December 28, 2009 9:57 AM PST

High-tech movie battle: Which 3D glasses are best?

Glasses for 3D viewing come in throwaway versions as well as in models costing $50 a pair. Can one become the standard?
(From The New York Times)

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I've been wearing eyeglasses virtually all of my life (since 4th grade and I'm now 60). The thought of having to wear an additional pair of glasses over my eyeglasses is a strong deterrent to me taking 3D movies seriously.

The other is the manner in which the studios have been fielding these new technologies. If you want to hear sound as if it weren't real, go to a typical movie theater or listen to someone's 5.1/7.1 surround sound system. That's not how sound really works. Study the physics of sound and you'll learn that echoed sounds do not have the same amplitude as sound direct from the source. The 1970s era 4-track tape systems were more realistic--I'm talking real, not some overdone, contrived movie gimmick--than any of today's entries in sound technology.

Sadly, the same can be said for 3D. Real life is not swords sticking into your face, but give the movie makers the tech, and they will misuse it until the resultant product no longer resembles real life at all.

--mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
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Well now. I've seen the 50's era 3D and the Modern 3D and think they have done a good job of doing 3D on a 2D surface. So I'm going to say, thumbs up regardless of the cheap tricks they may like to use once in a while.

As for sound, maybe 4 tracks had it better but it seems to me that 5.1 could emulate 3D sound fairly well if done right.
Posted by Renegade Knight (13748 comments )
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Having seen Avatar in 3D (using Real D glasses) I can honestly say that the 3D was not gimmicky or overdone, in fact it was done so well that you forgot you were looking at a 3d image and were able to enjoy the movie. I've seen 3d movies which are designed to show off the 3d and are constantly throwing things at you but Avatar at least didn't do this, rather the 3d wasn't coming off the screen but but making the into a window looking into a 3D world, if you know what I mean.
Posted by james123253 (4 comments )
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I have a similar issue but for at home, I did not want to wear 2 pairs of glasses when watching my 3D tv. I found a company that makes prescription 3d glasses. I think they also make them for movie theaters as well

Hope that helps
Posted by evilmonkey333 (2 comments )
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Real ID was stunning, I find it hard to believe a more expensive technology can give a better picture.
Posted by c60chemist (52 comments )
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Typo, I should have said RealD was stunning.
Posted by c60chemist (52 comments )
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I actually believe 3D TVs have a higher chance of being adopted than more screens at the cinema. I believe the only thing needed for 3d capability is to have a screen refresh rate @ 120Hz or higher. This will be the norm in 2010 for most 42" or higher TVs and soon even in projectors. Its more important to have software which can convert regular broadcasts to 3d capable video like the Nvidia system. However, this is not perfect yet and I think it should be made more perfect. It will allow for less pressure on the content producers to switch to more expensive 3d cameras.
Posted by Arnav (213 comments )
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Why would people want to wear 3D glasses outside?
Posted by jd_in_sb (106 comments )
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I don't know I would personally only wear 3D glasses outside if they were Hi-Def.
Posted by pmfjoe (196 comments )
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So they can cancle out the 3D world and see what it's like to be flat. Some for the first time in a long time.
Posted by Renegade Knight (13748 comments )
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I prefer these current light weight glasses That Avatar uses but I wish they were more adaptable for those who wear glasses.

As for the specs on your tv that will meet 3D are those that have a refresh rate of 180Mhz or better.
Posted by inachu1 (1399 comments )
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180 Mhz? 180 hz I would beleive since the standard refresh rates of monitors typically ranges from 60 hz to 75 hz.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
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Beginning January 1st, I will be launching a blog that will feature 3D Stereoscopic pictures taken with the Fujifilm W1 3D Digital Camera. To view the pictures, specific harware is required...but the 3D image is pretty cool for anyone with a set up. I personally use the 22" Samsung 120Hz LCD monitor and NVIDIA's 3D Vision glasses to view the pictures.

For anyone that's interested (there are 2D pictures too, BTW), you can check out the blog here:
Posted by GirlsWearingMyJersey (1 comment )
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As I said before in these silly 3D articles: as long as I have to wear silly goggles, I'm not jumping on the 3D bandwagon. It's just ridiculous. That's just one more accessory I have to worry about and keep track of. Not to mention, it's not "true" 3D
Posted by yiang (58 comments )
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In the case of Avatar, the Real D experience was pretty frakkin spiffy. While the story is a little thin and predictable, the ride itself is visually stunning.

This is far and away the best mix of CG and Live action seen to date and the new 3D technology was actually an enhancement to the story and not an annoying intrusion. Probably because there was more than enough lushness, depth and visual spectacle to be had that Cameron wisely did not bother with those cliches' of "old school" 3D of stuff popping out at your face.

