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best 3d tv

The Best 3D TVs in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

For many people, the 3D TV is revolutionary and the epitome of today’s technology. In our best list you will find a lot of information and ratings for weight, resolution, brand and much more, which our team was able to determine after reading countless tests on the Internet.

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Frequently Asked Questions: 3D TVs

What is a 3D TV?

3D TVs are devices that can reproduce a spatial image. The normal TV picture is only two-dimensional, while the 3D TV, in addition to the length and width, also adds depth to the display.

In this way, people also perceive the environment with their eyes. With a 3D TV, the images appear so three-dimensional that you think you can touch the actors and objects. How is that even possible?

How does spatial (or stereoscopic) vision work?

The fact that humans are able to enjoy a TV picture in 3D at all is only due to the fact that the human eyes are able to provide an accurate spatial image of the environment. There are not many creatures that are able to do this. It is not for nothing that the sense of sight is the most important of the human senses.

When a person looks at a particular point, both eyes are focused on it, but provide slightly different images. These are transmitted via the optic nerve of the respective eye to the visual center of the brain. There, the two individual images are combined to form a single, spatial image of the surroundings.

The brain takes into account tiny differences between the two individual images and uses them to calculate the position, distance and speed of the object being viewed, as it were fully automatically (in the subconscious).

The closer the object being viewed, the greater the differences in the angle of view of the right and left eyes. This leads to the fact that close objects appear very plastic, while the stereoscopic effect becomes smaller and smaller for objects that are far away. The brain evaluates this information and thus learns to estimate distances.

To do this, of course, it must first gain experience. Stereoscopic vision must be acquired and is not innate. By the way, through the learning effect, people with only one eye can also see their surroundings in 3D. For this purpose, the brain processes the impressions of the one eye with vision and extrapolates them accordingly.

How does a 3D TV work?

There are different types of 3D TVs, but they all use the same basic principle. The image on a 3D TV is, of course, just as two-dimensional as on an ordinary TV.

In order for the brain to get the impression of a spatial representation, the right and left eyes must be shown two separate images that differ slightly. Glasses are needed for this. Depending on the method used, either passive polarization glasses (without their own power supply) or active shutter glasses are used.

The slight differences between the two impressions are evaluated by the brain and an image is created that is no different from true stereoscopic vision.

If the images change faster than 24 times per second, the impression of fluid motion is created because the brain can no longer distinguish between the individual images. Very occasionally, there are even 3D televisions that create a spatial image without glasses. However, the technology is very complex and not yet fully developed.

So far, it has mainly been used in devices with small displays, such as high-quality smartphones or game consoles, which are designed for one or at most two viewers.

Is it possible to watch 2D movies in 3D?

Yes, it is possible. Many 3D TVs have built-in chips that give a 3D effect to normal two-dimensional movies. This is achieved by processing the film through the appropriate software. The strength of the 3D effect can be adjusted in several steps. However, the images do not look as spatial as real 3D movies.

Is 3D television harmful to health?

There are certain dangers inherent in the technology. Doctors, for example, advise against letting children under the age of 10 watch shows in 3D. The reason is that spatial vision is still developing and the body needs several years to learn this skill. From the age of 10, no more than 30 minutes a day should be spent watching 3D broadcasts. Especially the active 3D technology can cause health problems and possibly cause a seizure in epileptics.

Advantages of 3D TVs

There is a great fascination with films shot in 3D. This was already the case in the early fifties, when the first 3D flicks were shown in cinemas. Even today, numerous films are again shot in 3D and shown in cinemas.

With a 3D TV, you can also enjoy this effect at home in your own four walls, which would be shown in a practical test:

  • breathtakingly clear presentation
  • smallest details recognizable
  • you feel in the middle of the action

In a test, the 3D effect looked particularly breathtaking in nature films or scenes with a lot of action, wild shootouts, car chases and daring stunts. As a viewer, you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.

However, the viewing pleasure with 3D TVs is only really good if you not only have a device with a large screen, but also the right home theater system. Only a good sound system rounds off the 3D TV effect and makes the enjoyment of a movie in 3D perfect, as it has been shown in various tests.

Types of 3D TVs

In our 3D TV comparison, we distinguish between devices with active and passive technology. In addition, we will also look at 3D TVs that do not require glasses in a test.

