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3D - Frequently Asked Questions


What about 2D viewing on a 3D HDTV?

New 3D HDTVs are fully compatible with standard-definition and non-3D HD viewing, so you can still watch all your favorite DVDs and 2D Blu-ray movies. Plus, with the faster processing needed for 3D, your 2D view has never been better.


What about my HDMI cables?

In order to handle the increased data requirements of 3D home entertainment, a new version of HDMI has been created... HDMI 1.4a For optimal 3D system performance, you'll need to hook up your 3D HDTV and 3D Blu-ray player using an HDMI 1.4a cable.


Where can I see 3D in action?

If you are in Montana, please visit a Vann's store near you. Locate a store


How do 3D glasses work?

Synchronized with the left- and right-eye images flashing on a 3D HDTV, active shutter glasses alternately blacken-out their liquid-crystal lenses at ultra-high speeds, ensuring that each eye only sees its intended image on the TV. Plus keeping things neat and tidy, 3D active shutter glasses communicate wirelessly with transmitters built into most 3D HDTVs.


Are 3D glasses included with the purchase of 3D HDTVs?

In general, the answer to this question is Yes. Most manufacturers are packaging 3D HDTVs with one pair of 3D glasses. However, because every person watching must wear their own pair of glasses, manufacturers are also making individual pairs available for sale. For each 3D HDTV's specific package contents, please visit the TV's product page on


Will my Active Shutter glasses work at the movie theater?

Unfortunately, the answer is No. Movie theaters use a Polarization system for creating a three-dimensional effect; the passive glasses you wear at the theater have no moving parts or power source, and merely filter out different images for each eye. At home, 3D HDTVs use an Active Frame Sequencing system, and their battery-powered glasses actually actively blacken out the liquid-crystal lenses at super-high speeds to synchronize the on-screen images with the appropriate eye. Accordingly, because of significant differences in the way 3D content is displayed between the theater and the home, your 3D glasses from home cannot be used at the theater.


What content is available in 3D?

The engines for actual 3D content are just beginning to rev up. For 2010, select Blu-ray titles will be released in Full HD 3D format. Currently, some major television providers have announced 3D channels (mostly for sports programming), but no broadcast dates have been released. Finally, while 3D gaming is in the works, there is no official word on the matter. We'll keep you updated, though.


Will 3D HDTVs upconvert 2D movies into 3D?

Yes, several 3D HDTV manufacturers — including Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba — offer 3D panels with built-in processing that converts 2D programming into 3D format. Special video processing actually segments the original 2D content into a series of objects, and then assigns relative "depths" to each object/segment. The result is an enhanced sense of depth and spatiality in every scene. Note, while upconverted 2D content will be a welcome substitute for Full 3D as new 3D movies are being released, Full 3D is still be your best source for 3D home viewing.


Can any 240Hz HDTV be converted into a 3D HDTV?

Unfortunately, no. While a 3D LED/LCD HDTV must feature 240Hz in order to reproduce a Full HD 3D picture, standard 2D HDTVs cannot be retrofitted to display 3D content. Further, the same holds true for DLP and plasma panels, even though these are, inherently, many times faster than LED/LCD panels.


Will there be a 3D "format war" like there was with Blu-ray and HD DVD?

Go ahead and give someone a "high-five" — there will not be a format war with 3D technology. That said, however, there are a couple different transmission methods used by 3D technology. While 3D Blu-ray movies use a Sequential Transmission system, other providers like DirecTV use Side by Side Transmission. The difference in this case, however, is more like that found between 720p and 1080i HD video. In other words, because your 3D HDTV will be equipped to decode both signal types, you really have nothing to worry about.


How is 3D video content made?

Currently, there are three primary techniques used for creating 3D video content. First, Live Camera Capture technology actually films two, stereo-paired versions of a movie, simultaneously, using dual camera lenses. Second, Computer-Generated 3D is produced by artificially rendering a stereo pair for 2D content using a computer. Finally, 2D-to-3D Conversion technology actually segments the original 2D content into a series of objects, and then assigns relative "depths" to each object/segment. The result is an enhanced sense of depth and spatiality in every scene. In all cases, however, two slightly off-set versions of a movie are created, each destined for one of your eyes and ultimately processed into a single image by your brain, achieving a 3D effect the same way you perceive three dimensions in real life.

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