3D Television no more a fantasy
Nitin Kumar Rathore (10BM60055)
Vinod Gupta School of Management
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
During a period of years new technologies have been emerging for entertainment like books, radio,
TV etc... And one of them prevalent now is 3D technology. This paper will help understand what the
contemporary 3D TV is and what can be its future technology and concept behind it. This paper
explains issues that should be addressed to make it successful such as social and consumer issues.
It also includes analysis of market and current market players.
3D Motion pictures have been experienced by most of us in 3D theatres but time of 3D TV has come
and we will no more hush for movie-tickets to have 3D experience and the experience is going to be
much more astounding. Moving 3D ghost like images which is optical replica of an object have been
part of many science fiction movies and if technology growth pace will not decline; these ghost will be
found floating around in your home controlled by remote in your hand in near future.
3D photography, TV and cinema have a long history. First widely used technology for 3 Dimensional
movies has been developed in 1839 known as stereography. 3D images have been part of American
cinema from 1950s, but experienced a worldwide recognition from 1980s. Stereoscopy is the widely
used 3D technology used now-a-days. It is based on the binocular nature of perception of human
eyes. It requires optical instrument (glasses) to separate the two streams from the TV for the two
different human eyes.
Stereoscopic displays used nowadays has a flip side, it can cause eye fatigue. Autstereoscopic 3D
displays are developed to avoid the constraint of glasses. But is limited in providing 3D display to one
user and user should be in the defined position to have 3d perception. Well Head tracking
autostereoscopic displays have been developed to facilitate human movement but it is still limited to
one user. FVV is another approach through which user defined viewpoint of the 3D images can be
Stereoscopy, even autostereoscopy is nowhere near creating the optical replica of an object. To
create an optical replica of an object the technology must recreate the light field in the environment.
So that the original scene will be recreated and will be indistinguishable to original case for human
eye this is known as holography. Holography is known since 1948 and differs from other techniques in
a way that it involves acquisition (recording) of the entire optical field with all of its properties rather
than capturing few views from different angles and with fewer details.
Question arises why we are discussing 3DTV now when 3D there had been research in the past. The
answer is many research were made and even a Russian Victor Komar produced holographic movies
in the 1970s and 1980s but cancelled due to lack of funds. And they did not possess an affordable
product and financial backing at that point of time, which is not the condition anymore.
Application of 3DTV technology is not limited to entertainment industry such as house consumer
videos, computer games and TV. But huge number of applications of 3DTV has been proposed.
Proposed applications include virtual reality applications, scientific research, education, training,
simulation, Tele presence, haptics, industrial design and monitoring, medicine, art, and transportation.
In the field of medicine, it may help in diagnosis as well as surgery. In machine involving moving parts
it may aid in designing of machines.
Section 1: Tecnological perspective
Section 1.1 Survey of literature
As mentioned in the Wikipedia 3DTV refers to “A 3D television (3D-TV) is a television set that
employs techniques of 3D presentation, such as stereoscopic capture, multi-view capture, or 2D plus
depth, and a 3D display- a special viewing device to project a television program into a realistic three-
dimensional field”. First of all, it would be helpful if we would keep mind that 3D displays and 3D
television (3DTV) are different. We define the term 3D display as imaging devices which create 3D
perception as their output. 3DTV refers to the whole sequence of 3D image acquisition, encoding,
transport/broadcasting, reception, as well as display. That is 3DTV is end to end system that requires
capture and transmission of the 3D content as well
3D display technology utilizes concept of stereoscopy of stereography. Stereoscopy is based on the
binocular nature of human perception. That’s why 3D TV produces two video streams which show
pictures from two different angles one for the left eye and another for the right eye. These two
streams are separated for different eyes by the use of eyeglasses with polarization filters.
Section1.2 History and development
3D Television was first demonstrated in 1940's by John Logie Baird inventor of television, who
proposed Japanese system for 2020. He developed first 3DTV, known as stereoscopic television at
that point of time, on 9th Aug 1928. In which expression and facial delineation of a man sitting before
a transmitter can be seen on the screen. Baird continued his research and in 1941 he developed a
high definition (500 lines) colour which does not require wearing of special glasses by the viewer, but
to see the stereoscopic effect it requires viewers head to stay in one defined position.
Wilhelm Rollman in 1853 illustrated his analygraph principle. Demonstration of Analygraph principle
requires wearing of filter glasses of red and blue colour for perception of 3d effect through red and
blue line drawings on a black background.
