Tom Moriarty wants to know if new 3D movies, such as Avatar, will be released on Blu-ray in the older 3D that doesn’t require a special HDTV.

Some early Blu-ray titles, such as Journey To the Center of the Earth, were released in anaglyph 3D, which uses red-and-green (or red-and-blue) glasses to separate the left and right images. The advantage of anaglyph is that it doesn’t require any special hardware aside from the glasses–which are very cheap to manufacture. The disadvantage is that it looks horrible. Sure, you get a 3D effect, but the colors get muted and muddied.

I seriously doubt that Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, or any other recent, major 3D release will get the anaglyph treatment. With the industry trying to promote the new, 3D-capable HDTVs and Blu-ray players, it doesn’t make economic sense. Besides, can you imagine the marketing nightmare of having flat, anaglyph, and good-looking 3D versions of the same movie in stores at the same time?

I suspect someone could make a 3D-capable Blu-ray player with an anaglyph option. Select that option, and your 3D movies would be converted to red-and-blue on the fly. That makes a lot of sense to me, as it provides backwards compatibility for people who buy a new Blu-ray player but can’t get afford a new HDTV. But as I write this, I’ve yet to hear of such a player.