3D Technology: Is It Here to Stay?

girl in movie theater with 3d glasses

3D technology was once something you’d see only on the big screen. But now, it’s moved from the movie theater into our homes. From 3D HD televisions to 3D Blu-ray players, we can easily view 3D programming without setting foot outside our living rooms. And, you’ll find that many 4K TVs on the market today include 3D technology.

How does 3D technology work?

Have you ever wondered how 3D movies work? Let’s back up and start with a quick overview of how our eyesight takes in 3D images. Because our eyes are set a few inches apart, each one actually sees and processes a slightly different image. The brain processes both of those images, and the differences in both are what give us the ability to see distance and have depth perception.

So, in order for us to see 3D images on a 2D TV screen, we have to use technology to trick our brains into thinking we are seeing a three-dimensional image when we're not. This is done by showing two similar images on the TV screen. Ideally, your right eye doesn’t see the images meant for the left eye and vice versa.

Early 3D technology from the 50s relied on color-tinted glasses to make 3D images. One red and one blue lens could filter images so that each eye viewed a slightly different perspective of the movie. It worked, but the picture created by these colored lenses wasn't that great. Plus, these early 3D glasses have been known to cause nausea and headaches.

Today, there are two main methods used to create 3D images on TV – active and passive. However, another option is to watch 3D TV without glasses. Find out more about these three methods below:


Active shutter glasses are battery-powered glasses with shutters that operate in time with the refresh rate of your HDTV at 120 Hz. This makes it possible for the left and right eyes to see only the images intended for them. These glasses are pretty high-tech, and they contain liquid crystal to receive a signal that synchronizes them with the TV's display.


The passive method uses inexpensive, polarized glasses to see 3D programming. The polarization in these special glasses is set at 90-degree angles while two projectors project two distinct images—one for each eye. Surfaces where 3D images are projected must be coated with a special chemical to ensure that the polarization is not affected.

No glasses required

Finally, it is possible to see 3D images without wearing glasses at all. This technology really appeals to those who like watching 3D programming, but aren't so fond of wearing glasses all day long. According to Tom’s Guide, 3D technology is now pairing with 4K TVs to manipulate the subpixels and ditch the glasses. The 3D TV screens feature lenses that direct the light at a unique angle. The colors from the different pixels meet at a distance in front of the TV, creating the 3D effect.

Shop for 3D TVs at hhgregg

With a wide selection of 3D TVs and Blu-ray players from your favorite brands, hhgregg can help you create a home entertainment setup using the most advanced 3D technology. Stop by your local hhgregg store to speak with one of our knowledgeable experts who can answer your 3D questions, or read reviews and shop our selection online.

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