Can You Use 3d Glasses from the Movie Theater at Home?

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Using movie theater 3D glasses at home

Yes! You can use 3D glasses from a movie theater at home, assuming they work with the type of 3D technology you are using for your home and TV.

For instance, if you buy a 3D projector and active shutter glasses for it, the 3D glasses from the movie theater may or may not work. The same is true for 3D TV’s. Most use passive polarized glasses, which are the 3D glasses they use in the theaters. But some home 3D TV’s use active shutter glasses, and those may or may not work with 3D glasses from movie theaters.

So it’s important to know the type of 3D technology you are using at home. This will help you to know whether or not you can use 3D glasses from a movie theater.

Which is better, active or passive 3D?

There are two different categories of 3D technologies available; active & passive. Each has it’s own pro & con to consider.

The first-of-its-kind technique, active 3D, requires you to wear special, battery-operated glasses with polarized lenses. These work together to display each eye a different image for a more effective 3D effect. Without this 3D technology, you’d just be looking at the same image from two slightly different perspectives. The glasses are powered by the battery in your active 3D TV, so you may not even think about them afterwards. Active 3D glasses have been used

Let’s talk about passive 3D glasses. Passive 3D glasses are the standard glasses you used to wear in movie theaters before your local community theater got an upgrade. These glasses require no batteries or electronics because they use the left’s and right’s eyes trick to display each eye a different image. In this case, a single image is projected onto the screen and your left eye will see the image from the left side, while your right eye will see it from the right side. Again, the left and right images are slightly different and together, the combined image gives the illusion that you are watching a 3D movie. No batteries necessary.

Active vs Passive 3D glasses

3d glasses for movie theatres are passive 3d glasses. Active 3d glasses for movie theatres are synced to an active 3d source.

Only passive 3d glasses can be used at home. Active 3d glasses require an active 3d source.

However, you might still be able to get a 3d TV that supports passive 3d at home. The 3d glasses for these 3d TVs will still be active though for copyright and security reasons.

Make sure your 3d TV supports passive 3d before you buy the glasses.

There is also a newer version of passive 3d glasses available. The technology is not available in the glasses for movie theatres yet. These new 3d glasses have the ability to convert 2d content to 3d.


There are many brands of 3d glasses available on the market. But at home, you will only be interested in passive 3d glasses (as opposed to active 3d glasses) since they are based on the old-school movie-theater technology.

The best value for your money is an adjustable set of 3d glasses. This is usually a pair of 3d glasses to share with someone sitting next to you. These glasses allow you to adjust each side individually. This means that each person can have a clear and comfortable view without distortion.

Whether at the movie theater or at home, the 3d glasses will only work effectively with the 3d content in line with the prescription of the 3d glasses.


Disney, Dream Works, Pixar, Universal, and Warner Brothers Studios have all used 3d glasses in one of their films. These movies are great to watch at the movie theater, but their 3d glasses are not suitable for the home.

3d glasses from the movie theater are designed for optimal comfort at a certain distance from the screen. Because these movie theaters are meant for viewing as a group, the distance between your seat and the screen is ideal. However, when you watch a 3d film in your home at a different distance, the glasses may cut off your line of sight or be a bit too crowded.

Therefore, it's important to look for 3d glasses that are meant to be used in your home, and that will be comfortable for you and your family.


As you can see, you have many options when it comes to 3d glasses. But it’s not enough to just wear some glasses on your eyes. You need some that fit comfortably on your face and that are safe – and this is why, when purchasing 3d glasses, what comes after the product name is almost as important as the name itself.

Comfort and safety considerations are important because 3d glasses have the potential to cause headaches and eye strain whenever you’re wearing them. This can be due to poor fit, poor quality lenses, bad ergonomics, or other design issues. Although cheap 3d glasses can be found at your local stores, this doesn’t mean that they are inherently uncomfortable or unsafe. You can be smart about looking for qualities other than price when you’re shopping for 3d glasses for your home, for your theater and for your whole family.

Image quality

If you're going to be viewing 3 D images using your regular glasses as the sole source of 3 D viewing protection, then you might want to consider purchasing some high-quality 3 D glasses made just for that purpose. These are designed to keep sunlight out and only filter out the left and right eye stereoscopic images you need for proper 3 D viewing.

On the other hand, if you're going to watch 3 D in a darkened room, safety glasses may do the job just fine, and you'll save a wad of cash in the process.

If you're going to be watching 3 D from a distance of more than 8 feet, you'll want to invest in some good quality 3 D glasses. That distance should be printed on the glasses. If not, the instructions should say something about being suitable for viewing at a distance of 3 D .

One advantage to buying the 3 D glasses made for viewing at home is that they often have the range of view numbers indicated on them. You can use these numbers to get an idea of how well they'll block out the lights in your room. The better ones block out as much as 10,000 Lux, which is as good as sunglasses. But in general, the better 3 D glasses are those that filter out the green spectrum in a darkened room, as well as blocking out other table light and sunlight.

