Diamond Case Designs Showroom, Logo, and Phone 800-616-5354
Free price guide and newsletter, enter e-mail:
Go To Main Menu TV Lifts - Stands/Credenzas - Wall Units - Corner Units - Theater-Tech
Home Office - Built-Ins - Custom - Retrofits - Media Drawers - Triple Play

Simple answers to the 14 most commonly asked questions about 3D HDTV
by Steve Hartfelder

Two awesome kids enjoying 3D HTDVAlong with the popularity of 3D movies in the theaters, interest in 3DTV at home is at an all time high. However, along with that interest there are lots of questions. I've composed simple answers to the 14 most common questions and put together our recommendations for 3DTV.

1) What do I need to enjoy 3D?

Three things; a 3D compatible television, a 3D program (such as a blu-ray movie or show on select cable/satellite systems), and 3D glasses.

2) If I purchase a 3DTV, are all programs available in 3D?

No.  Purchasing a 3DTV simply means your TV has the ability to display a 3D image.  It does not mean every program you watch will be 3D.  To enjoy 3D you would still need to watch a 3D program and wear appropriate 3D glasses.

3) If I own a 3DTV, do I always have to wear glasses?

No.  3DTVs can be used in regular 2D mode or 3D mode.  All typical day to day shows and movies would remain in standard 2D without the need to wear glasses. The only time you need to wear the glasses, is when you chose to watch a 3D program.

4) Is there a lot of 3D programming available?

No, but it is growing.  In addition to dozens of 3D blu-ray movies, there are sporting events, specials, music concerts, and other documentaries available today in 3D (on select cable/satellite systems). The majority of programming, however, is still 2D.  But, if you look in the theaters, most new movies are being released in 3D.  As these movies transition to blu-ray the library of 3D content will grow quickly.

5) Can 2D television be converted to 3D?

Samsung Graphic On 2D to 3D ConversionYes, on select models of 3DTVs and blu-ray players. These special models have the ability to convert 2D programs to 3D, in real time. The conversion process is not as compelling as native 3D content, but it provides another venue for enjoying 3D.



A pair of 3D HDTV glasses, passive style6) Can some people watch in 3D (with glasses) while others watch in 2D (without glasses)?

No.  Everyone must agree on how the program will be viewed.  If the program is to be viewed in 3D, everyone will need glasses. 

7) Can 3D glasses be worn over my regular glasses?

Most 3D glasses are designed to be worn directly on top of regular glasses.

8) Can 3D give me a headache?

Maybe.  Everyone processes 3D information differently.  A small percentage of the population is bothered by the 3D effect. 

9) What is the difference between active and passive glasses?

When creating a 3D image, a television actually produces two separate images, one intended for each eye. These images are ‘fused’ together by the 3D glasses.  Currently, there are two primary types of glasses; active or passive.  The glasses must match the technology that the TV uses (active or passive).

Active 3D glasses are battery-powered and actively communicate with the television.  An infrared (IR) signal is generated by the television (or an external transmitter) and the TV and glasses literally talk to one another to create the 3D image.  The primary advantage is the ability to show a full resolution HD image for each eye.

Passive 3D glasses do not require batteries and create the 3D image by using a special type of polarized lens.  They are less expensive and lighter weight.  The disadvantage is each eye only sees half the resolution of a full HD image.

Samsung Graphic For Passive and Active Glasses

10) Do 3DTVs come with glasses? If not, what do the glasses cost?

Many new 3DTVs are available in bundles that include a couple pair of glasses. Additional active glasses are generally available for $99-$149 a pair. Passive glasses can be $25 or less. The glasses have already come down in cost and are expected to continue to do so.

11) Can I bring my 3D glasses to my friends house?

It depends.  If the two televisions are from the same model year and same manufacturer, likely, yes. However,  as mentioned above there are different types of 3D glasses and they are not necessarily compatible across multiple TV brands.  Until the television industry develops a standard, don't count on your glasses working on your friends TV.

12) How much more does a 3DTV cost?

Little to nothing when you are shopping for a higher performance TV. In previous model years you would pay a premium to enjoy a 3DTV. However, most major manufacturers are now including 3D as a feature on all their better home theater TVs, 46" and above. When looking at overall cost, don't forget to factor in the 3D blu-ray player and the appropriate number of glasses.

Graphic of 3D TV With Tiger Bursting Through, LG Electronics13) What size 3DTV do you recommend?

The bigger the better, typically 55” or larger.  Having a large screen is very important to enjoying a stunning 3D experience. 

3D images protrude from the screen, but they also retract into it creating incredible depth.  Many people, such as myself, see much more of the depth going back into the screen than images popping out of it.  The enhanced depth can actually make the images appear smaller than their 2D counterparts.  As a result, to get an enveloping home theater experience the TV screen should be as large as possible.  I recommend a 55” as a minimum, larger if you can accommodate it.

14) I read glasses-free 3DTV will be here soon. Should I wait for that?

We have a winner for our most popular 3D question. Too bad I could not have integrated in a drum roll. A number of companies are trying to develop a glasses-free 3D solution, however they are falling short. A major downfall is an extremely limited viewing angle. For this technology to work, your head basically has to be in a fixed position. If you move your head too much, or have a group of people watching, the image reverts to a poor quality 2D picture. I have seen prototypes of this technology a couple of times and to say I was under whelmed would be an overstatement. I would love this to be a viable home option, but for the foreseeable future I think it will be limited to small screens, personal computers, and video game systems (like the 3D version of the Nintendo DS). I anticipate glasses-free 3D for the home theater is still years away.

Recommendations and Conclusions

In an amazingly short amount of time, 3D has become a common feature in new televisions. In fact, chances are your new HDTV will have 3D and you will not pay a premium for it. To get the most out of your 3D television, follow these recommendations:

Remember, just because you have a 3DTV does not mean you have to wear glasses. The majority of your TV viewing will still be glasses-free in stunning 2D. View 3D as a special event for the big game, special program, or family movie night. For those special occasions make sure you have enough glasses for the group as everyone will need a pair. For the best experience go with the largest TV possible. The enhanced depth of a 3D television can make a good size TV seem smaller. Your best bet is to go with a 55" television or larger.

For More Information or to Purchase

If you have questions or are interested in purchasing an new 3D HDTV please call toll-free 800-616-5354. We are authorized dealers for all major brands of televisions and will be happy to assist you in finding the right solution for your needs. We do ship our televisions nationwide. When calling feel free to ask for me (Steve Hartfelder) or my brother Dave Hartfelder.

TV Lifts | Stands and Credenzas | Wall Units | Corner Cabinets | Theater-Tech™ | Home Office
Built-Ins | Custom Entertainment Centers | DC-1061 In Furniture Speakers | Contact Us | Main Menu

Diamond Case Designs, Inc. - 655 N. Shepard St. - Anaheim, CA 92806 - www.diamondcase.com
(800) 616-5354 - (714) 630-8100