Vizio's new 3D TV lets you use your theater's 3D glasses

Posted by Mark Raby

If you're anything like me, once your friends realized you had a 3D TV, they looked at those $150 3D glasses at Best Buy and confusingly asked, "Why don't you just steal a pair from the movie theater?" Those are Vizio's thoughts exactly.

The manufacturer's new XVT3D650SV HDTV is being more commonly referred to as the "Theater 3D" TV. It uses the same kind of technology that most theaters around the country use, meaning it would be possible to use the same glasses as the ones you get when you go watch Tron: Legacy this week.

Most 3D TVs on the market today use what's called stereoscopic 3D technology, which require viewers to wear "active shutter" glasses. These are much more expensive than what's used in theaters, but provide significantly sharper 3D quality. The glasses you get from the theater will have no effect whatsoever on these TVs.

And there's yet another 3D format jockeying for position in the 3D marketplace, which is known as autostereoscopic 3D. This is the biggest burden on the manufacturer, because the display has to be crafted out of thousands of tiny mirrors, in order to be able to make it seem as though the picture on the flat TV screen has depth. Nintendo and Toshiba are pioneering the consumer side of this technology.

The brilliance of 3D TV was that there was supposed to be no format war, but it looks like that won't be the case. With stereoscopic and autostereoscopic, and now Vizio's new home standard, consumers are going to be more confused than ever when they decide to take the 3D plunge.

At this point it's probably just best to wait and see where the industry takes us. It's going to be a wild ride.