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Surprising Science

3D Couch Potato

Electronics manufacturers are banking on the successes of recent 3D theater hits such as Avatar to offer the same “surround vision” experience in your own home with 3D TVs.

“Piggybacking on the hype of 2009’s biggest blockbuster Avatar, major TV manufacturers are placing a big bet on 3-D video with special high-end televisions slated for commercial release this year. Donning dorky glasses, Consumer Electronics Show attendees crowded into the booths of Sony, Panasonic, LG, Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Samsung last week to gaze into the big-screen 3-D TVs on display. toured the show floor to compile a photographic montage of the biggest 3-D TVs we could find. Video companies are optimistic that 3-D TV will be huge this year. But would you buy one? Would you be into the idea of wearing ugly glasses to watch a 3-D football game after a long day of work? Before you contemplate the answer, it’s important to gain a clear understanding of what specifically defines a 3-D TV and what you need for a full experience. The 3-D TVs at CES all varied in different ways, but most of them shared some fundamentals. In order to display a full-frame image in 3-D, you need an extremely high frame rate, so usually the TV must be capable of a 240-Hz refresh rate. The TV also needs to support HDMI 1.4, the latest generation of HDMI, which will transmit the massive amount of data necessary to process and display 3-D images.”


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