German psychist Carl Pulfrich observed that when a pendulum is moving in the straight line across
the eyes in front of a viewer who has one eye looking through a grey lens and the other eye clear, the
pendulum looks as if it is moving in a ellipse in 3 dimensions. He happened to observe that because
of a cataract in his eye. This effect is caused by the faster processing of brighter image by nerve cells
in the visual cortex than the darker image (because of the cataract). This difference in processing
speed causes a time difference between the two images because of which brain process and
resolves the two images as if they are slightly separated in space. 
In this concept one stereo pair is used where one have alternative polarization orientation than other.
These stereo pair is presented on alternate frames of an interlaced scan. Through which a different
image is perceived by different eyes, producing the 3D effect.
It is invented by Stephen Benton in 1968, while working in the Polaroid Research Laboratories but the
outcomes were not viable for the 3DTV because of the limitation of technology. Victor Komar in
Russia produced holographic movies in the 1970s and 1980s but his work has been cancelled
because of lack of funds. Research has been carried out at MIT in 1989 but it’s not yet successful to
make television transmission possible. There is no practical television systems developed yet. Prime
reason is the high amount of data is required for acquisition of a holographic video, which in turn
requires high transmission bandwidth. 
Section 1.3 Current prevailing 3D Technologies
We will now look at the current methods that would is suitable for use of 3DTV.
This method uses two different images, one for each eye. Special glasses are required for this
approach, for each eye to percept different images from the same screen. This type of displays are
analygraph and images are differentiated orthogonally polarized light or shutter glasses , in which
time multiplexing is used to present different images sequentially to each eye. Head Mounted
Displays (HMD) can also be used which are placed near the eye to present deferent images to
different eyes, but for many application its use is not considered acceptable. Instead auto stereotype
displays can also be used in which we do not require any special glasses and in these separate
images for left and right eye is produced, this is known as binocular approach.
This approach is illustrated in the figure below in which to perceive images as 3D viewer's eyes have
to be located in L and R region respectively.
there is some flexibility in head movement but is less than 65 millimetres the distance between two
eyes. Some of the contemporary approaches used are spatial multiplexing where an image pair is
interlaced on alternate display (usually LCD) pixel columns and then directing light to the eyes either
through a vertically aligned lenticular screen , a parallax barrier , a prismatic screen or with controlled
light sources behind the LCD. Another approach uses images displayed on alternate pixel rows and
light directed to the eyes using a holographic optical element (HOE). Because of the geometry of
display optics in all of these displays, some other viewing zones are also formed where 3D images
can be perceived example L1 and R1.
Say viewer left and right eye are located in R and l1 respectively, this leads to formation of reversed,
i.e. incorrect 3D images and a pseudoscopic image will be observed. To solve this problem head
tracking displays are developed which can move this regions according to the position of eyes .
There have been different Head Tracked systems emerged , with different optical systems such as
lenticular screens , movable illumination sources, prismatic screens, HOEs and Fresnel lenses ,twin
screens with selectable light sources, single screens with micro polarizer multiplexing arrays with a
separate LCD to steer light , twin screens with twin monochrome display light sources, single screens
with micro polarizer array and switched LED light sources and twin LCDs whose images are projected
on to a Fresnel field lens.
Displays using single pair of stereo required minimum amount of information that’s why have an
advantage over the others. But also have few disadvantages like lack of motion parallax, conflict
between the accommodation and convergence of the viewer’s eyes and 3D geometry distortions.
Motion parallax is the ability to look around an object by providing a continuously changing viewpoint,
which is what happens in natural environment. Motion parallax can be made possible by changing the
images in accordance with the position of the head. The conflict between the accommodation and
convergence i.e. the natural movement of eye inward is the main disadvantage of two images
To enable freedom of viewer to perceive 3D images while moving, a binocular system can be
extended that with the use of series of images. To form a multi- view display these images will be
presented across the viewing field. That is enabling motion parallax, as each view gives a different
perception of the image. But this does not resolves the problem of conflict between accommodation
and convergence, as eyes are focused on screen but image may appear in front or behind the screen.
Providing different perceptions through different images at different positions can eliminate false
rotation and image geometry distortions. But the disadvantage of multi-view displays is the limited
depth of the viewing region and limited depth of the field.
A solution to the problem of conflict between accommodation and convergence in multi view 3D
displays is providing a large number of views. In this case eyes will receive two or more parallax
images. And this will cause eye to focus at the distance of convergence. This finding is done by
Telecommunication Advancement Organization of Japan (TAO). This is termed as super multi- view
(SMV). The large number of views required for a SMV cab be provided by using holographic
techniques to produce holographic stereograms.
