all TV sales.
Who Will Set The Standard?
The issue at the moment is that there are some significant differences between the technologies these companies are using to display 3D on their TVs. Ultimately, all these manufacturers are hoping that their technology becomes the accepted standard.
All 3D TVs available now require glasses to enable the viewer to experience the 3D content. Of course, these glasses are far removed from the cardboard ones with the colored cellophane lenses used in cinemas in the past.
In bygone days, the 3D technology was based on anaglyph imaging, where lenses tinted red and cyan were used to produce two false colour images to create the 3D effect. Colours were poor and high definition was out of the question.
Today’s glasses are highly complex liquid crystal shutter glasses that work by blocking the image each eye receives very quickly and are normally linked to the TV by an infra-red or Bluetooth signal. However, these glasses are a problem for consumers in themselves, as many simply don’t want to have to wear glasses to watch a movie.
Glasses Not Required!
However, both Phillips and Toshiba are both working on 3D TV using a technology known as autostereoscopy that doesn’t require the viewer to wear glasses.
Based on the same lenticular technology used on Nintendo’s 3DS game console, it works on the handheld device because the viewer is close up and directly in front of the screen.
To experience the 3D effect on a TV, the viewer has to be within a certain distance and view from a narrow angle. In the case of Toshiba, the company is using a ‘light field’ display to allow a 30 degree viewing area. Phillips is working with Dimenco on a similar offering, but it is unlikely we will see anything on the market in the short term.
So, what is our recommended TV for 3D? Based on the expert reviews and user feedback, it is Panasonic’s Viera 3D range.