3D Glasses for a New Era of Television
What’s old is new again. 3D has enjoyed various waves of success throughout its long history, but it wasn’t until a little film you might have heard of called Avatar hit theaters in December of 2009 that a new wave of 3D began catching on. In the time since, 3D has become big business — first in theaters, and now in homes across America and beyond. And with manufacturers clamoring to one-up each other in new technology, 3D looks destined to be more than just a fad.
This “fad” was invented more than a century ago. The first patent for the 3D-movie process was filed back in the 1890s by British film pioneer William Friese-Greene, a rather crude version that was later improved upon by Edwin S. Porter and William E. Waddell some 30 years later. It wasn’t until Sept. 27, 1922—with the premier of The Power of Love at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel Theater—that the first 3D film would be shown before a paying audience. The anaglyph 3D technology (what we all recognize today as the multi-colored lens glasses) used in 1922 became the norm for filmmakers and enjoyed a Renaissance in the ’50s with such films as House of Wax and Son of Sinbad.
Needless to say a lot has changed since the days of the flimsy, cardboard glasses most people associate with 3D. Today glasses are sturdier. More comfortable. Even stylish. And the technology has traveled light years. Long gone are the days of dealing with red and blue lenses. Though anaglyph glasses are still available (for how much longer is anyone’s guess) they’ve almost universally been replaced with active shutter 3D glasses. What this means for the viewer/gamer is a clearer picture and far better 3D effects—all in the comfort of your own home.
Leading manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung and Toshiba offer bundle deals that will get your 3D home theater up and running for about $3,000. And active shutter glasses are now available for the whole family in a range of styles, colors and sizes in the neighborhood of $150 apiece. That said, there’s a lot to consider.
When making an investment you want to be well informed on which options are available. Like knowing which 3D glasses are compatible with which televisions. And are there glasses options for kids that will keep them from squirming (and we’re not talking about from what’s on the screen)? And, of course, finding the best options for your entertainment dollar.
It appears that 2010 is only the beginning. Manufacturers like Toshiba and Sony are already working on making 3D-viewing possible without the aid of glasses. Who knows what the future holds in the world of home 3D viewing? One thing for certain is that as technology improves and companies become more competitive, it looks like the sky’s the limit for consumers.