Warning: Anyone who’s sensitive to flashing images should not watch the video below. For everyone else, we hope your eye strain isn’t as terrible as ours was.
Although electronics makers have enticed the masses with 3D TVs multiple times, people in the mainstream continue to prefer 2D sets for Netflix and everything else-ing. And while the lack of uptake is a bit of a conundrum, a new video from the YouTube channel The Slow Mo Guys shows the technology is quite exceptional. At least in slow motion.
The Slow Mo Guys, the guys who’ve slow mo’d just about everything under the Sun, recently posted the above video to their channel. Gav, one member of the channel’s iconic duo, describes how “the relics of the past” work; first showing how people record 3D footage using multiple cameras.
Using footage from a previous video, Gav describes how one camera with two lenses—or two cameras side by side—can capture content in 3D. To view it in 3D, the view recorded by each of the lenses must be paired up with each one of a viewer’s eyes. In a classic movie theater, this would work using a pair of glasses with differently colored lenses; with each lens color picking up a different view from the screen. In the case of Gav’s 3D plasma TV, however, things are a bit trickier.
The Slow Mo Guys
Gav shows how his 3D plasma TV works, recording its screen at speeds as slow as 20,000 frames per second. At this mind-blowingly slow speed, Gav reveals how the TV creates the necessary dual image streams simultaneously; flicking back and forth between the two perspectives so quickly the mind absorbs them together as a single video.
The TV still requires powered, “active shutter” glasses to work, however. And that is perhaps the component of the 3D TV that’s both its biggest highlight and biggest downfall. While the glasses can, incredibly, block either one of a viewer’s eyes 60 times per second, allowing them to take in the right video angle at just the right time, they’re still pretty goofy looking. Plus, they need batteries. Double-plus, watching 3D TV at home strains one’s eyes almost as much as this slow-mo explainer does.
The Slow Mo Guys