Is 3D TV still a thing?

Once the future of TV, 3D is now hardly ever mentioned. In fact, is it even still a thing? We take a look…

26 Feb 2016

You may remember that just a few years ago experts were predicting that 3D TV was set to revolutionise the way we watch the box.

Then along came OLED and 4K UHD and 3D was pretty much forgotten. But 3D didn’t disappear completely, even though manufacturers were no longer shouting about it.

Most new high-end TVs still have it. Though they’re no longer branded 3D TVs. They’re 4K UHD TVs or OLED TVs that include 3D as one of their myriad features.

The problem with 3D

There were a few reasons as to why 3D didn’t become ‘the future of TV’. But mainly it was down to the glasses – like anyone was really going to pop on a pair of goggles to watch EastEnders?

No. Chatting to friends and family about what you’re watching is a big part of watching TV, and the goggles made that a bit, well, daft.


Movies and 3D – the perfect match

3D was never going to be used all the time. It was more suited to special events, one-offs. In short, it’s perfect for movie nights. 

And that’s how people now use it - to make a real occasion of watching a movie with family and friends.


How 3D makes movies more immersive

3D telly really does bring the on-screen action to life in amazing ways. 

You’re treated to that incredible extra depth that makes it seem as though objects, characters and even pieces of scenery no longer merely lie flat inside your TV monitor, but burst out into the room all around you.

What’s more, many of the 3D-enabled sets on the market today come with free pairs of glasses, so there really is no excuse not to try it.Watching movies in 3D

How to watch 3D TV

Most of us have had the opportunity to watch 3D films on the big screen in the cinema. Images appear fuzzy at first, until you slip on a pair of special specs and everything is brought sharply into awesome focus.

At home, 3D TV works in much the same way. Once you’ve got your TV in place and your glasses ready to go, all you need is some 3D content.

You may be used to wearing 3D glasses made out of paper with red and blue lenses, or even the trendier, retro-style frames given out in the cinema these days.

But manufacturers of 3D TVs have been stepping things up a gear, by creating next-generation active glasses.

How active glasses work:

  • connect to your TV using Bluetooth and infrared tech
  • use fast-moving shutters that rapidly open and close to filter each part of the 3D image to each eye

The result? You’ll see pictures in greater, more detailed resolution, which means better image quality.


What can I watch?

There’s a whole array of great films out there that you can enjoy in 3D, either by streaming them from services such as Sky Movies, or by hooking your TV up to a Blu-ray player.

Popular titles include some of the most visually stunning films ever made, which are taken to new levels when watched in 3D, including James Cameron’s sci-fi epic, Avatar and the lost-in-space thriller, Gravity.

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