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3-D TV Q-and-A

Find out if this new technology is right for you

En español | Summary:

  • 3-D capability doesn't add much to the price of HDTVs
  • Viewing glasses have gotten cheaper, but still aren't perfect
  • Limited 3-D content now available on Blu-ray DVD


It took just a few years to convince millions of Americans that upgrading to high-definition TV was worth the considerable expense. Now that two-thirds of us have already bought HD sets, manufacturers have a new technology they'd like to sell you — 3-D TV. Is it practical? Reasonably priced? Ready for prime time? Here's the scoop, including changes coming in 2011.

A man wears 3D glasses in front of flat screen TVs

— Rainer/Jensen/EPA/Corbis

Q: How does 3-D TV work?

A: 3-D movies and video are created by shooting the same scene from two slightly different angles, mimicking the space between your left and right eyes. When these images are played back separately to each eye, it fools your brain into thinking it's seeing real objects in three dimensions.

Q: Do I need a new TV to watch in 3-D?

A: Yes — there's no way to upgrade an existing set to handle 3-D. You'll probably also want to buy a new 3-D Blu-ray player, since that's one of the main sources of 3-D programming.

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