Saturday, August 6, 2011
Vizio 3D TV Update: The Return of The Anaglyph
Last April, I published a post about the wonders of the Vizio 47-inch TruLED LCD 3D HDTV that my wife and I picked up for our viewing pleasure. In the months since then, we bought two pairs of 3D glasses to go with our Vizio HDTV and Blu-ray player combo. On the basis of what we've watched since getting the 3D glasses, I've come to three conclusions:
1. Between the availability of HDTVs, high definition Blu-ray discs, and CGI special effects and animation, I think that the era of home 3D entertainment has finally arrived.
2. Sadly, even though home 3D entertainment is here, not all of it is created equal. We've watched high-definition 3D videos on our Vizio HDTV from two different sources: on demand 3D videos from our cable provider and 3D Blu-rays. Between the two, the Blu-rays have provided an overall better quality of 3D entertainment, but even that level of quality is not always guaranteed. For example, the 3D Blu-ray of Tron Legacy is almost flawless, while the 3D Blu-ray of Polar Express features quite a bit of ghosting. Further complicating this problem is that I have yet to find a 3D Blu-ray rental service, because I don't intend to own all of the 3D Blu-rays I would like to see.
3. Perhaps the most unexpected discovery of my adventures in 3D through my Vizio HDTV is just how good anaglyph 3D (i.e., red and blue 3D) looks when it's played back on my Blu-ray player and HDTV. It's not as good as the full color, high definition 3D videos that are available now, but it's light years ahead of previous attempts to make anaglyph 3D available through VHS tapes and cathode ray tube (CRT) television sets. I played on my HDTV a DVD that was a copy of a Japanese laserdisc of the 1953 version of House of Wax and it looked incredible, enough to keep me watching the entire film. Of course, you need to have a high quality pair of anaglyph 3D glasses (instead of cardboard glasses with red and blue colored gels) to get the best results. I also saw an anaglyph 3D copy of Creature From the Black Lagoon and while it was somewhat below House of Wax in terms of 3D quality, it was still fun to watch. So, until some company takes the initiative to transfer older anaglyph 3D classics on to 3D Blu-rays, this is as good as it is going to get for aficionados of films such as It Came From Outer Space and Dial M for Murder.