3D TV at home gets more real, but still needs those glasses


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3D television took a big step forward today with the finalization of a standard for Blu-ray disc machines. The Blu-ray Disc Assn. announced it had reached agreement on the long-awaited standard that allows for full 1080p viewing of 3D movies on home TVs. Blu-ray disc players that use the standard will actually be delivering two images, each in full resolution, to create the effect.

The first Blu-ray machines equipped for full-on 3D are expected to be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, and then be available later in the year. It’s also expected that recent 3D movies such as ‘Avatar,’ which opens later this week, will be coming out in formats that can play on the new disc machines. The new players will also be able to show regular 2D disks.


Current Blu-ray players aren’t able to handle the new 3D format, but some analysts expect that adapters could be made available for them.

3D TV is nothing new -- there have been several attempts at distributing 3D movies and other entertainment for home use. But the relatively low-resolution of the images made for results that were far less than satisfactory. The industry is hoping that with the new standard, 3D at home might finally take off.

But there’s one thing the new standard can’t solve -- it still requires the use of special glasses to see the images in 3D. Otherwise, if you take off the glasses to grab a drink or get the phone, the 3D movie on the TV becomes just a blur.

-- David Colker