Here's something to illustrate just how frustrating - and quite frankly silly - the current situation is regarding 3D glasses for the first generation of 3D HDTVs...
Home Cinema Choice has managed to make 3D glasses between two different brands compatible... by wearing them upside down. Yes people, we're not joking. To explain this properly you're going to need some context. In short: the vast majority of 3D HDTVs will use Active shutter technology (there are exceptions) and this places much of the image processing inside the glasses meaning they are packed full of tech, quite heavy and cost in the region of £100. Not great.
Even more frustrating is every company making Active 3D televisions is using a slightly different variation of the technology making their 3D glasses incompatible with other brands. Sony 3D glasses will only work with Sony 3D TVs, Panasonic with Panasonic, Samsung with Samsung, LG with LG, etc.
Except, as Home Cinema Choice has learned, that isn't entirely true. It turns out that the Active 3D technologies are actually very close variants of one another and Samsung and Panasonic glasses are so similar they can work with one another when worn upside down. The reason for this is simply the two companies fit their otherwise identical polarising lenses the opposite way round meaning you can wear Samsung 3D glasses upside down and watch a Panasonic 3D TV or wear Panasonic 3D glasses upside down and watch a Samsung 3D TV.
Amusing as this is, it does highlight the ridiculous nature of incompatibilities in first generation 3D televisions. If the manufacturers had thought to discuss 3D openly for just a moment, they could easily have made a few tweaks and produced an Active 3D glasses industry standard therefore avoiding today's farcical situation.
"I think that it’s likely that the different manufacturers will come together, possibly as early as next year, to agree a common standard for Active Shutter glasses," admitted Samsung R&D chief Simon Lee to Home Cinema Choice.
Good news, but isn't hindsight a wonderful thing...