Is 3D TV Worth It?


Thanks to the recent boom in 3D cinema, and the increasing affordability of 3D technology, we can all now get the 3D cinema experience in our own homes. As well as buying 3D films on disc or online, 3D TV is growing all the time too. More and more dedicated 3D content is being produced for TV, including movies and documentaries. Sky currently offers the UK’s only dedicated 3D TV channel, showing a range of entertainment and sports, as well as the latest movies and documentaries, and it’s free with the Sky World HD package.

How it Works

3D TV basically works as an optical illusion, fooling our brains into thinking that a 2D image has depth. 3D glasses provide a filter, where each eye sees a slightly different image, and your brain pieces these two images together to create a 3-dimensional effect. There are two main types of 3D TV:

Active – active 3D TVs tend to give a better quality effect, as they can display full screen images. You need to wear battery-powered active 3D glasses, which contain LCD lenses, and work by displaying a separate image for the left and right eye, alternating in very quick succession using rapidly moving shutters.

Passive – passive 3D TV glasses don’t require any batteries, as they work by polarisation to project two separate images simultaneously onto the right and left eye. The downside here is that because two images need to be shown on your 3D TV at once, the resolution is halved, so you can’t watch 3D films in HD.

Is it Worth It?

If you’ve enjoyed 3D blockbusters at the movies, then why not enjoy them at home too? And if you haven’t checked out a 3D flick for a while, you’ll find that modern 3D technology eliminates the headaches and dizziness some complained about with the old red-and-green 3D of yesteryear. That said, if you’re one of the 7% of the UK population that can’t experience 3D due to depth of vision problems, you’re not going to see any benefit.

Which 3D TV?

You have 3 main options, depending on your budget. The cheapest are active 3D TVs, with passive 3D TVs being a little more expensive, as they come with a special polarised screen to correctly filter and project images. If you really want to push the boat out, you can opt for one of the new generation of glasses-free 3D TVs just emerging on the market. They’re not cheap, but they’re special screen filters mean you don’t need to wear any glasses, as the all of the eye-tricking image magic is performed by the TV screen itself.

All we would say is, when it comes to choosing a 3D TV, the bigger the better. The more of your field of vision that’s covered, the better the 3D effect will be. If you’re thinking of making the switch to 3D, there’s a great guide to the TVs currently on offer over at the Which? consumer website.

This article was produced in association with Sky


Telegraph, Jan 2011:

Daily Mail, Jan 2010:–worth-1-000-price-tag.html