Standardized specs to make 3-D TV viewing easier

Despite massive hype, 3-D technology in the home has yet to catch on -- in part because of pricey special glasses.

Story highlights

  • Sony, Samsung and Panasonic have rallied together to support universal 3-D glasses for their sets starting in 2012
  • This means the glasses you get with your 3-D TV may work with displays made by other major manufacturers
  • Xpand currently has universal 3-D glasses available for $129
The good news: Starting next year, the 3-D glasses you get with your 3-D TV may be compatible with displays made by other major manufacturers as well.
The bad news: They're still hopelessly ugly.
Sony, Samsung and Panasonic have rallied together to support the "Full HD 3-D Glasses Initiative" and will use Xpand brand 3-D glasses for their active shutter sets starting in 2012.
"The companies intend to work together on the development and licensing of radio frequency (RF) system 3-D active glasses technology," according to the press release. The technology will be applicable towards all kinds of 3-D displays, including computer monitors, projectors, 3-D theaters and, of course, television sets.
To date, adoption of 3-D in the home has been pretty slow, and not without reason. The technology is victim to a number of issues, including causing nausea, eyestrain and fatigue for some viewers. It also has suffered from a dearth of quality content offerings and diminished consumer trust following a slew of 3-D box-office flops.
Not to mention most people just don't want to put on a pair of chunky, unattractive specs to watch "Avatar" in 3-D or enjoy a 3-D video game.
Perhaps this move to unify 3-D among suppliers will put consumers a little more at ease; if they purchase a Panasonic TV set and a Samsung monitor, they're at least able to use the same pair of 3-D glasses for both. LG and Vizio are two other major manufacturers of 3-D TVs who at this point are not taking part in the initiative.
Xpand currently has universal 3-D glasses available for $129.
Development for the new, universal Xpand RF system 3-D glasses will start in September. If you're an early adopter and you've already purchased a 3-D TV this year, don't fret: The glasses will be backwards compatible with the companies' 2011 active-shutter TVs. However, the press release doesn't specify if prescription models will also be universal.
Too bad active shutter glasses aren't as attractive as these guys.