What is the difference between HD and 3D technology?
3D (three-dimensional) technology seems to have come to the forefront, thanks to the huge worldwide success of the Avatar movie and other releases in the 3D category. So what is 3D anyway and how does it compare to HD (high definition)?
Well, HD (also known as high definition) is a video image quality with considerably higher image resolution than traditional standard definition (or SD). HD usually has around 1 to 2 million pixels per frame, which is probably 5 times compared to SD. So the image quality is very high and sharp, you can’t compare the quality with SD.
3D, on the other hand, is another dimension entirely. When watching a video in 3D format, the images seem to jump off the screen, giving you an experience similar to real life (as if you were experiencing it at that very moment). The 3D experience is achieved through a technique called stereoscopy.
It is based on the way the human brain and eyes work together. The pupils of an individual’s eye are about 6.5 cm (or 2.5 inches) apart, so each eye sees a scene from a different angle, generating a unique image. The brain then merges the images to create a single image. The slight difference between the image from the right eye and the image from the left eye allows the brain to judge depth.
There are mainly three types of 3D technology and each works differently:
The first type anaglyph technology, is the most famous (the red/blue paper cups) but generally the 3D effects are not that great. This type of technology has been used numerous times in movie theaters, mainly because red and blue glasses are a cheap option.
the second type, polarized technology, is the technology you have experienced when watching 3D movies in an IMAX theater, for example Avatar 3D, Alice in Wonderland 3D and others. To create that 3D effect, two images are projected onto the same screen through different polarizing filters. The viewer wears inexpensive glasses that also contain a couple of different polarizing filters.
The third type active technology, is starting to become more mainstream and standard in terms of 3D viewing for home use. With this technology, an HDTV will display one image to your left eye and one image to your right eye. The viewer then wears active liquid crystal shutter glasses and quickly locks onto each eye in sequence to ensure that each eye sees only the corresponding image displayed on the 3D TV.
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