Up until 2010, if you wanted to watch movies in your home theater in 3D, you only really had two choices: anaglyph movies and HQFS movies. The first is the one that you are probably most familiar with, because it uses glasses with two differently colored lenses.
Anaglyph technology uses glasses with two chromatically opposed (contrasting) colored lenses to separate two superimposed colored images. Each image represents either a left-eye perspective or a right-eye perspective of a scene. Each colored lens filters out one version of the image, and the brain then blends both together to create the illusion of depth. The filtering process is fairly simple: from the viewer’s perspective, red filters out red, cyan filters out cyan, etc.
The first anaglyph 3D movies appeared in the 1950s, along with another 3D technique using linear polarized glasses. The early 1950s saw the first wave of 3D movies, which was initially dominated by the linear polarization technology, but then switched to anaglyph because many movie viewers tended to become nauseous when viewing movies using the polarization method.
Current anaglyph 3D movie technology uses color combinations of either red and cyan or magenta and green. The proper color combinations must be used with each movie in order to see the 3D effects. Each color combination has its pluses and minuses. I find the magenta and green approach to offer better 3D effects, but at the expense of brightness because the green filter teds to significantly darken and mute the colors. The red and cyan combination is brighter, but tends to show more ghosting, which means that you can see part of the image that is supposed to be filtered out. The red and cyan combination is the dominant approach used with most current anaglyph 3d movies movies. Neither color combination for anaglyph glasses has been perfect, but it was a stepping stone to get us to where we are today.
One good benefit of viewing 3D anaglyph movies is the fact that you do not need an HDTV or any special equipment to view these movies. Any television will work. You may have to adjust the colors to help eliminate ghosting or improve the 3D effects, but most TVs should work.
If you are not ready to invest in an entirely new home theater system in order to enjoy the newest Blu-ray 3D technology, you might want to try a few anaglyph movies. Here is a list of the most popular anaglyph movies released in the past few years along with links to where you can find them on Amazon. The 3D versions of some recent movies, such as Journey to the Center of the Earth, have already been discontinued, but new and used copies can be found on the link we provide to eBay. Each movie usually comes with four sets of the appropriate anaglyph glasses.
If a movie you are looking for is discontinued or out of stock, try searching for 3D movies on eBay. You can find all types of 3D movies as well as anaglyph glasses that are a step up from the cardboard glasses included with 3D discs.
Be sure to read the details before purchasing a 3D movie on eBay. Some of newer Blu-ray 3D discs and as well as some of the older HQFS 3D movies might be intermingled with the eBay search results. If the description says that colored glasses are included, the movie uses anaglyph 3D. If the description says that the H3D Viewing System or shutter glasses are required, the movie uses HQFS or Blu-ray 3D technology.