At the beginning of this year, 3D TVs and 3D Blu-ray players started appearing in the marketplace. 3D TVs aren’t a new type of TV, it’s just a new ‘feature’ found on some of the newer HDTVs. 3D TVs function like any other HDTV, but when 3D content is detected — either through a 3D Blu-ray player or through a TV broadcast signal — then it can be set into 3D mode. Some sets can even convert regular 2D content into 3D.
One new 3D HDTV is Samsung’s UN46C8000. This is a 46-inch 3D LED HDTV, and it produces a full high-definition image with 1080p resolution. The June 2010 issue of Consumer Reports gave it a very favorable review, and complimented it on its “excellent picture detail and satisfying colors and contrast with 3D and regular HD content”. TigerDirect sells the Samsung UN46C8000 for $2,520 after $280 instant savings.
3D Glasses. As with 3D in the theaters, these 3D HDTVs require you to wear special glasses, and you currently need to get the glasses from the TV manufacturer. For example, if you had a Panasonic 3D HDTV, you would need 3D glasses from Panasonic; and a Samsung 3D HDTV owner would need 3D glasses from Samsung. The glasses are not interchangeable with other manufacturers sets.
The 3D glasses use a “high-speed shutter” system in the lens. Some of the glasses are battery powered, while the others are rechargeable. Consumer Reports compared the Samsung UN46C8000 against the Panasonic TC-P50VT20 3D HDTV, and they found that Samsung’s glasses were “lighter and more comfortable than the Panasonic’s.” Samsung’s SSG2200AR 3D Glasses (shown above) are rechargeable and are sold separately for $199. The children’s rechargeable 3D glasses sell for $179.
3D Content. Of course to appreciate the 3D imagery, you’ll need some 3D television content or a 3D Blu-ray player. There have been a few 3D programs available from Cablevison and Comcast, and ESPN and DirecTV are expected to offer 3D content next month. Discovery channel also plans on launching a 3D network soon.
3D Blu-ray disc players are interchangeable, so a Sony 3D Blu-ray disc player will work with any other 3D HDTV. Two current 3D Blu-ray disc players are:
- The Sony BDPS570 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with BRAVIA Internet Video, built-in Wi-Fi for $250.
- The Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-Ray Player which also has built-in Wi-Fi and can convert 2D movies to 3D for $360.
3D Quickstart. If you want to get started quickly with a 3D HDTV and Blu-ray player setup, you can get a Samsung UN46C8000 46″ Class 3D LED HDTV and Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-Ray Player and Samsung SSG-P2100T 3D Starter Kit Bundle for $2,889 after a $659 instant savings from TigerDirect. The ‘Starter Kit Bundle’ comes with 2 3D Active Glasses and a Monsters vs. Aliens 3D Blu-ray movie disc.