The main way to turn your home into a 3D home is to get a 3D TV. If you’re buying a 3D TV, you’re in luck as most HD TVs now come with 3D as standard.
Passive vs Active Shutter 3D
There are to types of 3D – passive, with standard non-powered glasses – and Active Shutter that require expensive battery-powered glasses.
If you want to mostly watch Sky 3D sport and movies, try LG’s ‘Cinema 3D’ TVs that use Passive 3D tech, which is similar to the system used in 3D cinemas. If it’s gaming or Blu-ray you’re after, then try an Active Shuttle TV for Full 1080p HD. Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Panasonic and LG all make decent Active Shutter 3D LED TVs.
3D projector technology
If it’s a projector you’re after, there is a little bit more you need to know. And it’s worth knowing a bit more of the detail of the projector market.
There are two key types of projector – DLP and LCD technology, though LED projectors might feature more in the future.
You can get a simple HD DLP projector for as little as £400, but these don’t support 3D – they don’t have the support for 120Hz refresh rates. DLP, or Digital Light Processing, is the best choice for now, but it can be more costly. LCD projectors tend to have better colour accuracy and pixel definition while DLP images can have a soft edge.
However, for games and movies this doesn’t matter so much so for entertainment in the home it’s definitely our choice. DLP is also better with contrast. If you can, go for a Full HD 1080p model, just as you would with a TV – it will ensure a long life for your purchase. However, 3D and 1080p can lead to an expensive combination. That’s because 3D projectors rely on active-shutter technology; the images are alternated rather than overlaid.
That means a double-speed frame rate is needed – so you’re talking 120hz rather than 60hz. Also your device needs to have HDMI 1.3 support.
The big problem with 3D projectors is that making 3D images produces a duller image; primarily because less light reaches your eye. You can still get a 3D projector for a very decent price.
Getting your 3D content
The best source of 3D footage remains Sky 3D. It’s free with Sky Entertainment Extra, Sky Movies, Sky Sports and the HD Pack (you need to have a Sky+HD box to receive the 3D channels). But if you don’t want to subscribe to Sky’s services, then there’s a lot of 3D content available online, too, while many games are now Full HD.
If you’re a gamer and want 3D then consider getting Nvidia’s 3D Vision – it’s an £80 kit complete with active shutter glasses that can be used with Nvidia graphics cards for 3D games. Check out the details at http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-main.html to see which games are supported and how you can join in the action, even if you only have a 3D TV rather than a 3D-capable PC.
Then there’s 3D Blu-ray – watch Full HD discs in 3D as well! Discs are becoming more popular, though they are still at a price premium, you’ll be paying the best part of £20 for each. You’ll also need a Blu-ray 3D player that’s compatible with HDMI 1.4. You can pick a 3D Blu-ray player up for as little as £100.
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