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Can A 4k TV Play 3D?

If you have ever asked yourself if a 4K TV can play 3D content, you are not alone. I recently had the same exact question, and set out to do some research to find out the answer. After reviewing the pros and cons, tips and tricks, and a few other solutions, I was able to solve the dilemma. In this blog post, I’d like to share what I learned and the solutions I discovered, so that other owners of 4K TVs can benefit from my research.

A normal 4K TV will not be able to play a 3D movie, regardless if you have a 3D Blu-ray player or the 3D movies to go along with it. Your TV must have the right hardware and capabilities with a set of linked glasses to create the 3D effect needed for these TVs. 

4K TV and 3D compatibilityA normal 4K TV cannot play 3D content without the necessary hardware and capabilities
Identifying 3D capabilitiesCheck for 3D functionality in settings, 3D glasses, and signs on the TV
Activating 3D on 4K TVConnect a 3D capable player, buy 3D movies, sync glasses, and enjoy the experience
Converting 4K TV to 3DNot possible for full 3D experience, only color shift 3D as a gimmick
ConclusionEnsure your 4K TV has 3D capabilities before investing in 3D content and equipment

How Do You Know If A 4K TV Can Play 3D?

Three signs will tell you whether or not the TV you have bought will be able to playback 3D movies. Each of these needs to be considered when deciding whether to get everything set up and ready to enjoy your movies in the full cinema experience.

We always recommend that you consider how technology has changed over the years, especially with TV trends and the things attached. Many people have mistakenly assumed that something they want will always be available to buy in the future. 

Functionality In Settings

3D TVs will have 3D settings that can be seen when searching; often, this will be on the main menu settings of the TV. If you are unsure whether or not your 4K TV can do 3D, open the settings tab and see whether or not the TV has any 3D settings available. 

We have seen many people that go out and spend their money to buy a bunch of 3D glasses, a 3D player, and movies only to find that the TV does not support it. Just checking the settings of your TV will tell you more about it than almost any set of stickers that it may have. 

3D Glasses 

All 3D TVs are provided with 3D glasses that are synced to the TV to allow the full 3D effect to work. If your 4K TV did not come with any glasses, it is not a 3D TV; the technology has not yet been developed in 2022 for 3D TVs to work without any extra equipment. 

We always recommend that you take a moment to consider this and the cost of the glasses. Many people have thought of simply buying 3D glasses to force their TV to work as a 3D TV, only to regret making the purchase, as even secondhand glasses can set you back a few hundred dollars. 

TV Has Signs

This is only if you have bought a brand new 4K TV; there will be stickers on the TV that specifically say whether or not it is 3D. Many people have seemingly forgotten to read what their TVs are capable of from the labels given to TVs, which should tell you everything you need to know. 

If in doubt, look at the signs on the TV or the stickers on it when you take it out of the box, brand new. Further, most 3D TVs have the 3D symbol on them as well; this is to ensure that no one could ever forget that the TV can show 3D images. 

How Do You Activate The 3D On Your 4K TV?

Once you have established whether or not your TV can support the 3D feature, we need to get everything ready to show 3D. Contrary to what many believe, it is not simply plugging in and playing, with all 3D TVs requiring specialized tools to give you the full 3D effect. 

We always recommend taking the time and money to get everything set up as properly as you can manage. A full 3D 4K TV is one of the best ways to experience home cinema, with many people still using TVs from several years ago because of their 3D capabilities. 

  • Connect A 3D Capable Player: The second most expensive thing in your setup apart from the TV will be the Blu-ray player. Most modern Blu-ray players are capable of 3D playback; with many people preferring to use their consoles as their media player, you should be capable of enjoying your show. 
  • Buy 3D Movies: Once you have the TV and the Blu-ray player, you will need to buy 3D movies, which will be slightly more than normal Blu-rays. You can buy several Blu-rays online with 3D versions, while several people go to bargain bins to buy old 3D movies. 
  • Turn On The Glasses: You will need to turn on and sync the glasses to the TV before starting the entire experience. We always recommend doing this before playing the movie, or else you will most likely have a few technical issues; make sure to charge the glasses before starting. 
  • Sync everything Together: Your 3D glasses will need to be synced up to the TV, and the Blu-ray player will need to be properly synced to the TV. If the glasses are flat and the Blu-ray player is not properly connected, it can cause nausea and headaches. 
  • Enjoy The Movie Experience: If you have all the equipment, the movie, and everything synced up together, you should lean back and enjoy the movie. We always recommend getting some popcorn and going to the bathroom before starting the movie, as you won’t want to leave your seat until the credits start rolling. 

Can You Turn A Normal 4K TV Into A 3D TV?

A normal 4K TV cannot be turned into the full 3D TV that many expect from modern 3D TVs, with only color shift 3D possible. This is the 3D type that requires a set of red and blue glasses, allowing the TV to playback an image that has been tilt-shifted in this manner. 

While this does provide the 3D effect, it always needs to be viewed straight on and can cause nausea and extreme headaches when viewed from the wrong angle. We don’t recommend doing this for a full movie, as it is only an interesting gimmick that adds some interesting effects. 

Almost all modern 4K TVs are not 3D, as these TVs require a lot more hardware to work properly, which makes running a 4K TV in 3D extremely difficult. However, 4K 3D projectors are extremely common and have become popular for home theatre systems because of their ease of use. 


Your normal 4K TV will not be a 3D TV, as these TVs require special equipment and the accompanying glasses to work properly. You cannot turn your 4k TV into a 3D TV either, as the technology is no longer included with TVs sold. 

Whatever you do, please don’t spend a fortune on 3D Blu-rays if you aren’t sure about your TV’s abilities. 

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