3D Frequently Asked Questions
3D stands for "three-dimensional." This means an object or image that has (or appears to have) width, height, and depth. Stereoscopy, any method capable of creating the issusion of depth, is used to make images appear 3D on a flat, 2-D surface like a TV display. You can learn more about 3D here.
Because 3D signals is essentially comprised of seperate signals for each eye, 3D signals would require (to keep it simple) twice the bandwidth to send since the amount of visual information is doubling. Since that's not always possible, different 3D formats allow for 3D signals to be sent with the same amount of bandwidth as 2D, in ways compatible with certain kinds of gear. Learn more about 3D formats.
To see a 3D movie in a theater, your theater must be equipped with the equipment necessary to show movies in 3D. Not all theaters are equipped for 3D, and those that are, are often limited to one or two screens. So, if there are 3 movies in the market available in 3D, your local theater may only be showing one of them. See current and upcoming releases in 3D.
We try to keep a current list of 3D Blu-Ray movies here.
Most DVRs capable of recording HD material can also record and output 3D broadcasts in certain formats, although an HDMI connection to your display is usually required to view them. Experimentation is probably the easiest way to determine what your DVR can do, but you may find information in the support section of your TV provider's website.
Blu-Ray 3D discs adhering to the Blu-Ray 3D format offer 3D material in frame sequential HD, 720p or 1080p. However, studios can still choose to release movies on Blu-Ray in alternate 3D formats if desired., though technically these won't be official Blu-Ray 3D discs.
It can get confusing. A 3D game means that games visuals are rendered in three dimensions. 3D games have been around for a long time. 3D gaming refers to playing a game designed to be enjoyed in a stereoscopic format. See more about 3d gaming.
Yes. To enjoy 3D movies at home, you'll need a 3D capable display, 3D glasses, and a 3D source.
Glasses free 3D displays (also known as auto-stereoscopic) are in their infancy, and not really ready for use on larger displays. Currently, most auto-stereoscopic 3D displays are found in small, personal devices such as game machines and cell phones. Some companies have shown off larger prototype and niche displays, but with the typical faults of auto-stereoscopic displays.
It is possible with the right display, graphics card, and software. Please see this article for more information.
Unless you have an auto-stereoscopic display, watching 3D material will require glasses in some form.
Some 3D TVs and Blu-Ray players are connected to web services capable of offering limited 3D content on demand. Popular streaming services, such as Netflix, Blockbuster and Vudu currently only offer some anaglyph 3D material at this time.
There are a growing number of websites devoted to offering 3D content in various forms. YouTube offers some 3D material, and there are a number of adult websites appearing. At this time, however, don't expect to see much in the form of hollywood hits online in 3D form.
We try to highlight notable upcoming 3D events on our 3D TV Listings page. Check there often for new things to watch in 3D as they come up.
The PS3's officially support 3D format is frame-sequential 720p, although over time it's possible games may support higher resolutions. Games, like Call of Duty: Black Ops, have their own 3D features built into the game, which output in different formats.
Not officially, however game makers can build in selectable half-resolution 3D output directly into the game. James Cameron's Avatar: The Game and Call of Duty: Black Ops support this. See all items tagged XBOX 360.