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3D Systems

The table below summarizes most of the common 3D delivery systems currently in use for film and video.

3D Cinema

  Glasses Screen Comments
Anaglyphic Red/cyan glasses
(usually cardboard disposable)
Matte White The original 3D system, now largely out of favor.
Dolby Digital 3D Color filter glasses
(expensive, multi-use)
Matte White Very popular system, considered high-quality.
Imax 3D Polarized filter or LCD shutter glasses Silver screen An older format that remains popular. Generally considered inferior to Dolby 3D and RealD.
MasterImage Polarized filter glasses Silver screen An early entrant, launched in 2006. A popular format internationally but not widely used in the USA.
RealD Polarized filter glasses
(cheap, take-home or disposable)
Silver screen Very popular system for cinemas worldwide (although not necessarily in any particular country).
XpanD Active-shutter LCD glasses (expensive, multi-use) Matte White Not as widespread as other formats but reported to be high quality.
       

3D TV & Home Theatre

  Glasses Screen Comments
Anaglyphic Red/cyan glasses
(usually cardboard disposable)
Matte White The original 3D system, now largely out of favor.
Active shutter system LCD shutter glasses
(fairly expensive)
3D-compatible screen required. The most likely standard for the first generation of 3D televisions and other displays.

3D Without the Glasses

Glasses-free systems are available for some devices—mostly smaller ones. However glasses-free systems for larger screens are not yet readily available. Although some systems have been produced and demonstrated, none have progressed to mass production. It is likely that cinemas and home theatre systems will continue to rely on glasses for the foreseeable future.

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