3D streaming is coming to your smart TV

"I think 3D streaming is additional to 3D discs," Andy Griffiths, Vice President of consumer electronics at Samsung, told TechRadar. "It's about broadening the access to content, and personalising it. There's space for disc usage and the increasing amount of high definition content that's feeding that on to Blu-ray. Then there's all the different access points in smart TV and new Blu-ray functionality that's beginning this year."

Panasonic takes a different tack: it's not about access, but quality - and the latter would certainly suffer if 3D was streamed to TVs.

"Panasonic very much supports the Full HD frame sequential system, and that can only be delivered via Blu-ray," says Lucas.

"When Panasonic initially proposed the system for delivery for 3D movies we wanted to build a TV that would give you Full HD to each eye, but the broadcast side of things means they can't broadcast Full HD to each eye, so half resolution is the only way. You're not enjoying the ultimate picture quality, but that's always been the case with broadcast vs hard media."

For Golding, it's less a problem of bandwidth and picture quality, and more to do with content ownership. "It's not the tech, it's that the rights of the likes of Avatar in 3D are being so carefully guarded, restricted and controlled by the content owners. If they were to make a strategic change we'd see 3D streaming happen very quickly."

The first European country to benefit would probably be France, which has faster bandwidth, thinks Golding, but for the moment 3D streaming just isn't economically viable.

"We have to give minimum guarantees to the studios - and the truth is that there are simply not enough 3D TVs in the marketplace yet."

Lovefilm (which recently expanded its streaming service) also confirmed to us that it had no 3D streaming plans on the horizon, but a 3D video on demand future seems inevitable as broadband speeds increase and 3D TVs slowly spread in to living rooms.

In the meantime, most people would be happy with a proper hi-def 2D streaming service.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),