Extraordinary 3D is all about creating the best environment and equipping it with powerful 3D displays capable of delivering a truly immersive experience. In the world of 3D entertainment, the believability of the experience is everything! This article will review the more advanced levels of 3D display technology available for home use today.
Low-tech: 3D via Anaglyph 3D
Due to the limited number of true 3D televisions currently in our homes, the delivery of television-based 3D content has had to rely on the anaglyph 3D process. Viewed in 2D mode, the images look like “double vision” with one image having a cyan tint, and the other image having a red tint. Anaglyph content is viewed using matching glasses, which have a cyan filter as the lens for the left eye, and a red filter as the lens for the right eye.
Through the anaglyph viewing process, the cyan content is only seen by the viewer’s left eye and the red content is only seen by the viewer’s right eye. This is the simplest and least expensive 3D delivery method, and not surprisingly, also provides the least dynamic 3D experience. Additionally, the cyan and red filters tend to distort the the color accuracy of the 3D content. Thus, while anaglyph 3D technology does allow 3D content to be delivered to any television in any home, it is generally considered to provide a 3D experience that is far from state of the art.
Mid Tech: 3D DLP for TVs
The first 3D DLP™ consumer displays were introduced in 2007 as rear screen single-chip TVs. Utilizing the inherent speed of the DLP’s micro mirrors technology, the displays transmit left and right eye imagery separately for stereoscopic imaging with high quality 3D glasses. Consumer-level 3D DLP TVs enlist a specific technology referred to as Checkerboard imaging. For example, the red squares of the checkerboard represent the right eye, and the black square represents the left. In this fashion, full 1080P images can be displayed without the need for expanded bandwidth.
The images are displayed 60Hz right eye, and 60 Hz left eye (equivalent to 120Hz). Since every other pixel is dedicated to either the left or the right eye, the resolution of each single eye image is in fact only ½ the native resolution of the 3D television. While this does sacrifice image quality, no additional system bandwidth is required to support signal distribution. The high-speed LCD shutter glasses allow the appropriate left eye information to transmit to the left eye, and right eye information to the right eye. Thus, total left and right eye signal can equal full 1920 X 1080, if that is the native resolution of the 3D TV.
Highest Tech: Active 3D Projectors Deliver a True Visual Revolution
The latest 3-chip 3D projectors, like DP’s TITAN 3D models, utilize a more advanced technology. TITAN 3D projectors employ electronics that are capable of supporting full ACTIVE 3D whereby a 120Hz signal is fed to the projector (full 1920 X 1080 60Hz left and full 1920 X 1080 60Hz right), and the right eye and left eye are displayed sequentially. Once again, high speed LCD shutter glasses are used and synchronized with the projector via an IR emitter, thereby blocking the right eye when left eye content is displayed, and vice versa.
The signal requirement is that you either need a high speed dual link DVI cable to transmit 120Hz full HD signals to the projector from the source, or two standard DVI/HDMI cables; one for the right eye content, one for the left eye content. HDMI 1.4 looks to reduce this to a single cable. Due to the high speed of the 1920 X 1080 signal at 120Hz, extra care must be taken in cable bandwidth, connections, crimps and bending so as not to introduce bit errors. Customers wishing to distribute 60 Hz 3D content in order to maintain a standard bandwidth signal distribution structure can employ DP’s exclusive Dual Flash Processing. The 60 Hz 3D signal is frame doubled within the projector, such that the 3D content is actually displayed at a flicker-free 120 Hz.
There are several DLP 2-piece consumer projection systems and flat panel displays that advertise 3D capability, but they do so ONLY at reduced resolutions. By reducing the resolution, the electronics and response times are greatly simplified. Most gaming flat panels are maximum 1680 X 1050 resolution, and many of the single-chip 3D projectors present a maximum of 1024 X 768 resolution.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to create 3D imagery with DLP systems. There are also numerous ways of generating 3D material, so the possible outcomes are limitless! Digital Projections 3-chip DLP systems offer the highest resolution and most flexible inputs and outputs of any current 3D displays, providing virtually future-proof technology.