Where to find 3D movies to watch at home

So you decided to spring for a 3D-capable HDTV. Now what? Here are four sources for 3D content, both streaming and Blu-ray.

Vudu offers a decent selection of streaming 3D movies -- but most are for purchase only.
Vudu offers a decent selection of streaming 3D movies -- but most are for purchase only. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Here's a happy fact: 3D-capable HDTVs now cost little more than their non-3D counterparts.

Here's another happy fact: 3D-capable Blu-ray players now cost little more than their non-3D counterparts.

And, finally, a sad fact: You can't rent 3D movies from Netflix. Or your local Redbox kiosk. Nor can you stream or download them from Amazon, Netflix, or iTunes.

So now what? What good is the gear if there's no content? Turns out there are a few sources that can deliver 3D goodness to your home, either through the mail or over the Interwebs. Here are your options:

3D-BlurayRental.com

3D-BlurayRental.com offers perhaps the largest selection of 3D movies anywhere, and at reasonable prices.
3D-BlurayRental.com offers perhaps the largest selection of 3D movies anywhere, and at reasonable prices. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

If there's a movie that's been released on 3D Blu-ray, chances are good 3D-BlurayRental.com will have it. This movies-by-mail service charges between $4.99 and $7.99 for most rentals, two-way postage included. After you receive your disc, you have seven days to watch the movie. If it's not postmarked by that seventh day, the service will charge an extra $2 per day until you send it back.

Until Netflix and/or Redbox get their 3D act together, this is arguably the best and most affordable way to obtain 3D Blu-ray movies.

Comcast Xfinity 3D
If you're a Comcast HD subscriber and you have a current set-top box, check your on-demand options. I found about two dozen recent 3D releases available for rental, including "Captain America," "Hugo," "Happy Feet 2," and "Immortals." Each one will cost you $6.99. (Comcast also offers a few channels that provide 24/7 3D content, including ESPN 3D.)

Sony PlayStation Network
The Sony PlayStation 3 might just be the ultimate 3D-TV companion. It's not only a 3D-capable Blu-ray player, but also a movie streamer that can pull content from both Sony's library (which includes a smattering of 3D movies and games) and Vudu (see below).

I don't own a PS3, so I don't have pricing or selection info. (E-mails to Sony's PR department went unanswered.) If you're a PS3 user, perhaps you can share some details in the comments.

Vudu
This Wal-Mart-owned movie-streaming service has yet to really catch on against the likes of Amazon and Netflix, but it currently has one of the largest 3D-movie catalogs anywhere -- an impressive 50 titles at last count.

Unfortunately, many of the titles are available only for purchase, with prices typically set at $21.99. And a lot of the best 3D flicks aren't there, including "Despicable Me" and "Hugo."

For my money, the smart way to enjoy 3D at home is to rent or buy 3D Blu-ray discs. That affords you not only the best picture and sound quality, but also the widest selection.

Have you found a better source for 3D movies? Tell me about it in the comments. And if you've tried any of the four options mentioned here, let me know how they worked out.

 

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