Admittedly, I’ve been a sceptic when it comes to 3D TV. You see, I’m just about old enough to remember being slightly underwhelmed by the experience of first generation 3D, those awful red and blue paper glasses and the almost black and white experience of watching Jaws 3d. It was as if they’d figured out the theory but didn’t yet have the technology to fully realise the concept. This continued for some time with the occasional 3D special on the BBC where viewers would be subjected to a bad episode of Dr Who in which many random objects would be thrust out of the screen at you in an almost desperate attempt to enhance the 3d Effect.
Put simply, it was pretty awful back then!
However, in recent years 3D has been making something of a comeback. Firstly, in cinema’s and now it’s finding its way back onto our domestic TV screens with all of the major TV manufacturers releasing models that support 3D play back. Another boost has recently come in the form of the PS3′s newly added 3D Blu Ray playback capability adding the 3D option to 100′s of thousands of households.
But is it actually any good?
I’ve recently had my first experience of 3D TV in a local electrical store. The original purpose of my visit to this store was to buy a new dishwasher but I found myself distracted by the giggles and shrieks of a sub-10yr old staring at a TV wearing a set of 3D glasses about an inch wider than either side of his head. Whilst the picture on screen looked slightly strange to the naked eye I could still understand what was happening on screen. This kid was transfixed by an underwater scene with fish, plants, bubbles and Manta Rays! Even to the naked eye it made for great viewing.
After some time had passed, he was eventually dragged away by his dad and reluctantly gave up the 3D glasses which I immediately put on.
I wasn’t expecting much, in fact I was expecting to be underwhelmed again but this time I really wasn’t. With the glasses on the image looked crisp and sharp with bright vivid colours but more impressive was the sheer depth of what was happening on screen. I really did feel like I was involved in the scene and that Manta Ray was swimming towards me. After a short period the scene switched to another featuring the Black Eyed Peas performing on stage, again the added depth of the 3D system transformed the image from something you’d just look at to something you become immersed in.
I was literally blown away!
The problem now is that I’m finding regular TV quite dull. It’s only now that I’ve seen the difference that I find myself wanting a 3D TV! In fact, I had planned on upgrading my primary TV to a larger non-3D item but have put this on hold whilst I figure out which 3D TV is going to be best for my needs.
So, what does it cost?Surprisingly, not as much as I’d originally thought. My living room is a fairly normal size so I’d need something around the 40″ bracket. I do watch a lot of films and appreciate the difference between a good TV and a budget TV so would need something decent. In addition, I also watch a lot of terrestrial TV so would benefit from a TV with built in Freeview HD. So, after a good look round I’m currently considering the Samsung UE40D6100 as it ticks most of the boxes I’ve already mentioned. Its a 200hz panel so play back will be nice and smooth and is also LED backlit to help with black re-production. Impressively it’s also a smart TV meaning I’d be able to watch programmes on the iPlayer which I currently do via my PS3.
The only downside is that with this TV and most 3D TV’s generally you need to buy 3D Glasses separately which isn’t too bad if you only intend to watch the TV by yourself or with a partner but if you’ve got kids and need 4+ pairs it can quickly get expensive at £50 ish a go.
I also figured out which Blu Ray disk the store used to impress me, it was Ocean Wonderland by Jean Michael Cousteau and comes highly recommended by me.
So, If you’re yet to experience second gen 3D TV I’d really recommend that you give it a go. It really is the step forward that TV has needed.
..and based on that kids reaction, 3D’s here to stay!Tags: 3D TV