Will a 3D Blu-ray Player Play 3D On Any TV?
Washington, D.C. (February 9, 2011)
-- I get dozens of e-mails every week from readers asking
questions about everything from when their TV provider will add
a new HD channel to how to install a wireless Blu-ray player.
So, I thought I would publish some of the best questions here in
this new (reprised, that is) column called, "Ask Swanni."
Q. Will a 3D Blu-ray player play 3D images on my regular HDTV?
-- Wayne C.
The answer is no, but don't be
embarrassed by asking the question. I've been asked by several
readers whether you need a 3D HDTV if get a 3D Blu-ray player.
It's not surprising that some people would think so. The
industry, which rarely communicates clearly, simply says the
player is a 3D player. Why wouldn't some people think it could
display 3D images regardless of what television you have? In
fact, I suspect many 3D Blu-ray buyers are making the purchase
because they think it's an inexpensive way to bring 3D to the
But, again, the answer is no.
Q. When will DIRECTV add more HD channels? I'm getting
very frustrated! -- George B.
I tried to warned everyone a year ago that DIRECTV wasn't likely
to add many HD channels in the next few years. The satcaster is
trying to trim spending and buying the rights to carry new
channels is a major expense.
I know DIRECTV made a big deal out of having a '200 HD channel
capacity,' but it was just a marketing ploy to make you think it
would actually carry 200 HD channels. Right now, DIRECTV has
roughly 130-140 real HD channels and I don't think it will add
more than 10 in the next 12 months. If that.
Q. I'm thinking of buying a Blu-ray player that has
Netflix and video streaming. But how is the picture quality on
the streaming videos? -- MaryLynn C.
It depends on your Internet Service Provider. If your ISP offers
a relatively fast Broadband service, the picture quality on HD
videos from Netflix and other Net TV services is very good.
However, it still falls short of the picture quality on a Blu-ray
high-def disc. By the way, if you want to test your ISP's
Internet speed, go to Toast.net where you can measure it. The
test will tell you how your ISP compares to other Internet
Q. Don't you think you're being unfair to 3D? Won't it
grow like HDTV over time? -- Norm V.
Q. What's better? Plasma or LCD? Or LED? I'm looking to
buy a new TV for my father. -- Anna C.
I get this question all the time.
If you are going to place your TV in a relatively dark room, buy
a Plasma set. The Plasma HDTV is better at displaying blacks,
and making all colors and details seem more realistic. But both
LCD and LED sets will likely look better in well-lit rooms.
That said, it's a matter of preference. Many LCD owners will
swear by their sets, which explains why the category is still #1
in overall sales. But most industry insiders will choose Plasma.
Q. What's the best show in HDTV today? Best as in picture
quality, in your opinion? -- Sandy C.
That's a great question. I think
any football game on CBS and NBC looks great (Fox, not so much;
too inconsistent.) NESN, MASN and the MLB Network all do a great
job with baseball. As for non-sports shows, I'm really impressed
with the detail and vivid colors displayed during the live
broadcasts of the awards shows (Oscars, Golden Globes, etc.). As
for the primetime shows, I would single out Showtime's Dexter,
HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Fox's House, CBS' CSI, Fox's American
Idol and Fox's Fringe as shows that generally offer top-quality
HD picture quality.
Q. Could you recommend one Blu-ray disc that would really
show off the great quality of the Blu-ray player? -- Aaron T.
There are many, many movies that
look awesome on Blu-ray. But I would pick The Dark Knight,
the last in the Batman series. Not only is the movie one of the
decade's best (2000-2010), the picture is flawless whether the
scene is dark (as it often is) or well-lit. Watching The Dark
Knight on Blu-ray is a great cinematic experience.
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