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From CES 2011- Movie Theater Passive Glasses vs. Active Shutter 3D Glasses

Submitted by on January 18, 2011 – 7:26 pmNo Comment

[Check out the trends in Network Media Players and Smart TVs for 2011]

Last year, 3D was the big story at CES.  At CES 2011, the bigger story is the 3D glasses, and passive 3D glasses technology.  The 3D TV technology shown last year requires powered glasses with shutters.  The shutters would imperceptibly open and close for each eye.  Combined with the TV’s technology, the result was full high definition  1080p resolution in 3D. Many manufacturers included a couple of pair of these relatively expensive glasses with their 3D TVs to promote 3D viewing.

Imagine that soon the Super Bowl will be broadcast in 3D (or the Academy Awards), are you really going to ask your guests to spend upwards of $200 for a pair of glasses to watch the big event? Perhaps you’ll pass around the glasses you have, and let those people who aren’t wearing the glasses suffer through double images until its their turn.

Yes, that’s a doubtful scenario.  Expensive 3D glasses put the kabash on 3D parties.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could use those “Real D” horn-rims provided by  the movie theater when you go to see “Tron” or “Despicable Me” in 3D.  You and your buddies could go off to a movie in the days before the game and sneak off with the glasses (after all you paid extra for the 3D movie).

Many of the 3D TVs coming out in 2011 will work with polarized “passive” glasses like the Real D glasses you get when you see a 3D movie.  Based on the demos at this year’s CES, 3D with passive glasses looks pretty good.  Passive glasses don’t turn off and on like shutter glasses, so the image is brighter.  However, without the shutter glasses, the TV picture must be split in half to create the stereo picture required for 3D.  This means that instead of the full HD 1080p resolution, you only get 540 resolution for each eye.  You’ll lose a bit of clarity and detail.

Still, with passive glasses, you won’t have to recharge them and worry if they are turned on and, of course, they are cheaper.

Don’t worry, the technology won’t affect the TV’s ability to show the one or two 3D Blu-rays you may already own, nor require you to buy a new 3D Blu-ray player.  The passive 3D technology only affects the TV display and the type of glasses you need to view it. (So you won’t have to run out and get another 3D copy of “How to Train a Dragon.”)

And what about 3D without glasses? Many manufacturers exhibited prototypes of 3D TVs that did not require special glasses.  At each demo TV, there were marked spots of the floor where you needed to stand to get the 3D affect.  If you had one in your home, you’d have to fight for the sweet spot on the sofa.

Guess it’s about the same as having to fight for one of the pair of shutter glasses that came with your TV.

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