Pin Me

3D TV Buying Guide - What to Look for in a 3D TV

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Jonathan Wylie•updated: 8/28/2010

Buying a 3D television is not very different from buying an HDTV. However, there are some key areas you would want to look at before making that all important decision.

  • slide 1 of 5

    So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge to buy a 3D TV set? Although 3D TV is a recent phenomenon, TV manufacturers have jumped in the fray to cash in on the 3D craze especially after the release of 3D movies such as Avatar and Toy Story 3.

    However, you may be confused as to the different models rolled out by 3D television manufacturers, and want to know what is what before committing to a purchase. If that’s so, this 3D TV buying guide will help clear the air and at the same time help you make an informed buying decision. Here are some areas you should look carefully at.

  • slide 2 of 5

    TV Size

    If you really want to experience the 3D effect as you would in a cinema, you would want to go for the largest TV size your budget allows. Besides, if you’re buying a 3D television set, you can’t buy anything under a 42-inch model right now. The largest screen size is at 65 inches. So, remember to think about size when the time comes to buy, as a larger screen often gives a better 3D experience.

  • slide 3 of 5

    2D to 3D Conversion

    One question most folks ask about 3D TV is whether it can convert existing 2D programs to 3D. This is understandable as they feel the high price they are going to pay for a 3D TV would only be justified if they could watch their favorite collection of 2D movies in 3D.

    3D television manufacturers, anticipating this need, have included a 2D to 3D processing feature. It will give you an illusion of 3D viewing. However, don’t expect it to come close to true 3D content. The technology is still in its infancy and is expected to improve in the years to come, especially to make up for the shortage of true 3D video content. Among the television brands that support the 2D to 3D conversion feature are Sony, Samsung and Toshiba. If this is important to you, look to these manufacturers first.

  • slide 4 of 5

    3D Glasses

    You will need special glasses to view 3D content on television. There are two types of 3D glasses available for the purpose. The first are anaglyphic glasses, as used in cinemas. These glasses can at best be used for viewing on standard definition television but they don’t support viewing on 3D HDTVs.

    The other is the active shutter 3D glasses used for viewing on an HD 3D television. A good pair can cost you up to $100. Before buying a particular television set, find out whether a model comes bundled with these glasses or if they are an optional purchase. Usually, you are offered glasses, up to two pairs, if you’re buying a 3D TV set in the top price bracket, compared to an entry-level model. For instance, the Sony XBR LX900 series comes with two pairs of 3D glasses while Panasonic’s VT 25 series comes with only a single pair of glasses.

  • slide 5 of 5


    There is a lot to consider when you are buying a 3D HDTV, not least of which is the price. However, if you remember the points in this 3D TV buying guide, you will be a lot better prepared when the time comes to part with your money.