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Complete Guide to Watching 3D at Home

Everything You Want to Know about Bringing 3D into Your Home Theater

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3D is the big buzzword in home theater, and depending on who you talk to, 3D TV and 3D home theater is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or the biggest consumer electronics folly ever. Obviously, the real truth is somewhere in-between, as 3D TVs and other 3D-enabled devices are selling -- just not as fast as some manufacturers may have hoped. I'll bring you all the details on how consumers can bring 3D home.

3D TV and Home Theater: The Very Basics

There's a lot of confusion regarding the introduction of 3D in the home theater. What do you need to watch 3D? How much do you need to spend? Is watching 3D TV bad for your health? If you're just getting started learning about 3D TV and still want to understand the fundamentals, check out these FAQs about 3D home theater and 3D TV.

The Pros and Cons of Watching 3D at Home

Maybe 3D appeals to you, but you're just not sure you're ready to take the leap. The good news is, 3D TV can provide an immersive experience for movies, sports, and games, and more, and some 3D TVs perform real-time 2D to 3D conversion. However, you're looking at spending quite a bit more of money on home theater gear, and you might be disappointed in the amount of content available at this point. For help weighing the options, learn all about the pros and cons of 3D TV.

All About 3D Glasses

Yes, glasses are required to watch 3D at home, but they aren't ordinary glasses, they are specially made for 3D viewing. All 3D glasses work by providing a separate image to each eye. The brain then combines the two images into a single 3D image. Unfortunately, not all 3D glasses work the same way and not all 3D glasses will work with all 3D TVs. Confused? Don't worry, check out my Overview of Passive Polarized and Active Shutter 3D Glasses for what you need to know before jumping in.

What About 3D Without Glasses?

One of the big questions on everyone's minds is whether it's necessary to wear 3D glasses at home. Currently, all 3D TV viewing available for consumers has to be done by wearing 3D glasses. However, there are technologies in various stages of development that can enable you to see a 3D image on a TV or other type of video display device without glasses. We can help you get a better sense of where the technology is and what the hold-ups are to watching 3D without glasses.

Ready to Buy a 3D TV? Here's Help

With their decreasing price points and performance improvements, 3D TVs are beginning to gain a foothold. However, they are still far from mainstream purchases. That means it's up to you to really do your homework before you jump into the 3D TV experience. We have lots useful tips to help you make all the big decisions, from choosing the location and size of your new television, to evaluating the different types of glasses. Plus, don't miss our lists of the best 3D TVs:

Tips for Buying a 3D TV - About.com Home Theater Video Tip

Check out our video tip on what you need to know when shopping for a 3D TV.
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How to Adjust A 3D TV For Best 3D Viewing Results

One of the frustrating things about watching 3D at home is how to adjust your 3D TV to get the best 3D viewing experience. Let's face it, most consumers bring their TV home, unbox it, go through any "quick setup" function, and leave it at that. The result is that the TV's quick setup or default settings may not be the best settings to use when watching 3D. What happens next is that the consumer, understandably, get buyer's remorse and just forgets about taking advantage of the TV's 3D functionality. However, with just a few tweaks to your TV's picture settings, you can enjoy a better 3D viewing experience. Check out some useful tips for adjusting the picture settings an a 3D TV.

Connecting a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player to a non-3D Compatible Home Theater Receiver

As 3D continues to make inroads into the home theater and home entertainment environment, consumers are faced with upgrading their TVs and adding or upgrading to a 3D Blu-ray Disc player. However, what about that home theater receiver?

The good news if that in the audio area surround sound formats will not change (for the time being) with the introduction of 3D into a home theater setup. However, depending on what home theater receiver you have determines how you might make the physical audio connections between a 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player and the home theater receiver.

In other words, if you really want to be fully 3D signal compliant across the entire connection chain of your home theater system, you need to have a receiver that is 3D compliant by having HDMI 1.4a connections, especially if you rely on your home theater receiver for video switching or processing.

However, you can avoid this additional costly upgrade by planning ahead. Find out three ways you can still use a non-3D compliant home theater receiver with a 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray Disc player.

3D Blu-ray Discs That Provide a Great 3D Viewing Experience

Blu-ray is an integral part of the home entertainment experience, and 3D movies on Blu-ray providing an additional viewing option for consumers. As part of my job, I use 3D Blu-ray Discs to test the 3D video performance of Blu-ray Disc Players, TV, video projectors, and Home Theater Receivers. However, not all 3D Blu-ray discs offer the best experience. Check out a list of my current favorites for Best 3D Blu-ray Discs.

3D Home Viewing Tips for Families (About.com Kids' Movies and TV)

Now that 3D is available, there is a growing number of 3D Blu-ray Discs, 3D Cable/Satellite programming, and 3D content streamed from the internet that can be great for family viewing. However, is watching 3D good for you and your family? For some great tips on this, check out 3D Movies: Will Your Family Enjoy the Home 3D MOvie Viewing Experience by Carey Bryson, About.com Guide for Kids' Movies and TV.

Guide to 3D Camcorders (About.com Camcorders)

If you have a way to view 3D content, then why not make your own? There's a new breed of camcorders that enable you do just that. For the details, check out the About.com Camcorder Site's Guide to 3D Camcorders.

For 3D Converts: Tell Us About Your 3D TV

If you own a 3D TV, what has been your experience with it so far? Share your opinion with the rest of the readers at About.com Home Theater, and help others make smart purchase decisions.

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  4. Home Theater and AV Basics/Set-up Tips/Installation/Product Reviews
  5. Home Theater Video Basics
  6. 3D Home Theater Basics - FAQs and Tips
  7. 3D Home Entertainment – Complete Guide to Watching 3D at Home

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