3D TV with polarization glasses

This technology is also called passive 3D because the glasses needed for viewing do not require their own power source. Passive 3D works as follows:

The TV broadcasts the images intended for the left and right eyes at the same time. The emission takes place as so-called polarized light. Light can oscillate in any direction. But if it is polarized, it oscillates in only one direction. 3D televisions with polarized glasses take advantage of this effect. One lens lets only vertically polarized light through, the other only horizontally polarized light.

The television emits the image in lines. One line is polarized vertically, the other horizontally. With the polarization glasses you can perceive only the light for which the particular lens is permeable. Light of the other polarization direction, on the other hand, does not pass through. As a result, you see separate images with slight differences with your left and right eyes, which are assembled into a spatial image in the visual center.

Advantages of passive 3D technology

  • Glasses are light and inexpensive
  • Image is harmonious and does not flicker
  • all glasses are compatible with each other
  • Head movements hardly disturb

Disadvantages of passive 3D technology

  • low resolution, because only half the number of lines is used for the representation
  • no Full HD
  • Image appears blurred and pixelated

3D TV with shutter glasses

This technology is also called active 3D because the glasses help to create the spatial image and need their own power supply in the form of batteries.

The principle of shutter glasses is completely different from that of polarization glasses. The lenses of the shutter glasses are not made of glass, but of liquid crystals. The 3D TV alternately emits an image in Full HD for the right eye and then again an image in Full HD for the left eye. The processor in the glasses constantly switches the liquid crystals between translucent and opaque so that each eye sees only the image sent for it.

The glasses switch at a frequency of 120 hertz, hence the name accute 3D. This is so fast that it cannot be noticed by the human eye. The result is the same as with passive 3D: each eye sees an image with slight differences, and the visual center puts it together to form a spatial image.
together.

Advantages of active 3D technology

  • Full HD display possible
  • brilliant colors, sharp contours
  • Image is not pixelated even from close up

Disadvantages of active 3D technology

  • Glasses heavy and expensive
  • shutter glasses are not compatible
  • usually only one pair of glasses per device
  • Image tends to flicker
  • ghost images (double contours) possible
  • too long viewing can be harmful

3D TV without glasses

This technology is still in its infancy and works according to the following principle: a thin layer of lenses shaped like prisms is applied to the display of the TV set. The light from the pixels is focused and directed precisely at the viewer’s left or right eye. Where the head is located is measured by a camera integrated in the 3D TV.

Advantages of 3D technology without glasses

  • the inconvenience of wearing glasses is eliminated

Disadvantages of 3D technology without glasses

  • very expensive
  • susceptible to interference
  • only suitable for 1 – 2 viewers
  • from the side no sharp picture
  • immature

The world’s first 3D TV without glasses was offered on the market by Toshiba in 2012. However, the device did not become a success, as the 3D quality was only mediocre and the high purchase price deterred most customers. It is quite possible that 3D TVs without glasses will become popular in the future, but the technology is still in its infancy.

How are 3D TVs tested?

In a 3D TV test 2021, several factors come into play that can help turn watching TV in 3D into either a pleasure or a frustration.

Size

For a good 3D TV, the simple principle applies: the bigger, the better. This refers to the screen diagonal. Experts from a test believe that the optimal distance of the viewer from the TV should be twice the diameter of the screen diagonal. If you sit about 2.5 to 3 meters away from the TV, a screen diagonal of 127 to 152 centimeters (50 – 60 inches) is optimal.

Resolution

This criterion in a 3D TV test means how sharp the TV picture is in a practical test. To the naked eye, it appears as a homogeneous surface, but in reality it is composed of many pixels. The more pixels an image has, the finer details can be detected on it. At Full HD resolution, the TV picture consists of 1920 x 1080 pixels. That’s a little more than 2 million pixels.

The first value in the name of the resolution designates the number of columns in which the pixels are arranged, the second value stands for the number of lines. Some 3D TVs have Ultra HD resolution, sometimes called 4k. This is four times the resolution of Full HD, namely 3840 x 2160 pixels, together almost 8.3 million pixels.

Refresh Rate

The frame rate is also called the refresh rate. It is specified in hertz and indicates how many frames the 3D TV shows per second in a practical test. In the PAL standard, the TV shows 50 frames per second. However, the free frequency of 50 hertz is much too low for 3D television because, for technical reasons, the images are shown alternately to the right and left eye.

This halves the refresh rate. If it is too low, flickering occurs (old, joking name for TV: flicker box). This can cause headaches during prolonged viewing. That’s why a 3D TV should have a frame rate of at least 100 hertz. Higher frame rates are even better. The comparison winner in a 3D TV test 2021 even has a frame rate of 400 hertz.

