Is it possible to bring the 3D experience home that you’ve just experienced at your local theater? The answer is positive. In this page, we’d like to offer you a complete guide to watching 3D movie at home with great visual enjoyment.
What Do You Need In Your Home Theater To Watch 3D?
3D-enabled TV or 3D-enabled Video Projector
As your starting point in the 3D viewing experience, you need a TV or video projector that meets approved 3D specifications. This includes some LCD, OLED, Plasma (NOTE: Plasma TVs have been discontinued), as well as DLP and LCD-type video projectors. All 3D-enabled TVs, and most 3D-enabled Video Projectors, work with the 3D standards approved for Blu-ray, Cable/Satellite and streaming sources.
Also, all consumer-based 3D-enabled TVs also display in standard 2D as well, so you can enjoy all your TV programs, Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and other video content just as you always have, in the way you are used to seeing it.
Also, once you get your 3D TV or video projector, you need to make sure it is setup for the best possible viewing result.
3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc Player
In order to watch 3D Blu-ray Discs, you need a 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player. However, in addition to playing 3D Blu-ray discs, all of these player will still be able to play current Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and CDs.
As of 2016, there are well over 300 3D Blu-ray Disc titles available in the U.S. (and more internationally). For the most comprehensive selection, check out the listing at Amazon.com.
3D Via Cable/Satellite
If you desire to receive 3D content via HD-cable or Satellite, you may need a new 3D-enabled Cable or Satellite box. For more details on the cable end of the equation, contact your cable or satellite service provider.
3D Via Streaming
If you have 3D TV, and receive some, most of your programming via internet streaming, you actually have several options for accessing 3D content.
Vudu – Vudu offers a 3D channel viewing option that features select movie trailers, shorts, and feature films that are available on either a pay-per-view or purchase basis.
Netflix – Netflix is the most popular movie and streaming service, but did you know that is also offers access to some movies in 3D? Also, unlike Vudu, this option comes with you paid monthly subscription fee, instead of pay-per-view. Check out their periodically updated listing.
3DGO! – Although Vudu and Netflix are more commonly-known internet streaming services, 3DGO! from Sensio Technologies is an excellent option. The 3DGO1 app is available on Vizio, Samsung, Panasonic, and LG 3D-enabled Smart TVs. 3DGO! provides films from several studios, including Disney/Pixar/Marvel, Dreamworks/Paramount, and Universal.
Yes, you will need to wear glasses to watch 3D. However, these are not the cheap paper 3D glasses of yesteryear. The glasses that will be used will most likely be one of two types: Passive or Active.
Passive Polarized glasses look and wear much like sunglasses and have enough front space to place over existing eyeglasses for those than need to. These type of glasses are inexpensive to manufacture and would probably cost consumers $5 to $25 for each pair depending on the frame style (rigid vs flexible, plastic vs metal).
Active Shutter glasses are slightly bulky, since they have batteries and a transmitter that synchs the rapidly moving shutters for each eye with the onscreen display rate. These type of glasses are also more expensive than passive polarized glasses, ranging in price from $75 to $150 depending on the manufacturer.
Depending on which brand and model TV or video projector you buy, will determine which type of glasses (passive polarized or active shutter) you will be required for use with that TV or video projector. So far, manufacturers appear to be taking the Active Shutter glasses route to their 3D products, at least with regards to LCD, Plasma, and DLP televisions.
And there are several companies that make 3D glasses that can be used on several brands of TVs and video projectors. One example is XpanD, a third party company that makes 3D glasses for both commercial and consumer applications, now offers Universal 3D Glasses that can work on most currently available 3D TVs that use the Active Shutter system. For more details, check out the XpanD Universal 3D Glasses product page.
3D and Home Theater Receivers
Another thing to take into consideration is that if you have your home theater set-up where your send both your audio and video signals through a home theater receiver, on the way to your TV, then your home theater receiver also needs to be 3D-compatible.
Yes, it is possible to watch 3D without glasses, but there is a catch. Although several TV makers have showed glasses free 3D prototypes at trade shows, and Toshiba actually came to market briefly with a glasses free 3D TV (although never available in the U.S.), one company, Stream TV networks and IZON technologies have been pursuing Glasses Free TV in for use in the business/commercial, gaming, and home entertainment space for some years and StreamTV showed the first production models at the 2016 CES.
So far, the glasses free 3D LED/LCD TVs come in the 50 and 65-inch screen sizes under the IZON brand name (as of 2016), and Stream TV is pursing licensing agreements with other potential partners.
The two sets both feature compatibility with Blu-ray, Cable/Satellite, and Streaming sources, as well as the ability to perform real-time 2D to 3D conversion. However, another feature is that the both TVs feature native 4K display resolution, which means that all 3D content is upscaled to 4K for screen display.
The Pros and Cons of Watching 3D at Home
Maybe 3D appeals to you, but you’re just not sure you’re ready to take the leap. The good news is, 3D TV can provide an immersive experience for movies, sports, and games, and more, and some 3D TVs perform real-time 2D to 3D conversion. However, you’re looking at spending quite a bit more of money on home theater gear, and you might be disappointed in the amount of content available at this point.