How to get the most out of your 3D viewing experience

The 3D viewing glasses sold at movie theaters are not labeled for use when viewing 3D content at home.

When traveling by plane, I`ll usually pack a pair or two of the orange and the dark green 3D glasses that the movie theaters typically give out. When I get home, I put them in a drawer. Some of my friends will also put some in a safe place to wear at their children’s next 3D birthday party.

When I travel, I tend to use my own 3D glasses, since I can easily take them with me. If I were to lose or break any glasses, I wouldn’t be stranded without any of the glasses I need to view 3D content.

To make sure that you get the best experience from the time you spend immersed in your 3D content, it’s important to take a few precautions and to pay attention to the care and materials of your 3D viewing glasses.

Here are a few things to look out for:

Deterioration – You should monitor your 3D glasses for signs of deterioration. If the lenses seem cloudy, or if the coating is worn or peeling, it might be time for a replacement.

Make sure you use a backlight

If you paid close attention to the credits of your favorite 3D movies when they were lately released, you may have seen several manufacturers of 3D glasses. Just like movie projectors equip the cinemas with the right lenses for 3D images, 3D televisions’ manufacturers build 3D glasses with lenses that are specially designed for 3D movies played on your television.

If you’re planning to buy a 3D television or invest in a 3D ready TV, one of the features that you should look for is the use of active shutter glasses. Active shutter glasses are the industry standard because they are rechargeable and bright enough for clear 3D viewing. Also, the glasses are equipped with a set of shutters in each lens to ensure fast switching between right and left images. Don’t settle for passive 3D glasses which reproduce 3D images only by filtering out certain colors. Although they’re less expensive, they have poorer resolution and viewing quality.

If your 3D television isn’t equipped with 3D glasses, in the package, don’t be fooled by the number of included glasses. Check to see if they are compatible with side-by-side left and right 3D images. If they are compatible, they will be movie theater 3D glasses that work with 3D televisions.

Pay attention to your display settings

Most people would love to have that 3d TV but simply can not afford the high tech device. Luckily, the ever clever movie theater industry and manufacturers have found a way to make money on an older technology that has been developed for over a hundred years. With the recent interest in 3d technology, movie theaters began retrofitting their theaters with 3d projection technology. In theaters, this technology is called RealD and uses a special lens to project two individual images without the need for 3d glasses. This allows movie goers to view the 3rd dimension without the need for those cumbersome glasses. In fact, no 3d glasses are even allowed in these theaters.

But don’t let the name fool you. RealD is not true 3d technology. True 3d projection is essentially two images projected on top of each other without the need for glasses. But anaglyph 3d, which is considered the second step in the evolution of the 3d technology, is made possible with the use of fringes in the visible light spectrum that mixes red and blue light. These 3d glasses are very inexpensive and are easily available in many home stores. But the only limitation to this technology is that the viewer will have to wear some type of glasses, which can sometimes be an inconvenient if you are watching TV with your family.

Have a look at the depth intensity settings

The main problem with watching 3ds at home is they haven't been designed with home viewing in mind.

If your 3ds has a passive polarising filter (Takes two eyes), you need to match that with a filter on your TV and match the other filters on your glasses to the polariser on the TV set.

The 3d tv needs to be turned on and you should check if it has the 3d setting on.

Can you get other glasses at home to work with your TV?

The problems on some sets are the infrared transmitters or electrodes take a reading of your eyes and adjust the output accordingly. You cannot get this working with home 3d glasses because they do not have this technology.

The best way to overcome this problem is to get yourself some electronic active shutter 3d glasses. There are still 3D glasses available at home. These go over your existing glasses and are cheap and easy to use. When you go to the cinema you will see the lights dim and the screens darken just before the start of the film.

This is followed by advertising and previews a few minutes of which the audience have their glasses on. This is to save power or time.

Some final thoughts

Personally, as great as 3d movies may be; when I am paying money to see a movie I would expect the experience to remain consistent; not altered. Moving your head and looking at the screen from various angles is not an enjoyable or comfortable cinematic experience. It's surprising that the movie industry has not looked to develop technology that would enable a more consistent viewing experience. A technology that would enable each seat to be adjusted at the owner’s preference to ensure that all viewers get to enjoy the movie in the manner they want.

Bearing this in mind it is understandable why the movie industry would want to protect the viewing experience. One of the best ways to do this would be to supply the audience with 3d glasses to ensure that the technology remains consistent. However, if you look closely at your 3d glasses the plastic pieces of the glasses actually restrict the use of the glasses to the viewer in the movie theater. Hence, the only way for someone to enjoy the glasses is for them to regulate the glasses to ensure that everyone sitting in the same area can enjoy the movie the same way.

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