The next revolution in television technology is here – hot on the heels of the digital revolution and high definition TV sets comes 3DTV. All of the major manufacturers have now turned their attention to 3D, with a whole host of sets due to make an appearance in the coming months.
But what is 3DTV, exactly? Well, as the name suggests, this new technology will give consumers the opportunity to experience audiovisual entertainment in three dimensions, giving pictures a real sense of depth and allowing objects to appear to ‘pop’ out of the screen towards the viewer. Huge movie blockbusters such as James Cameron’s Avatar have harnessed 3D technology to jaw-dropping effect, whetting the public’s appetite for the possibility of experiencing similar effects in their own home as well as on the big screen.
The industry is expected to adopt a common standard for 3D eventually – as it did with HDTV – but for now there is something of a format battle between manufacturers, similar to the struggle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD a few years back. If you’re looking to take the plunge then be sure to do careful research and read up-to-date information on your best bet for a future-proof 3DTV set.
As with any new technology, 3DTVs are likely to be on the expensive side when they first hit the market, but with many TV manufacturers aiming to attract the same group of consumers it looks likely that competition will help to keep costs lower than they might otherwise have been.
Like HDTVs before them, 3DTVs will only be as impressive at the content you choose to view with them – they won’t magically make regular television channels appear in 3D. Aside from upcoming 3D Blu-ray releases, a number of 3D channels are in the pipeline. Sky 3D was officially launched in a limited capacity in April, when a number of UK pubs and clubs showed a football match between Manchester United and Chelsea. Other channels look set to follow, with ESPN, DirecTV and Panasonic all with irons in the fire.
All in all, 3DTV is undoubtedly home entertainment’s ‘next big thing’. Whether you choose to become an early adopter or you hold off for further advancements in the coming months and years, you can be sure that this is the future of television.