In a volumetric display an image is produced within a volume of space. Elements of the image are
known as volume pixels or voxels. This is done by slicing the image and displaying the individual
images on their corresponding planes giving a 3D effect. Volumetric displays are categorized into two
virtual image and real image. Virtual depth refers to perceived depth rather than real depth. “In a
virtual image display, depth planes are produced by the use of a deformable mirror whose focal length
varies with time.”  Depth planes can also be produced by using rotating lens.
“Slices of the image are produced sequentially and lens or mirror is used to scan the virtual image of
this through space” . An image is displayed on the screen with full depth is referred as real image.
Implementation of real image displays is done using two types of screens; they are static and moving
screens. In moving screen displays series of slices of images are produced, which is same as in the
case of virtual image volumetric displays. And these slices are projected in a sequence. Moving parts
are not present in case of static screen. “The light may be ‘piped’ to the individual voxel positions.” 
Volumetric displays have few important merits that solves the two problems. First is conflict between
accommodation and convergence and other is head motion parallax when moved in vertical and
horizontal directions. This is because in this displays every voxel (volumetric pixel) occupies a definite
region in the space. Demerit of volumetric displays is the images formed are perceived as non-solid
because of transparent nature of surfaces used for display.
In short characteristics of autostereoscopic displays
Holographic Multiple Large Yes No No
Volumetric Multiple Large Yes No Yes
Holoform Multiple Large Yes No No
Multi-view Multiple Very limited No Yes No
Single Very limited No Yes No
Single Adequate Possible Yes No
Multiple Large Possible Yes No
Holographic Display – Future is here
Only Holographic technique helps us to reconstruct the identical wavefront for the screen which is
necessary for moving pictures to have the same properties as of the original scene, a condition for
making ideal stereoscopic display. Main problem with this display are requirement of huge
computational power and huge quantity of redundant information. High computational power is
required to calculate the fringe pattern of hologram and to maintain high resolution. “And redundancy
is because approximately ten million discretized samples per square millimetre are required to match
the resolution of an optically produced hologram”
Hologram Recording and reconstruction
Recording of holograms are done using a set containing a lenses for guiding the beam, a device to
record, mirrors and a source of light. An example of set up is shown in the figure.
Figure: Hologram recording
BS is a beam splitter used to separate a light into two partial waves. One light wave is used to
illuminate the object. Scattering of the light takes place when it falls on the object surface. And the
scattered llight is reflected back to the recording medium. The other wave is known as reference
wave. Now interfence of the two waves takes place at the surface of recording medium which is
recorded by the device. And the pattern of interference recorded is known as hologram.
Now the virtual image is produced using the reference wave which illuminates the hologram. And the
image formed shows all effects of depth of focus and perspective. That is why Image for the viewer is
undistinguishable from the original object. 
Figure: Hologram Reconstruction 
Section 2 Business perspective
Section 2.1 Market Survey
Section 2.1.1 Current Market Players
Samsung UN55C700 3DTV- Samsung has launched its 7000 series of LED TVs . it’s a 55
inches 3DTV around 1.2 inches in depth. This TV supports regular 2D functionalities, but is
enabled for viewing 3D content. One of the main differences is smaller bezel (frame). It is
approximately 1 inch on sides and top of the screen. This is 3D enabled TV which provides
compatibility with many 3D content formats so that access from many sources of 3D content
would be possible.
Panasonic TC-P504VT25 3DTV: This is a 54 inches 3D TV. VT25 series is the new flagship
line of Viera Plasma Launched by Panasonic. This is a recent Full HD 3DTV which features
the new 1080p (1080 lines of vertical resolution and progressive scan) Infinite black pro panel
and has a contrast ratio of 50,00,000:1. This series has THX certification and also has THX
movie mode which means TV is set for optimum movie viewing from the time it will come out
of the box. This differs from other 3DTV in a way that it does not wear much on the eye in
comparison to some other LCD 3D models. It is partly because of the 600hz sub field drive
which allows for 1080p resolution to each eye better than 240Hz frame rate LCD which allows
for 800 lines (approximately) of resolution.
Sony XBR-52LX900 3D TV: Sony has launched LCD 3D TV series named LX series. It has a
LED backlit on edges, an illumination form used in LCD. Its adjusts brightness of the picture if
you are not watching it, using sensor technology. This helps saving energy and also results in
improvement of life of LED backlighting. It also comes with child warning feature which
detects whether your child is sitting too close to your TV. It possesses a 1080p panel. And
operate on 240Hz which result in reducing doubling of image in 3D and motion lag. It has
Bravia Engine 3 video processor helps in optimizing contrast for lifelike, vibrant image.
