Warping to a New Dimension? What to Expect with 3D TV in 2014?

By ETC@USC (Sony 3D TV) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By ETC@USC (Sony 3D TV) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

3D TV used to be popular and a focus for TV manufacturers. From Sony to Samsung, the major players in the television market rushed to offer consumers the best of 3D technology they can provide. However, suddenly all the 3D hype was swiped into apparent oblivion.

What happened to 3D TV technology? Where have all the efforts of manufacturers gone? We’ve read about several articles pronouncing the supposed bursting of the 3D bubble. Thankfully, some hope for this technology is in sight.

If you are a big fan of 3D TV, you have to know the following information about 3D television in 2014.

3D TV in 2014 Is Not Yet Dead

In June of 2013, ESPN cancelled their 3D TV programming, prompting many to think that the end of 3D television had just started. Just recently, during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), TV maker Vizio announced that it was dropping 3D support in its future television products. Again, it was viewed as another nail on 3D TV’s coffin. Fortunately (unfortunately for naysayers), 3D television is not yet dead.

In fact, it is getting better. Advancements in 3D technology have improved the way 3D shows can be viewed and enjoyed. The trend is moving to glasses-free 3D TV viewing. It’s about making it easier to appreciate TV without the need for cumbersome implements.

There are Different Forms of 3D TV

Generally, 3D television, in the display sense, can either be with filters or lenses or without lenses (autostereoscopic). The latter is the technology being pursued by manufacturers at present.

The 3D display system that makes use of filters or lenses is subdivided into four types. One is the anaglyph 3D that makes use of passive color filters. Another type is the polarized 3D system that employs passive polarization filters. A third type is the active shutter 3D system, a technology that involves active shutters to create the impression of depth. Lastly, the head-mounted display type is a rather impractical system for most consumers as it involves the use of a headgear that positions separate screens for each eye. This means two miniature displays mounted on each eye instead of being viewed from a distance

On the other hand, autostereoscopic 3D display technology is what is deemed most appealing to consumers. Commonly referred to as glasses-free 3D, it uses stereoscopic images to present images with binocular perception of 3D depth. This means 3D images right on the screen–more more glasses or headgear to wear. An example of this display technology is the Nintendo 3DS.

By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3D TV Failed to Accelerate into Popularity Because Manufacturers in the Past Supported “With Glasses” 3D

Some two to three years ago, support for the development of glasses-free 3D displays was almost nonexistent. Because most TV manufacturers already had their TVs in the market, they had no other choice but to (temporarily) shun the idea of glassless 3D, lest they harm their chances of the 3D TVs they have already put out in the market.

Obviously, nobody liked wearing glasses while watching TV so the technology failed to click among consumers.  Even now, LG is still espousing the idea of “with glasses” 3D television despite the clear message from the consumers that it’s very unlikely to be adopted. Thankfully, other manufacturers have a different opinion. 3D TV in 2014 should already be more about glasses-free viewing.

By Snaily (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Snaily (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Lack of 3D Programs Makes 3D TV Less Popular but It’s Not Yet Killing It

While many networks have already stopped their plans of releasing 3D content for television, it is possible for this to change as new 3D displaying technologies make the viewing experience better. In 2012, global 3D TV sales increased by 72% or 41.45 million units sold compared to the 24.14 million recorded in the previous year. This shows that there is interest in 3D TV and it is likely to be augmented once the newer and better technologies are marketed.

The Immediate Future for 3D Is Movies

It could be movies in theaters or movies shown on large 3d TVs at home. According to the president of Sensio, Nicholas Routhier, in the next few years, 3D television will be about 3D movies. He believes that 3D entertainment would mostly appeal for those once-in-a-while viewing experiences. It is not for regular or everyday media consumption.

This seems to be the likely case  considering how people still have this difficulty accepting 3D tech in everyday life. Many consumers who attended previous CES events, for instance, usually asked if they can disable the 3D feature when 3D TVs were demoed. It will take more time getting used to the 3D viewing setup if it is indeed something to be promoted.

By LG전자 (LG전자, 세계 최초 풀(Full) LED 3D TV 출시) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By LG전자 (LG전자, 세계 최초 풀(Full) LED 3D TV 출시) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

There’s no death 3D TV in 2014. Nanotechnology is even helping it make a comeback. Consumers should soon see glasses-free 3D TVs that can be enjoyed from all viewing angles. Ordinary consumers are certainly supportive of TV sets that can show 3D videos without the hassles of wearing glasses and without the need to stay in one position to enjoy the 3D illusion. If 3D printing is expected to make waves, there’s no reason for 3D television to meet its demise anytime soon.