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The Passive 3DTV vs. The Active 3DTV

  • By Barry Knightly
  • Published 03/1/2012

As we all know when it comes to 3DTV the technology splits off in two directions; the active and the passive.

The words ‘active’ and ‘passive’ relate directly to the glasses. Active glasses need batteries to operate and they work in synch with the television you are watching. The lenses of the glasses actually flick on and off throughout the film/TV show, creating a blinking effect alternating from the right to left eye. This creates the sense of perspective that leads to the depth of field simulation. Because these glasses house so much technology, they are a lot more expensive to buy and replace, so be careful! These glasses are actively working with the television to create the 3D effect.

Passive glasses are a lot cheaper to make, these are the glasses that you can buy for peanuts at the cinema when you go to watch a 3D film. You can take the same glasses home and watch them on your passive machine. The fact that these glasses are so much cheaper means that you can be a little more carefree with them, sitting on a pair isn’t going to break the bank. The technology in these lenses is all to do with polarizing filters. The left and the right lens in fact house different filters allowing each to only accept certain rays of light. Each lens brings a different picture into each eye, this is what creates the effect of depth of field.

What both sets of glasses do is to mimic the natural science of our retinas. When we look at things, light comes into both of our eyes, and our brain pulls the two separate images into one. But when two eyes look at a 2D image you need the 3DTV glasses to turn them 3D. The glasses pull different parts of the image into each eye to recreate the process in our brains again and giving what was previously a 2D image a depth of field and turning it 3D.

About the Author: Barry Knightly is a fan of 3DTV.

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