The demand for 3D entertainment is growing exponentially. The 3D experience has progressed beyond its movie-theater origins; consumers are now demanding 3D on their home theater systems. Most television manufacturers now produce 3D televisions, and most cable service providers already broadcast content in 3D format. Nevertheless, some people still wonder whether the 3D experience is truly worthwhile.
The visual element of 3D television can be immensely exciting. Sports enthusiasts tend to enjoy 3D broadcasts of their favorite games, and movie fanatics can appreciate the layers and visual effects that are intensified by the 3D capability. Several cable companies offer such sporting events and movies on their 3D broadcast stations. Even for a casual viewer or a child, the added sharpness, clarity, and color quality can transform an ordinary night of TV at home into a more exciting screening experience. For some people, the visual experience alone is enough to justify the necessary upgrades, but for others, the cost to upgrade can be prohibitive.
Upgrading to a 3D-capable home theater system is a costly project because it requires the purchaser to re-purchase nearly every component he owns. The most major requirement is a television that supports 3D display, but the television alone is not enough. Those planning to upgrade to a 3D television system must also purchase the accompanying 3D glasses, considering one pair for each person who may simultaneously watch a 3D program. HDMI cables are mandatory as well because 3D is broadcast in 1080p. Also, if a user intends to watch movies in 3D, he must purchase a 3D Blu-Ray player and re-purchase the 3D version of any movie he owns that is not already formatted for 3D.
The user should also confirm with his cable company whether upgrading to 3D involves any additional fees or charges. Xfinity by Comcast advertises that its 3D package does not incur any extra monthly charges, though other cable providers may charge a higher rate for 3D service. Users should also remain watchful for any hidden costs, such as those stemming from switching to a 3D-compatible set top box.
Manufacturers of 3D televisions realize that these upgrades can become an expensive venture. As a result, several companies are currently working on creating a 3D television that does not require the use of 3D glasses. As of December 2011, several manufacturers have created 3D televisions that work sans 3D glasses, but they are not yet released to the market because the quality does not compare to that of their TV-and-glasses counterparts.
Ultimately, the decision to upgrade to 3D rests in each user’s hands. Personal preference and individual TV-watching habits impact whether the 3D experience is worth its expense. For people who enjoy movies with intense graphics or programs that feature exquisite detail, upgrading to 3D will most likely be worth the cost. Casual television and movie viewers, on the other hand, may wish to pass on the 3D experience or wait for the technology to drop in price before making the investment. And for some people, personal preference may dictate that 3D does not suit their viewing style at all. The best way for a user to judge this is to do some research; he should search online for product and service reviews regarding 3D TVs and 3D broadcasts as well as and take the time to visit several stores and experience 3D for himself. He should also note whether 3D service is available in his home area.