- Have you ever heard of Power of Love, a Nat Deverich film from 1922? No? How about the 1936 film Nozze Vagabonde by Sante Bonaldo? No? Ok, what about Avatar? Toy Story 3, The Last Airbender, How to Train Your Dragon, or Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland? What all these movies have in common is that they were presented in 3D. Technology has come a long way since an audience at the Astor Theater in 1915 saw three film reels in the first ever 3D show. This first show was a failure, and a critic wrote that 3D could never be commercial because it detracted from the plot. As we fast forward almost a century, we can see how far this fascinating medium has come. Not only can we see 3D at the movies, we can see it in our own homes. The movie industry is revolutionized yet again as we bring 3D technology home with us.
are essential tools with which we can open up a whole new world of entertainment. How do you find the best 3D glasses for the best experience?
How Do 3D Glasses Work?
- When you think of 3-D glasses, do you see those old cardboard glasses with one red lens and one cyan? Those are certainly the most recognizable, and they have been used for 3D viewing since its stone age in the early 20th Century. These anaglyph 3D glasses work by combining the two separate images that are presented on the screen into one coherent, and 3-D, image. One image is presented in red, and the other is presented in blue/green, or cyan. The glasses only let one image go to each eye, and then your brain puts them together for you. It is simple technology, and it's the most popular today because it is also the cheapest. Disney and Universal Studios use polarized 3D glasses in their shows. These work on a similar principle, but instead of different colors, the lenses have different polarizations. When combined by your brain, they produce a unified 3D picture. These are both passive 3D glasses.
Active 3D glasses
are not used as frequently because of the cost. They have a more sophisticated design, but they also require an active power source (unlike the passive, power-free anaglyphic glasses). Shutter glasses have LCD lenses that open and close each lens to show different images to each eye. This provides a more rich color experience, but it interferes with the frame rate, which can make high action scenes a bit choppy. Typically, 3D televisions work with these shutter glasses instead of the older red/cyan models because those oldies are meant for front-only projection and are not well suited for today's 3D TVs. If you are shopping for 3D glasses for your home, active shutter glasses are probably the best bet. You can browse the best selling 3D glasses online here
Best 3D Glasses:
The best 3D glasses for you will depend on what and how you want to watch as well as your budget. The red/cyan glasses cost next to nothing. For about the same cost as a movie rental, you can buy a few pairs. Say you wanted to watch Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. These glasses will bring the blood and guts much closer than you could ever have wanted. Say your child is having a birthday party and 30 kids want to watch Despicable Me in 3D. Not a problem. You can find glasses for about 50 cents a pair. Is one brand better than another? Not really. They all work the same way. The really important part is the different colored lenses; in fact, you could make your own 3D glasses at home. If you want to save some time, try the 3D Glasses Variety Pack from 3Dstereo Glasses
. You will get strong acrylic lenses and plastic frames for good durability. The color combinations are green/magenta and red/cyan, and you get two pairs of each for just over $4.00. There are a lot of excellent deals on Amazon.
A note about polarized glasses. You will see polarized glasses for sale, like these from 3D Glasses Direct. These are not for home movie viewing; they are made to be used at RealD and Disney Digital Theaters, which make up 98 percent of 3D theaters. So, if you want to use your own pair of 3D glasses for a trip to the movie theater, go ahead. If not, you can just use the ones the theater provides and get a pair of the red/cyan ones for home viewing. Or a pair of shutter glasses...
TopTenReviews named the Samsung SSG-2200AR 3D glasses
as the best in class. The Samsung 3D glasses are designed to work with a Samsung 3D HDTV, 3D projector, or 3D computer. Something you'll notice about 3D glasses is that they tend to be proprietary. Samsung works with Samsung; Sony works with Sony; LG works with LG. The Samsungs feature a lightweight 1.4 ounce design, rechargeable battery, USB port charger, 30 hour or more battery life, indicator light, off button, and one year warranty. These glasses are definitely more pricy than the red/cyan cardboard models at $140 to $200, but they do offer a more sophisticated experience. One drawback as noted by reviews is that the glasses are not adjustable like many of the competitors.
Another TopTenReviews and fan favorite is the Panasonic TY-EW3D10 3D glasses
. Panasonic is a leader in the 3D TV market, and their glasses live up to expectations. The TY-EW3D10 features adjustable nose and ear pieces so you can get a great fit and watch television comfortably. Other features include automatic shutoff, 2 sets of nose pads, built-in emitter to sync with 3D TV, cleaning cloth, hard case for storage, and one year warranty against malfunction and defects. The drawback, of course, is that the battery is not rechargeable, but it does offer about 75 hours of use, which is a lot of TV time. The upside is the adjustable fit. And the price. The Panasonic 3D glasses are $90.
Your choice of active 3D glasses will depend on what type of television you have. In general, Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Sharp, ViewSonic, Toshiba, and Sony make high quality glasses, which you can find here
3D offers incredible opportunities for entertainment. As amazing as it is in the theater, you can take this technology home and enjoy your movies and television in 3D. The 1950s was the age of the 3D movie (more were made in the '50s than at any other time, barring the last few years), but the 21st Century is the age of at-home movie theater quality viewing. Experience it yourself when you buy 3D glasses.