As for the Real D glasses, they fit neatly over my prescription progressives without any problem, and didn't seem clunky. And in a short time, I hardly noticed them. But fashion statement? Oh. SO not yet. LOL
Posted by SamuraiArtGuy (89 comments )
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NO MORE GLASSES!! Come on! So much technology and still can't get rid of damm glasses? Facts; glasses are cumbersome; many people get dizzy, other just don't see the 3D effect. I saw AVATAR in 3D and I'm going to see it again in 2D digital to really enjoy the awesome visuals. Get rid of glasses and will see a real step forward in moviemaking.
Posted by Javierdiez (5 comments )
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Like, wow.... I think you just might want to see a play instead.
Posted by porkytorkwal (2 comments )
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I took my daughter to see Avatar this past weekend in IMAX 3d and I was stunned. The glasses were a small inconvience to endure in order to watch something so visually stunning. I have already made plans to see more movies in 3D and I am not a regular movie person. Until you have actually went to see Avatar in 3D you can not appreciate the new 3D tech.
Posted by rockn_1234567 (51 comments )
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I brought my RealD glasses to the theatre but they said they wouldn't work for the IMAX version; the ones we had to use were heavy and incredibly uncomfortable, especially for such a long movie. (Memo to studios: 3D movies CANNOT be more than 2h absolute tops -- it is too strain inducing.)

I want it to become a public spec so I can buy my own that are comfortable.
Posted by baisa (126 comments )
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*sigh* if only i could see 3d. (I got's me a lazy eye)
Posted by nerd97 (18 comments )
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Not sure which glasses were used, but seeing Avatar in 3D was an amazing movie experience. The glasses were no inconvenience at all and fit perfectly over my prescription glasses...after bout 5 minutes I forgot they were even there.
The depth within each environment that was created was remarkable. I must have said 'wow' about 100 times. The live action and cg animation was integrated flawlessly.
Go to be entertained and you won't be let down.
Posted by ponyboy72 (1 comment )
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I just purchased a Mitsubishi DLP 73' WD-73837 which is 3D ready. It has an input for a 3D emitter. I am not sure at this point how it will play with next year's 3D Blu-Ray DVDs - as the standard may change (hopefully not). But I have to say that the distance ratio at the movie theatre in comparison to the distance ratio of this large TV at home (73' at 14 feet) plus the surround sound makes want to stay at home, avoid the crowds, the popcorn chewing and noisy bratty kids.

The quality of the Blu-ray in comparison to the worn out theatre lamps is very noticeable. With the new TV set I get a much more crisper and brighter picture than at the movies. I am sure 3D at home will be just as good an even better.
Posted by Xtoo (126 comments )
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3D == "Gimmick".

Full stop.
Posted by ErnieTheBear (48 comments )
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"Gimmick" : Yes, the same people thought of silent movies having sound, black and white turning to color, today is 2D becoming 3D. You are right, they are all gimmicks, smart gimmicks, that make my industry and the art of film making advance and be enjoyed by future generations.
Posted by Xtoo (126 comments )
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Until now I was very happy with Imax and wearing whatever glasses they handed me.
But the closest Imax showing Avatar is White Marsh Md 45 miles away.
And I can't see how they can even get away with calling it Imax.
The screen looked the same width as a regular theater, just concave.
The first time I saw it they gave me a pair of the cheap flat .35 cent throw away gray polarized.
They sat so far from my eyes I could see even less of the Non Imax screen.
The film was covered with finger prints and they looked like they were sneezed on.
So I asked the Manager what kind of glasses these were so I could shop for a better pair of my own.
All he knew was that he buys ftem by the case from Amazon and gave me the product #.
They turned out to be 45/135 degree polarized like they have been useing since the 50s.
The next week they gave me a pair of pink & green that were half as good as the first.
Now that I found this article I don't know what to think. Is AMC trying different 3D add ons to the digital Imax projectors? Are there salesmen, kick backs, payola involved. I can't get a straight answer from AMC or IMAX. The only thing for sure is the message from James. Where a buck can be made the corporate scum will continue to treat us like the Na'vi.
Posted by ranst4038 (1 comment )
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I don't think there is need of any 3D Glasses to see a movie.....
Posted by kettyrobinson (4 comments )
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My wife and I are considering starting a company manufacturing prescription 3D glasses. You can help by completing a short survey. The url is:

Completing the survey will help us make a product which meets the needs of people who watch 3D films and wear prescription glasses.
Posted by torm1358 (1 comment )
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