Test Your 3D Home Entertainment IQ
Take our 10-question quiz and see if you're prepared for this current wave of 3D in the home.
September 01, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

What is the definition of “ghosting”?
A. A scary 3D movie
B. An image that “burns in” to your plasma screen
C. Checkerboard images you continue to see after removing 3D glasses
D. Double images caused by 3D sync issues
Answer: D. Ghosting, or crosstalk, occurs when the shutters on 3D glasses can’t keep pace with the refresh rate of the TV to effectively block images that one eye shouldn’t be seeing, and vice versa. This can also occur with major on-screen contrasts between bright and dark images, producing ghost-like double vision or shadow images. Between active-shutter glasses and higher-refresh-rate plasma and LCD TVs (like 240Hz over 120Hz), this should be a minimal worry, but at least some folks in the AV Science Forum have found that updating the firmware and tweaking the viewpoint setting on the TV menu helps eliminate it.

Gaming in 3D is supported by all of the following consoles except?
B. Nintendo Wii
C. Sony PlayStation 3
D. Microsoft Xbox 360
Answer: B. Although the company has developed a portable 3D gaming device with its 3DS, Nintendo has no plans to bring the technology to its popular Wii console. Sony and Microsoft have announced current and future 3D compatibility for their consoles (the PS3 will also play 3D Blu-ray discs), and with the addition of technology from graphics card giant Nvidia, your computer can become a 3D gaming machine with a wealth of available games already compatible.

What kind of sound system do I need to complement my 3D TV?
A. Just use the TV’s speakers
B. A single soundbar should cut it
C. Couple of bookshelf speakers
D. Full 5.1- or 7.1-channel surround sound
Answer: D. OK, we’re not trying to be scientific about this one, but there’s a reason some manufacturers tout surround sound as “3D sound”—it’s just far more immersive and enveloping than traditional 2-channel stereo. Yes, soundbars have improved in quality and some even offer “virtual surround” experiences, but don’t count on them or the TV’s internal speaker system to match one that includes center, front left and right, rear or side left and right, and subwoofer channels that carry discrete audio information.

Which of these sports looks the best in 3D?
A. Soccer
B. Golf
C. Baseball
D. Auto racing
Answer: A. Of course, this is only subjective at this point, but all four of these sports have aired in 3D this year and the World Cup soccer matches on ESPN 3D garnered a bit more praise than coverage of The Masters, MLB’s All-Star Game and NASCAR’s Coke Zero 400. Golf and baseball need some better camera angles to take advantage of the effect, and we’d like to see Formula One road racing than the NASCAR oval for more excitement there. Multiple angles and close-ups worked well as the format bowed for soccer, and we’re guessing American football will follow suit.

Which movie sequel is not planned for theatrical release in 3D format?
A. Cars 2
B. Transformers 3
C. Pirates of the Caribbean 4
D. Star Wars 5
Answer: D. Better known, of course, as Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, we won’t be seeing it in 3D … yet. But thanks to the success of blockbusters such as Avatar, rumblings of George Lucas’ possible 3D conversion of all six Star Wars films abound. In April, LucasFilm director of fan relations Steve Sansweet stated: “George has publicly expressed an interest in doing Star Wars 3D. Right now there are a number of different technologies, there’s some criticism out there about some of the movies that have quickly changed to 3D, so you have to pick the right technology, you have to get it to a cost that makes sense, and you have to have the time of the director and producer—George—to actually go in there, because you can’t push a button and stuff goes in one end and comes out 3D… Saying all that, George remains very interested in doing the Star Wars movies, all six, in 3D, and I hope it will happen someday in the not too distant future.” As for the other three answers, they’ll be coming at you in 3D next year.

Keeping Score
Are you ready for 3D home entertainment? Number correct: 0-2 TV is in color now, you know; 3-5 perhaps you’re ready for widescreen HDTV; 6-8 you’re an HDTV expert, huh, time to install a CinemaScope screen; 9-10 3D, yeah bring it on!

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

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