What you should know before buying a 3–D TV


While not a completely new technology, 3–D has emerged and faded in pop culture more than once. It started in 1950s American cinema and went on to worldwide exposure in the 1980s and '90s with pushes from IMAX and Disney. 3–D has seen enormous success in the 2000s with the release of big–budget 3–D films such as Avatar in 2009.

For the first time in history, 3–D appears to have the staying power potential to make it as a permanent fixture in Canadian homes and theatres. Before you run out to buy a new 3–D TV though, there are some important things to consider.

Cost of 3–D TVs

While 3–D technology has improved vastly in recent years, the technology is still relatively new, so prices are set accordingly. 3–D TVs have appeared at prices nearly double what you would pay for a high–definition 2–D set, however, industry experts anticipate prices on 3–D TVs will drop in 2011 as the technology continues to improve and consumer demand grows.

There is also the added cost of 3–D glasses. Most 3–D TVs require viewers to wear active 3–D glasses, which have a built–in power source and can cost anywhere from $100 to $200 per pair. Passive 3–D technology is beginning to emerge, but is not standard on most sets. Passive 3–D glasses are quite a bit cheaper because they don't require an internal power source.

Viewing angle problems

Viewing angle caveats may very well be the deciding factor for many consumers when determining whether or not to purchase a 3–D TV. If you've ever tried to watch TV from an angle, meaning, from a location anywhere other than directly in front of the set, you've probably noticed a loss in picture colour and clarity. It's a common problem that plagues most LCD and LED TV watchers. 3–D TVs aren't immune to the viewing angle dilemma. In fact, “industry experts argue 3–D technology actually increases the viewing angle problem,” says Jim Wohlford, vice president of Sanus, makers of TV mounts and accessories. “Early 3–D reviews indicate a ghosting effect around objects on the screen when viewed from an angle.”

Luckily for consumers, viewing angle problems on LCD, LED and 3–D TVs can easily be solved by mounting the TV on a full–motion wall mount. Full–motion mounts allow you to move the TV in any direction, so the optimal viewing angle can always be achieved. And, don't overlook the fact that mounted TVs just look impressive. A mounted TV adds valuable space to a room, and, by securing it to the wall, a mounted TV may even be a safer alternative than setting the display on top of furniture where it could easily tip. More information on TV mounting can be found online at www.sanus.com.

Carol Ireland

Carol Ireland

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Millennium Inc., Brokerage*
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