The 3-D Television Buying Guide

These days, it seems like every company is trying to turn out a 3-D version of their product. Google is allegedly working on a 3-D tablet, Playboy’s next issue will feature a 3-D centerfold, Nintendo is releasing 3-D games and, of course, James Cameron is perfecting the art of the 3-D movie, re-releasing Titanic in 3-D after the phenomenal success of Avatar in 3-D.

However, beyond all of that, 2010 may go down as the year of the 3-D television. There are a growing number of 3-D televisions coming onto the market in the U.S. and abroad. No, they aren’t exactly cheap, but then again neither were HDTV’s at first. So even if you have no intention of buying one right now, it’s good to get a sense of what’s out there, and where the market will be heading.

What You Should Know Before Buying

As you might have guessed, 3-D televisions are more expensive than most other TVs on the market. The average price for the televisions we found was in the $2,000-$3,000 range, with some running more than that. Then again, many shoppers were willing to pay upwards of $10,000 last decade to get their hands on the new Plasma TVs.

Putting aside the price, most of the models that are on the market now require you to wear special 3-D glasses. Now, these are not your standard movie theater variety glasses. According to ArsTechnica, these glasses employ “active shutter” technology which block out one of your eyes on each alternating frame in the movie. The downside is that these glasses generally aren’t included with the TV and they can be pretty expensive (on average, about $150 a pair). The whole 3-D television experience is apparently so intense that some have issued vague health warnings about headaches and disorientation. Those that don't use glasses do require you to tilt the television to a certain angle in order to get the 3-D effect.

Not surprisingly, there is an ongoing debate about whether the world really needs or wants to upgrade to 3-D TVs right now. After all, wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that we were introduced to HDTV?

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