Toshiba: Toshiba has introduced ZX900 series having 1080p. It is available in two versions
55 inches and 65 inches. 1080p gives high resolution power which checks unnecessary
contraction art facts. It automatically adjusts brightness, colour saturation, contrast, gamma
and sharpness. Toshiba has distinct feature of CELL engine which has approximately 143
times the procedure power of recently available models, which means high precise image
VIZIO XVTPR0550SV: VIZIO has introduced its 3D TV by utilizing SENSIO 3D Technology. A
user can watch the 3D content using shutter glasses. This model has resolution power of
1080p. Its active-shutter glasses communicate via Bluetooth to the TV. This model of 3DTV is
available in 3 sizes 47 inches, 55 inches and 72 inches. This model operates on 60GHz to
check interference with the cordless telephone (2.4-5GHz) and wireless network. VIZIO has
come up with VIZIO INTERNET APPS(VIA) which helps to select and control to deliver
Interned contents to the TV without making use of set top boxes.
LG LE9500: LG has featured 39 models of this high definition 3DTV which provide customer
with wide variety of choices. This model features complete LED slim and LED plus feature
which help in delivering cutting edge quality of images. The model has depth size of .92
inches and bezel width of 8.5 millimetres that is concentration is paid in providing ultra slim
looks. LG will be trying to serve the mass market by providing 3DTV with various options.
Philips Quad Full: Philips has launched 56 inches 3D TV which has resolution of 3840x2160
which is almost four time the resolution of standard display. And it does not require wearing of
any special glasses. Philips Quad Full 3D HD TV has Autostereoscopic Displays to offer a
fine perception of depth. Its high resolution of 3840x2160 is possible because of high rate of
data transmission provided by Quad Full TV. And it is required to create high quality 3D
pictures. It also provide high viewing angle of 160 degrees.
Section 2.1.2 Consumer reports
A consumer reports conducted by Consumer Reports.org few months earlier. It tested 50 inches
Panasonic Plasma model and two 46 inches LCD sets from Samsung, one was 7000 series model
and other was 8000 series model( 8000 series model was not released in the market at that point of
time). Claudi Ciaci of Oversees television testing at consumer reports conducted the test in the labs
to identify the products. He identified that all the TV sets has impressive 3D effects with 1080p
resolution. But without glasses blurry looking double images are perceived. Without glasses
Panasonic images are although crisp in quality Samsung LCD sets have few double images which
can take away the 3D effect. When Glasses are turned sideways image in the Samsung TV appear
goes dimmer and dimmer. And it eventually turned black which will not be suitable for the viewers
who wanted to view TV resting sideways on the couch, while it is not the problem with Panasonic
plasma TV. These TVs are also tested as conventional sets as the viewer will not be always watching
3D content on them. They find Panasonic delivers very deep dark levels which really enhance the
contrast and give images great depth and dimension while in Samsung dark levels are not there and
we can see some cloudy patchy areas that are supposed to be dark. Same differences in LCD and
Plasma TV were beginning to appear. Plasma TV allows virtually unlimited viewing angle from
anywhere in the room. But when we move away from centre of the LCD TV screen it appears to be
little disturbed. These are the preliminary test conducted and cannot be considered as final
differences between LCD and Plasma but it gives us a rough idea of the Technologies available.,
Section 2.1.3 Sales forecast
A report is released by DisplaySearch on October 12, 2010 showing worldwide sales forecast of 3D
TV. It says in spite of availability of 3D TV, the sale of 3D TV is limited because of high prices and
lack of content. However it also depicts that with the improvements in technology, increasing
availability and decrease in prices there would be huge growth in the sales of 3D TV in next few
years. DisplaySearch has forecasted 3.2 million 3DTV sales in 2010. That is growth of around 90
million in 2014. It also shows that sales of flat panel TVs will grow from 2 %in 2010 to 41% 2014.
While another survey earlier this year by iSuppli indicated sales of 4.2 million 3DTV in 2010.
Paul Gray, Director of TV Electronics Research said that TV manufacturers are coming up with bold
plans and it is marketed to consumers that 3D TV is the future. But consumer is still cautious since
there is huge price gap between normal and 3D TV and little 3D content available for viewing.
