Setting up a Home Theater for Watching 3D Movies (Including AVATAR)

Tsahaylu AVATAR won't be available in 3D for the home until this fall or next year, but 3D TVs are already finding their way into home theaters. Whether you're considering it for this fall or ready to take the plunge now, here's a look at all the equipment you'll need to watch 3D movies at home.

Guest post by Karishma Sundaram

Up until very recently, the 3D movie experience was limited to either movie theaters, with their sophisticated equipment, or to household versions with anaglyph glasses. That has all changed dramatically, with the technology that is now available. Setting up a home theater system to watch 3D movies at home is straightforward and easy.

Finding the Right Television

Earlier on, normal televisions were used, along with anaglyph glasses, to watch 3D versions of movies. However, with the recent flurry of 3D-enabled televisions, the technology to watch real high-quality 3D movies at home has finally arrived.

Today's current 3D TVs use the alternate frame sequencing technology, which projects two different image streams onto the screen simultaneously. Specially designed glasses, known as LCD shutter glasses, are required to watch this kind of projection. The glasses alternately shutter each eye as the video progresses, giving the impression of 3D video. The projection system usually has a transmitter, which interacts with the glasses and instructs them when to shutter.

There are a number of companies making 3D-enabled TVs, like Panasonic, Sony and Sharp. The glasses are often sold separately, as they are expensive to make. These televisions support 2D and HD video, in addition to the 3D video.

Can you watch 3D TVs without glasses? Yes, although you won't see the 3D effects. There was a move to make 3D televisions with autostereoscopic technology, which means there would be no need for special glasses while viewing the images. This technology proved to be troubling however, since many people reported headaches when watching the 3D movies.

Using a Projector

Instead of spending a great deal of money on a new television that is 3D-enabled, it is possible to use a standard projector with a 3D video adapter attachment, or a 3D-enabled projector, to watch 3D movies at home.

The 3D video adapter is attached on one side to the projector, with a VGA cable, and a Blu-ray player on the other end. The adapter contains an infrared emitter to send instructions to the LCD shutter glasses. The projector needs to be a DLP (Digital Light Processing) model with a VGA port for input. In the case of 3D-enabled projectors, the requirement for a 3D video adapter no longer exists, however the setup is similar.

In both scenarios, 3D glasses would have to be bought separately.

3D Blu-Ray Player

The most important factor in watching 3D movies in a home theater is a 3D movie (it needs to be shot in that format) and a 3D-enabled player. The movie itself must be shot in 3D and the 3D-enabled player is vital to the entire setup.

You can choose between two formats, either standard DVD or Blu-Ray discs. The advantage of a Blu-Ray disc is the storage capacity as compared to DVDs. Due to the extra available space, more detail can be stored on the medium, and therefore the viewing experience is much better.

In the months to come, there will be many different products that are released which will vary greatly in cost and quality, but will all make it possible to watch 3D movies at home. Prices are also guaranteed to come down as the technology becomes more widespread, and more products enter the market.

And as James Cameron puts it, "AVATAR has proved that 3D technology is not just a fad but a revolution."

Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning full HD with the Panasonic VIERA HD TV.

What do you think - is 3D a fad or a revolution? And will you be getting the 3D version of AVATAR to watch at home?



Where do I get a "3D video adapter"? Amazon does not seem to have any.
Also what 3D glasses?
On a previous blog entry here it was mentioned there a major differences and they don't work everywhere.

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