Explained: 3D Glasses for Home Theatre Applications

July 31, 2018
3D Glasses for Home Theatre Applications
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Remember the excitement of watching your first 3D movie? The content popped out into a new surreal dimension creating never experienced before. Earlier, 3D movies could only be enjoyed in a cinema and very few movies were produced. As things progressed, the demand skyrocketed and today we have a plethora of 3D content available with new titles being launched at regular intervals.

This rise in demand led to the integration of 3D technologies in TVs, projectors and gaming consoles for consumer applications. To enjoy 3D content at home, you need a compatible projector/TV/display, media player, optimized video content and special 3D glasses. When considering a purchase of a 3D TV or Projector, people often neglect to research what type of 3D technology their prospective purchase uses.

At Ooberpad, we thought it would be a good idea to break-down the two popular typed 3D glasses technologies available. Here, we give you a run-down on what each technology is called and what they do to produce a 3D image.

How does 3D in home theatres work?

Before we go ahead, it is a good idea to understand how 3D viewing in achieved in home theatres. 3D TVs and Video Projectors work by accepting an incoming 3D signal that is encoded by the content provider. This can be sent in several different ways. The TV or projector has an internal decoder that can translate the type of 3D encoding used. It displays the left and right eye information on the TV or projection screen in such a way that it appears to look like two overlapping images that look slightly out of focus.

How does 3D in home theatres work?

One image is intended to be seen only by the left eye, while the other image is intended to only be seen by the right eye. In order to view this image properly, the viewer must wear glasses that are specially designed to receive the separate images and pass them properly to the left and right eye. 3D glasses work by providing a separate image to each eye. The brain combines the two overlapping images into a single image, which appears to be in 3D.

Types of 3D Glasses

There are two popular types of 3D glasses – Passive Polarized & Active Shutter. Both achieve their 3D visuals in a different way. Here we look at each type and also explain the pros and cons of each technology.

Passive Polarized Glasses

Passive Polarized Glasses

These glasses look and wear much like sunglasses and require no additional power to work. They usually have enough front space to place over existing eyeglasses for those that need to. These type of glasses are inexpensive to manufacture and are priced depending on the frame style such rigid vs flexible, plastic vs metal and so on.

Pros of Passive Polarized 3D Glasses Cons of Passive Polarized 3D Glasses
  • They are lightweight and can be worn for longer duration without causing fatigue.
  • They inexpensive and usually about one third the price of Active Shutter glasses.
  • There no flickering which means less discomfort and eye fatigue over long view durations.
  • The 3D image that is viewed is one-half the resolution of a 2D image displayed on the same television. This is because both the left and right eye images are displayed on the screen at the same time.
  • The presence of horizontal lines on the screen and some artefacts on the edges of objects may be noticeable mostly with text and straight line geometric shapes.
  • Poor depth in 3D viewing in comparison to active shutter glasses.

Active Shutter Glasses

Active Shutter Glasses

These glasses are slightly bulkier than passive glasses since they have batteries. Some use watch batteries while others provide built-in rechargeable batteries. It also has an on/off button and a transmitter that syncs the rapidly moving shutters for each eye with the onscreen display rate. These type of glasses are also more expensive than passive polarized glasses. The price is higher as it a better technology with added active electronic components.

Active Shutter Glasses

Pros of Active Shutter 3D Glasses Cons of Active Shutter 3D Glasses:
  • The 3D image resolution is the same as the 2D image displayed on the same television. This is because the left and right eye images are displayed in a sequential fashion and are in sync with TV or the projector’s screen refresh rate and the opening and closing of the LCD shutters in the glasses.
  • It displays more detail to each eye. The alternating-frame technology means a full 1080p image is shown to each eye, rather than the half frame.
  • The viewing experience is closer to the one experienced in cinema halls and movie theatres.
  • Flickering due to rapid opening and closing of the LCD shutters may be detectable by some viewers, causing discomfort.
  • Heavier and bulkier than passive glasses.
  • It is expensive usually two or three times the price of Passive Polarized 3D glasses.
  • Batteries are required which adds to the weight and operating cost.

Depending on which brand and model TV or video projector you buy, will determine which type of glasses (passive polarized or active shutter) you will be required for use with that TV or video projector. For example, LG 3D-enabled require Passive Glasses, while some Sony TVs required Active Shutter glasses, and some require Passive. All consumer-based video projectors (either LCD or DLP) require the use of Active Shutter glasses. In a nutshell, passive 3D offers better price, weight, size and anti-flickering, but active 3D is still the go-to for outright image quality details.

If you’re looking to buy a projector in India, Ooberpad has a curated collection of high-quality projectors for home theatres, offices, educational institutions at the best price online. Browse our collection below.


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