North American customer are patient and appeared to be waiting as trends say that price falls rapidly
for the new technology ,as per Paul Gagnon Director of North America TV research. Current reports
show that the ratio of sales of special glasses to 3D TV sets is lower than the 1:1 in many countries in
Europe. Sales ratio of glasses to 3D sets of around 2:1 is considered healthy ratio. So it has two
major implications either 3D sets are bought for future proofing or there are no premium TV sets
available without 3D.
Figure: DisplaySearch 3D TV Sales Forecast 
However, TV set manufacturers is firm to develop 3D feature. Customer options are increasing rapidly
with rising product launch. Swiftly growing product offerings and 3DTV prices have made
DisplaySearch to raise sales forecast in coming years. TV manufacturers are firm that 3DTV is the
future and are trying to decrease its cost, however value to the customer will only be realized when
there will be availability of quality content to view.
Section 2.2 Issues or Challenges with 3DTV
Social Impact: Many concerns regarding social impact of 3DTV have been argued. It
includes negative impacts on children by communicating a deformed image of real life,
extreme exposure to violent scenes, decrease in sociability due to substitution of social
encounters and negative effect on development of child because of substitution of other
recreational and developmental activities.  ,
Are 3D images and real life images comparable: The current 3D TV technology is not yet
able to provide the images comparable to real life images as perceived by the eyes. The
current 3D TV technology is different from real 3D expectation but yet quite different from 2D
which provide a limited depth perception, i.e. 3DTV in transition. But few customers buying
3DTV still consider it as a breathtaking experience.  ,
Compatibility issues: It has been found that 3D TVs launched earlier this year were facing
compatibility issues. Many 3D devices are not able to work with each other.
Figure: Representing compatibility issues of 3DTV launched early this year 
Consumers are not much aware of the compatibility problems that they may face. nVidia is
one of the few companies that provided user with the list of devices compatible to theirs on
their website. 
Health Issues: There have been serious concerns raised in terms of health issues of 3DTV.
Samsung Australia has released warning regarding potential health effects of 3D TV. A quote
from Samsung says “If you suffer from, or have a family history of epilepsy or strokes, please
consult with a medical specialist before using the 3D function”. Even the people having
history of stroke or epilepsy can lead to an undiagnosed condition, which may cause
photosensitive epileptic seizures. Some other warnings said “Viewing 3D television may also
cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased
postural stability”. Samsung itself is launching 3DTV they just warned the public so they
can avoid any potential lawsuit.
Lack of 3D content: 3DTV may face problems as faced by the HDTV which was released in
1970s but was not able to get popular worldwide due to their high cost and lack of content.
There will be few sports programs that can be popular with viewer but still 3DTV is still lacking
availability of quality content. And many consumers want rich 3D content to watch if they are
going to buy a 3DTV, they are not paying huge sum just to watch 3D news broadcasting.
High Prices: 3DTV is still marketed for the premium market since it’s not affordable to all. It is
because of the new technology and product. And the trend of many technology products
shows that the prices started falling later that is why many consumers are waiting for the
prices to fall. Many surveys that’s why shows a relatively high sales growth of 3DTV in next
few years rather that this year. And prices have fallen down from the initial month of 2010
3DTV has been successfully introduced to the market but its sales is not as high as predicted
because we lack in technology causing a variety of issues and serving good material for critics. But
few years back critics were sceptical about the launch of 3DTV and last year critics said that we does
not have technology to introduce 3DTV without use of special glasses. But few companies likes
Samsung has done it and Toshiba is on its way. Few companies has also resolved few issues which
were prevalent during launch like such as reduced compatibility issues and also given that their sales
is rising every quarter (financial backing), it is evident that 3DTV would resolve most of the issues in
next 4 to 5 years and therefore represents future.
Three-Dimensional Television Capture, Transmission, Display, Haldun M. Ozaktas and
Levent Onural (Book)
 3D TV articles and Models
 Philips 3D HDTV might destroy Space-Time continuum, Wallets, Gadget Lab
 Expert, Independent, Non profit ,Consumer Roperts.org
 Consumer Reports Video on 3DTV Comparisons, Interactive TV today
 3D TV Not Growing as Fast as TV Makers Expected in 2010, but Will Become Mainstream by
2014, with 90 Million+ Shipments, DisplaySearch
 Understanding 3D compatibility issues, Hubpages
 How 3D TV can affect your health, Dr. WES in Better Health Network, getbetterhealth.com
 Samsung issue health warning about 3D TV, Geek With Laptop