That means the device emitted 400 frames per second in the practical test. At such a high frequency, even fast motion sequences appear very smooth and annoying judder is a thing of the past.

Reception

In television technology, the receiver is also called a tuner. There are 3 types of tuners:

  • DVB-S2 tuner
  • DVB-T2 tuner
  • DVB-C tuner

Television signals have been broadcast digitally only for some time. The abbreviation DVB stands for digital video broadcasting. The letter S2 stands for second generation satellite television, T2 for second generation terrestrial television (broadcast by transmission masts) and C for cable television.

Most 3D TVs in a practical test have an integrated receiver for satellite TV. This allows you to connect the TV directly to the output of the satellite antenna; an extra tuner is not necessary. If, on the other hand, you receive your TV signal via cable, the situation is a bit different. Most cable companies broadcast their signals in encrypted form. To receive them, you need to rent or buy a receiver (tuner) from the company in question.

Television signals in the DVB-T2 category, on the other hand, can be received free of charge in the majority of cases. In addition, almost all tuners today have a so-called CI+ slot. This is a slot for a card that allows you to receive pay TV, for example.

3D TV Accessories

In order to use your 3D TV properly, you need a whole range of accessories. In many cases, it is not only useful, but even necessary.

Blu-Ray Player

This statement is especially true for Blu Ray players. These devices are an ideal complement to your 3D TV. Since there are still very few 3D movies on TV, movies on Blu Ray Disc are often the only way to exploit the potential of your 3D TV. When choosing the right Blu Ray player, you should make sure that the device is compatible with your 3D TV.

Based on experience from many tests that we publish in 3D TV Comparison 2021, among others, we recommend that you choose a device from the same manufacturer that your TV comes from. Either in the product description or in the user manual you will find exact information about which TVs the Blu Ray player is compatible with. Although most 3D TVs have the Miracast function, which allows you to connect a Blu Ray player to the TV wirelessly, we recommend that you choose a wired connection instead.

For example, you can connect the Blu Ray player using an HDMI cable. Alternatively, you can also use an optical cable. With a wired connection, not only is the data transfer faster, it is also less susceptible to interference.

Soundbar

This accessory is also an ideal addition to your 3D TV. All modern TVs suffer from a technical problem. Developers are designing the housings to be ever flatter. This may look nicer, but it leaves less and less space for the integrated speakers. However, for a speaker to produce good sound, it must have a certain mass. It’s not uncommon for a TV to have a huge screen with high resolution and brilliant colors, but the sound is thin and tinny.

The solution to this problem is the soundbar. These are additional speakers, which are usually placed horizontally at the bottom edge of the screen.  The connection to the TV is made with the help of cables. This will give your 3D TV a rich, full sound.

Webcam

All 3D TVs belong to the group of Smart TVs. Among other things, this means that the devices are able to connect to the Internet. For this reason, the use of a webcam is an obvious choice.

You can then use your 3D TV, for example, to make video calls and stay in touch with friends and relatives via social networks, even if they live far away from you. The manufacturers of the TV sets offer corresponding apps for use. This is usually free of charge. Webcams are small but powerful devices that can fit on the flat frame of a TV.

Most webcams have a microphone integrated right away. We recommend models that also have integrated LED lighting. Even in poor lighting conditions, your conversation partner will get a clear, well-lit image.

The webcam was connected via a USB port in a test. To avoid misuse by hackers, simply unplug the camera when you are not using it.

3D TVs: Are They Worth It?

3D televisions were presented to the public for the first time at the International Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin in 2010. The devices attracted a lot of attention. At that time, the technologies active 3D with shutter glasses and passive 3D with polarization glasses were already presented. Only 2 years later, the first 3D TV without glasses was available for purchase. Experts predicted that in a few years almost a quarter of all televisions would be 3D capable.

However, the prediction came true only in part. Among other things, this is because hardly any programs are shown in 3D on television to date, and partly because many viewers find it too inconvenient to have to wear glasses when watching TV.

3D technology without glasses is still in its infancy. However, technical development is working in favor of 3D. The higher the resolution of TV sets becomes (Ultra HD), the better the presentation in 3D. In addition, the cost of 3D televisions is falling considerably due to more efficient production. Good brand-name sets are now available for just a few hundred dollars. Therefore, now is a good time to buy a 3D TV.

Last product update on 2021-04-10 | Source: Amazon Affiliate