Tips On Viewing Superbowl XLIII In HD

January 23rd, 2009 · 7 Comments · LCD Flat Panel, Plasma

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By following the instructions in the 3D section below, you’ll be able to get a free pair of ColorCode 3-D Glasses to view the bridesmaids in 3D while waiting for Superbowl XLIII. (photo courtesy of ColorCode 3-D)

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Plan on watching the Superbowl in HDTV?  Now is the time to get prepared.  Here’s what you need to know.

The HDTV

Already have an HDTV?  You’re halfway there.  If not, this is a great time to buy one.  Prices have never been lower!  HD Guru has written many articles on HDTV technology, viewing distances, reception and getting the best price.  The HD Guru’s viewing distance chart is at hd-guru-viewing-distance-chart.pdf and you can use the HD Guru Website Google search box in the right column of this page to learn more about the different types displays and their performance.

LCD or Plasma?

Either technology will provide you with a great picture if you’re going to view the Superbowl alone or with just a few friends because then everyone will be sitting on-axis. A larger crowd means some people will be sitting off-axis and then your choice of technologies is more important.

Plasma sets provide superior off-axis contrast than LCDs.  Higher contrast always makes the picture seem sharper and clearer.  In addition, plasmas have better motion resolution than standard fluorescent backlit LCD (as opposed to the top of the line, expensive) LED backlight sets from Sony and Samsung0.

While most HDTVs reproduce all the resolution of a static (non-moving) image, HD Guru’s tests of over 100 2008 models, revealed resolution drops whenever there is a motion component in the image.  This is known as motion blur.  Standard 60 Hz LCD flat panels have a motion resolution of around 320 lines, (which is less than 1/3 of the static resolution), 120 Hz models get around 600 lines, while plasmas score about 850 lines or better.  The bigger the screen and/or the closer you sit to the screen, the more you will notice motion blur.  The bottom line is that overall, during motion or camera pans, football action will be sharper with a plasma display.  Plasma HDTVs are available from 42” to 65” and typically cost less than LCD models in this size range.

The Viewing Environment

With kickoff at 6:20pm Eastern Time you won’t have to worry about sunlight, its way past sundown on the east coast.  On the west coast, the sun will set at 5:22 pm, two hours after kickoff.  No HDTVs can handle direct sunlight, so make sure the sun’s rays aren’t going to land on the TV or your guests eyeballs during game time.

Reception

NBC will broadcast this year’s game in 1080i,  (as opposed to 720p when the game is on Fox or ABC).  Please refer to the HD Guru’s Guide to Superbowl Reception articles at (Link) and here (Link) for viewing the game in HD on cable, satellite or via an over-the-air antenna.

3D HDTV

The game won’t be in 3D this year, but there will be two commercials in 3D, one for Dreamworks’ 3D animated movie, “Monsters vs. Aliens” and another for SoBe Lifewater.  Both will use a new process by ColorCode that will be viewable in 3D on any HD set (you can also see it in 3D on a standard def TV too, but of course it wouldn’t be in HD).  Technically, ColorCode is a subset of an old 3D process called “anaglyphic” that requires special glasses.  However, unlike previous anaglyphic 3D processes, the ColorCode 3-D system requires blue and amber lens glasses, instead of the blue and red ones used with previous 3D anaglyphic systems.  The 3D effect is supposed to be more dramatic with the new ColorCode glasses and will appear clearer (in 2D) for the viewers that didn’t get their 3D glasses.

Intel is giving away 125 million free 3-D glasses (they come four to a sheet as seen in the photos above) via Pepsi’s distribution network.  They are officially available at K-Mart, Safeway, Vons, Ralphs, Kroger, A&P, Frys, Supervalu, Food Lion, Pathmark, Coburn, Fairway, Fresh Brands, Hy Vee, Nash Finch, Dollar General and Winn-Dixie.  Mine were picked at the local Shop Rite yesterday (even though they were not on the list). They had a sign taped over the “Free 3D Glasses” display saying you must by a Pepsi product to take the glasses, I ignored it without any consequences.  Target and Meijers are reported to stock them too, but will only have them available on Jan 31.

If you don’t have one of these stores near you or can’t find the 3D glasses, you can obtain free pairs by calling 1-800-646-2904 while supplies last.  They limit you to 8 pair, so if you are having a big party you will need a friend to order more to be shipped to a different address.

Hold onto the glasses after the game.  NBC will be broadcasting a complete episode of “Chuck” in 3D HD using the same ColorCode process on Monday Feb. 2, 2009 from 8-9 pm. Eastern Time

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Tech Tips: View Superbowl Ads and NBC’s Chuck in 3d | Fastcase

    […] The HD Guru has a detailed post to prepare you for the 3d advertisements during the Super Bowl and the presentation of NBC's spy-comedy Chuck  in 3d the following Monday (at 8 p.m. EST).Check out the HD Guru's post here. […]

  • etype2

    You are very biased in favor of Plasma. In viewing environment, you fail to say that LCD will give you a much better picture in bright light. In off axis viewing,cheap LCD sets are poor in this area just as cheap Plasmas. The top brands are very good. You lump the past in the present. Have you ever viewed a 65 inch Sharp Aquos in an average room? , say 15 feet by 18 feet? You cannot walk far enough away from the set to see a reduction in contrast. You talk about pricy backlit LCD’s when in fact your beloved Kuro is $5000.00.

    Did you know that the European Union wants to ban plasmas because they suck energy? (yes prototypes have been shown with better energy figures)

  • KF

    The page looks fine to me (Chrome), maybe they fixed it. The grammar though…

    Anyways, the last section about the 3D was useful. I haven’t seen the glasses anywhere yet, and not a single one of the listed stores are near me, and I live in a very big suburb of Chicago. I’ll have to give the number a ring.

    @Phil Gray
    I’m sure it would look better if you were at TV distance rather than computer distance.

  • Jake

    Sometimes I wonder what planet you are shopping in with your prices, which are always higher than what is available at reputable stores like Amazon.

    In addition, your trends are always wrong. I’ve been reading your site for a while and not infrequently there are statements about “prices have fallend again’?

    What? I’ve been tracking prices since May and you know what, very little movement. The Great Depression notwithstanding. For example, the Samsung PN A550, a 50 inch plasma was available around $1500-$1550 in May 2008 and not is around $1450-1500. Big deal.

  • Rhayader

    dlp dude is right, there are some mistakes on this page (I am using Firefox 3). For one, the first paragraph indicates that there is a link to a seating distance chart, but instead of an actual link there is just the word “link”. Also, the parenthetical clause referring to more expensive LCD backlight technologies is messed up.

  • Phil Gray

    I picked up the glasses and went to the colorcode3d website to view their photo and video previews of the process. It is at best is mediocre and sure to turn viewers who haven’t seen a true polarized 3D film in a legitimate imax or digital 3d theatre completely to 3D.

    Why would they try to push “Monsters VS. Aliens” with such a shoddy demonstration. I think it will only hurt audience interest in the film.

    Bad idea – very bad idea.

  • dlp dude

    HD Guru – the post is messed up. It looks like you need to update the HTML or something. I’m using IE7 if that’s any help.

    Maybe it’s the link from Gizmodo, but it’s not a good look.

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