For screen reader problems with this website, please call888-593-89908 8 8 5 9 3 8 9 9 0Standard carrier rates apply to texts.

The Difference Between 3D and HD TV

by Product Specialist IV

The Difference Between 3D and HD TV

The Difference Between 3D and HD TV

When looking to purchase a new TV, you’ll likely come across options including HD, 3D, and even 4K. Without knowing what all those numbers and letters mean, it may be hard to decipher what the difference is between these key features.

We’re here to help! High Definition – or HD – essentially refers to images that are going to look better. It’s not going to be quite like the jump from black and white to color, but there’s a lot more image data being pumped to your TV, that’s for sure!

On the other hand, 3D is a format that gives the illusion of depth and allows the viewer to perceive flat images in lifelike or three-dimensional form. Read below to find out more details between these two kinds of television styles, and figure out which one would be best for your next TV purchase.


3D is an optical illusion created through the use of specialized glasses and TV sets. Most of these special television sets require 3D glasses and a 3D-ready set-top box – or gaming console -- for the full effect. Your eyes are presented with two slightly different images via the 3D glasses, and this allows you to see an image with perceived three-dimensional depth.

3D TVs are made by various manufacturers and can come with different features. You can get both active and passive 3D TVs, which refers to the type of technology used to generate the 3D effect. Active is generally considered to be superior, but also costlier. The active technology can provide a better-quality picture, but the glasses are much more expensive than the passive alternatives.

It’s also worth noting that 3D TVs are also probably going to be HD TVs, as well. But if you’d rather not worry about 3D at all – especially as 3D TVs become harder and harder to find – you can stick with just an HD set. And speaking of HD…

The Difference Between 3D and HD TV


HD TVs have higher resolution than older TVs. HD TVs provide a higher-quality display with a vertical resolution display from 720p to 1080p. There are three categories that make up high definition TV: 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, with 1080p being the best and what you should be shooting for.

What does this mean for your media collection, however? Well, if you have Blu-Ray discs, you are already all set for – and really should be using – an HD television set. If you are still sitting on a bunch of DVDs, there are options for that, too: Some Blu-Ray players will upscale DVDs, making even your older content look better.

Most streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime also operate in HD, which means that even if you don’t want to upgrade your own physical library, there are still digital options to get the best out of your new HD TV.

If you enjoy 3D movies in theaters, bringing that experience home with a 3D TV can be quite awesome. But, if you’ve never cared for it, or just don’t want to mess with glasses, then you’ll be fine sticking to something in an HD line.