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A three-dimensional (3D) media player is a device that can be connected to a television or other monitor to play 3D movies and similar media through them. Movies and images displayed from a 3D media player can include content on a disc, such as a Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) or Blu-ray® disc. There are some devices that can be used to play media streamed from an Internet connection, or transferred onto an internal storage drive from other devices. A 3D media player can also be a software program used on a computer to play this content, or to transfer two-dimensional (2D) images into a 3D format.
The purpose of a 3D media player is to transfer images and video onto a television or other type of display that appear more immersive. This often requires special glasses or other types of hardware that allow a viewer to see these images appropriately. One of the most common ways in which a 3D media player functions is as a playback device for media such as DVDs and Blu-rays®. These discs contain data that is specially developed to be viewed in 3D, which can be played through the device and a display designed to work with it.
A 3D media player can also send a similar signal to a television or display that is stored on the device itself. These players have internal hard drives, much like a computer, that can be used to host data for playback. An external device can be connected to the 3D media player, such as a portable memory stick, from which data is then transferred. Many of these devices also have the ability to stream 3D media directly from an Internet connection or similar network, either wirelessly or through a cable connection.
There are also software programs that can run on a computer and function as a 3D media player, though other types of hardware are often needed for them. A display or monitor that can show these images is usually required to function with this type of player, and a viewer may also need to wear special glasses for these devices. This type of 3D media player can play movies and display images that are encoded to function in 3D, while some other media programs cannot do so. Software may also be able to convert standard 2D images into a special format, allowing the picture to be more realistically and dynamically viewed on a computer.