How 3D TV Works
A 3D TV is a television set that uses the latest picture display technology to bring three-dimensional imaging into the home. 3D technology dates back to the 1800’s with the invention of the stereoscope and the kinematescope, the first stereo animation camera. It wasn’t until the 1900s that the first 3D movie was displayed, and around the same time the first 3D TV was produced.
The most common 3D display technology involves the use of lenses. There are anaglyphic passive lenses, which are the common red and blue lenses that force each eye to see only the same colored image on the screen. There are also polarization 3D glasses with polarized lenses, using the same technology but without the need for the red and blue image. There are also active shutter lenses and autosteroscopic or lenticular displays, which are less common in the industry.
Stereoscopy is a method of capturing 3D imaging wherein two cameras are used to capture the same image, spaced the same distance apart as human pupils. The images are then combined and through the use of lenses mentioned above, eyes are forced to see the images separately, while the brain combines what the individual eyes are seeing into the 3D image we “see”, making the image appear to leap off the screen.
3D TV sets can operate in 3D mode or regular 2D mode. Most 3D televisions work with 3D glasses. The 3D TV screen tells the glasses, usually polarized or active shuttering lenses, which eye should see which image at the exact moment, creating a stereoscopic image. This 3D technology is known as DLP and was pioneered by Texas Instruments.
Many of the large television manufacturers are planning to or have already released television sets with 3D technology. A Chinese manufacturer has developed an LCD TV with lenticular display, which means the 3D TV screen produces automatic three-dimensional images without special 3D glasses. As 3D TVs and movies become more popular, technology and standardization across the industry are expected, as is an increase in the number of broadcasts aired in 3D.