Sunday, 20 November 2011

Snapshot: The Wacky History Behind 3D Television Technology

Snapshot: The Wacky History Behind 3D Television Technology

Snapshot: The Wacky History Behind 3D Television Technology

By Justin Hanus

How did our path to 3D TV get started? Was it because of some fluke? Or was this the plan all along?

Below I'll outline the history of 3D TV technology in this article.

Prior to 1900

The road to 3D TV technology all got started way back in 1844 when David Brewster invented the stereoscope, which allowed photographed objects to be seen in 3D.

Fast forward 11 years and the Kinematascope was born in 1855 allowing a camera to capture 3D images in motion.

Right before the turn of the century, renowned British film maker William Friese-Greene took things a step further by securing a patent for the process of 3D movie production. His patent made it possible for a person to see a 3D image from two films positioned perpendicularly to each other.

1900 to 1935

Around 1915, film makers produced the world's first 3D movie, which could be viewed via 3D glasses with two colored lenses.

This in turn became a prelude to Robert Elder and Harry Fairall's mainstream film masterpiece 'The Power of Love', which is known as the first 3D film ever produced.

This was followed by the first color movie utilizing 3D technology in 1935.

1935 to 1960

Due to World War II there wasn't much in terms of the advancement of 3D technology until John Baird showcased the first ever 3D TV to the world in 1958. His research which eventually led to his creation of the 3D TV was heavily influenced by the success of 3D movies (Bwana Devil, House of Wax, and Dial M for Murder) that were released in the early 1950s.

1960 to 1970

With the evolution of 3D technology known as Space Vision, which takes two images and puts them one on top of another on a strip, a single projector could be used instead of two cameras making the production of 3D movies all the easier. As a side note, the first movie created with Space Vision was 'The Bubble' although it was not received well by critics.

1970 to 1990

In 1970, Stereovision was developed by Chris Condon and Allan Silliphant using 35mm film strip to create 3D imagery.

The 1980s saw such titles as Jaws and Friday the 13th part III released as 3D versions.

IMAX was born allowing viewers to watch 3D movies with the absence of eye fatigue.

1990 to 2010

IMAX continued on with its popularity to audiences worldwide by releasing two highly acclaimed movies 'Into the Deep' and 'Wings of Courage'.

Hollywood finally got into the act once 2000 rolled around by releasing Ghosts of the Abyss, Spy Kids 3D: Game Over and The Polar Express.

By 2009, 3D technology finally made it into our homes from the theaters with various broadcasters jumping on the bandwagon.

2010 to???

The sky is the limit as we move forward to a 3D technology experience that will be like none other.

For more relevant information about 3D TVs, click here: 3D TV.

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  1. Wow, great post. I had no idea how far back 3D went. I was thinking about getting my boyfriend a 3d television for Christmas. He is really into the new technology and I think he will love this. Thanks so much for sharing, this was very interesting.

  2. Interesting presentation. A few footnotes to your story: On William Friese-Greene: I think that you mean parallel positioned films (not "perpendicularly"). On J.L. Baird: Unfortunately, he died in 1946. For that reason, he must have missed the 1958 showcase that you mention. His different 3D television systems (at least 3) are proprietary. They're incompatible with world TV systems (PAL, SECAM, NTSC or digital). If Baird were alive to enjoy Bwana Devil, the movie might indeed have been helpful to his research. Instead, other TV developers ignored Baird and began with such movies.

  3. U.A. Sanabria invented a 3D television system in 1951. That year, Popular Mechanics featured the system...

  4. DuMont also invented a 3D television system in the 1950s. See...

  5. The first 3D telecast might have been from Mexico station XHGC.