Skip to Content
Pointer Clicker is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more.

3D Projectors vs. 3D TVs

3D Projectors vs. 3D TVs

You may have heard about 3D contents, and how interesting they are to watch. Possibly, you already have a list of movies you would like to watch in 3D format, and now you have to decide which device to use; a 3D projector or a 3D TV.

The thing is, both devices are good, but they have their differences; and that is what we will be discussing.

Before we compared these devices, let us look at how each of them works.

What is a 3D projector?

Click for more info

A 3D projector is different from regular projectors because it allows you to view images on the screen as if you are seeing them in real life.

It gives a three-dimensional view of images. These projectors enable you to see image depths together with the height and width; but not without a 3D glass.

A 3D projector creates a stereoscopic effect by placing different images on each eye. It does this by using different formats such as Frame sequential, Side-by-Side, Frame packing, and Checker board formats.

A projector could be 3D-ready or Full 3D. A 3D-ready projector can only support the simplest of the 3D formats which is the Frame sequential format. On the other hand, Full 3D projectors can support all the four 3D formats that were enumerated in the previous paragraph.

What is a 3D TV?

young woman with a remote watching 3D TV

A 3D TV works in the same way as a 3D projector. It also places different images on each eye; one image on the left and the other on the right.

This technology is referred to as stereoscopy. However, some TV brands have advanced to the level of autostereoscopic technology; an example is the Toshiba TV of 2010 which was based on this technology. This type of 3D technology is screen-based, requiring no special glasses.

However, the production of 3D TVs seems to have stopped since 2017. The reason for this is not far-fetched; 3D TVs are super expensive. Coupled with the fact that you have to get 3D glasses to view it; it is just too much of an expense.

3D projectors vs 3D TVs

3d glass in front of 3d tv

3D projectors and TVs differ especially in terms of image size, which also affects their 3D quality.

Projectors have a bigger screen size compared to TVs, and thus they have a greater 3D effect. This is because, the bigger the screen, the bigger the 3D effect; so 3D projectors can give a better 3D experience compared to TVs.

3D TVs are also more expensive. You should be ready to spend extra if you want to purchase a 3D TV as big as a projector screen. Also, you need a 3D Blu-ray disc player for a 3D TV and that will cost you an extra amount.

However, 3D projectors and 3D TVs are similar because they both require the use of special glasses. The 3D glasses could be Active 3D glass or Passive 3D glass.

Active glasses are heavier and are run by a battery. You need to connect them to the TV or projector via cable, or remotely. On the other hand, Passive glasses are simpler. They have their lenses covered with polarizing filters, and they are not as bulky as the Active 3D glasses.

Are 3D projectors worth it?

This depends largely on how well you love to view contents in 3D format, and how much you are willing to invest in a 3D projector.

3D projectors are usually more expensive than regular projectors, and you will also require special glasses for viewing them. However, they bring a whole lot of fun to your viewing. 3D images are more captivating and will keep you glued to your seat.

So if you are willing to spend some extra bucks, a 3D projector won’t be a bad idea and it is worth the pay.

Do you need a 3D TV to watch 3D?

young woman with a remote enjoys watching 3D TV

Yes, you need a 3D TV to watch 3D. You also need other devices like the 3D Blu-ray player, 3D glasses, 3D Blu-ray disc, and an HDMI cable (1.4 version). These devices are mostly compatible with 3D TV.

However, there are a few tricks that you can use to watch 3D content on regular tv or via Computer operating systems. Note that these tricks only work on Windows, Linux, and MacOS X, and you will need 3D glasses. Also, the movie must be in SBS (Side-by-Side) 3D format.

You can connect your PC to your TV to view the image on a larger screen. An HDMI cable will help do the trick, and if your PC has a USB-C port, simply use a USB-C to HDMI adapter.

Below are the steps for playing a 3D movie on Windows, Linux, and MacOS X:

Open your 3D movie on a VLC player (version 2.1.0). Select “Tools” from the menu, and click on “Effects and Filters“.

Select “Video Effects“, then the “Advanced” tab, click on “Anaglyph 3D” then “Close“.

This should open the movie in 3D format. Put on your glasses and play the movie.

It is the same process for Windows and Linux. However, for MacOS X, the “Video effects” menu is in the windows tab and the “Anaglyph” menu is in the “Miscellaneous” tab.

Can I play 3D movies on my projector?

You can play 3D movies on your projector, but it must be a 3D projector; you will find a list of them here.

There are different methods for watching 3D movies on different projectors. Check the user manual of your projector for a full guide on how to set up the projector for 3D viewing.

Note that regular projectors cannot play 3D movies. This is because they cannot read 3D signals and interpret them into 3D images.


There are not many differences between 3D projectors and 3D TVs. The main difference is in their price and screen size; the reason most people prefer to get a 3D projector instead of a 3D TV. I mean, if at all you need to watch a movie in 3D, it should be on the big screen and with the right 3D quality.

3D TVs are nowhere near 3D projectors in terms of giving a good 3D effect, coupled with the high price of 3D TVs. It is better to go for their projector counterparts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.