Today’s 3D technology is a great way to show off your kit and can make a good movie even more immersive - especially when hooked up to your surround sound system. With more and more 3D discs coming out and the promise of 3D TV channels, how deep do you need to reach into your pocket or is the technology you need right in front of your eyes?

The Knowhow

3D TV:

  • You need a 3D HD TV in order to view the latest 3D releases
  • Special glasses must be worn to see the image properly
  • 3D televisions can display ordinary 2D pictures
  • The 3D functions only work with specific discs or TV channels, although some 3D TVs can convert 2D images
  • 3D televisions that don't need glasses are currently in development. These are expected to be on sale within the next few years, but are likely to be expensive

3D Blu-ray:

  • You will need a 3D ready Blu-ray player and 3D HDTV to see the full effect
  • Most recent Blu-ray players are 3D ready, and some can be made 3D ready with a firmware update if they contain the right technology needed to play 3D. Check the manufacturer’s website for details
  • PS3s are able to play Blu-ray 3D discs, but cannot output full HD sound at the same time as the 3D effect
  • Blu-ray 3D movies can play on non-3D ready machines, but only in 2D. Many manufacturers lock the 3D version for these machines and provide a separate ordinary Blu-ray disc


  • At the time of writing, there are no special 3D DVDs that make use of 3D HDTV features
  • Due to the limited storage of DVD, it is unlikely this situation will ever change
  • Any 3D movies currently available use the old "coloured glasses" technology
  • The 3D effect is not as impressive as with Blu-ray 3D, and the image look like it doesn’t have any colour due to the shaded gels in the glasses

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific details.

Updated On:

Aug 16, 2012

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