Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Watching the World Cup? Forget 3D, it's all about 4K now

By Jim Boulden and Ivana Kottasova, CNN
updated 11:02 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The demand for 3D television has not been as great as originally expected
  • The need to wear 3D glasses clashed with the multi-screen experience many demand
  • 4K technology is taking over -- some World Cup games will be filmed using this ultra high-definition technology

(CNN) -- At the last soccer World Cup, it was all about 3D. This time around, it's nothing less than 4K.

In 2010, FIFA was the driving force behind 3D television. The international soccer authority teamed up with Sony to bring fans 3D images of 25 matches from the World Cup tournament in South Africa.

Back then, TV companies and broadcasters were hoping to follow the box office success of 3D movies. Even the Queen got into 3D, recording her 2012 Christmas message in 3D format.

But the demand for 3D TV has not been as great as expected.

Hollywood has fully embraced 3D technology. Around a third of all cinema screens globally are now 3D and the number of 3D film releases is growing steadily. But the glasses required to fully experience 3D have put off the small-screen viewers.

Your next TV is here ...

Duncan Humphreys, of Stream TV Networks, said the special glasses clashed with the multi-screen experience many younger viewers demand.

New tech toys from the future

Many broadcasters have now scaled back on their 3D ambitions. BBC put its 3D TV project on hold for three years in last June, after saying the technology hadn't lived up to expectations.

ESPN followed just a couple months later, closing its 3D channel down due to "limited viewer adoption of 3D services."

Even FIFA has ditched the special 3D spectacles, betting instead on a brand new technology, 4K.

The technology promises to offer viewing experiences four times clearer than high definition. A standard high definition television has a 1080p resolution, or more than 2 million pixels per frame. 4K TVs have more than 8.8 million pixels.

FIFA and Sony are filming three full matches in 4K, and will also put out an official 2014 FIFA World Cup film in 4K once the tournament is over.

Read more: Can Amazon help 3-D finally catch on?
Read more: 4K TV promises to be four times clearer than high-def

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The Business View
Nina dos Santos is a news anchor and correspondent based in London. She is the host of CNN International's show The Business View.
updated 10:31 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Pencils have been sharpened, lunch boxes packed, now the bell is ringing. But going back to school is getting more expensive.
updated 11:26 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The meeting between Russia and Ukraine marks a new phase in the conflict. But as David Clark writes, the West can expect a tense winter.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Ambitious plans for a "city in the city" skyscraper that could house apartments, offices, shops and parks have been revealed.
updated 7:28 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
They have stood quietly among us for centuries, often unnoticed. But now, some of England's historic statues have been given a voice.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Usually, airstrikes, rebels seizing control of oil fields, plus a severe refugee crisis are a recipe for market panic. So why are Iraq oil prices stable?
updated 8:36 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Europe's deteriorating relationship with Russia has hit the region's growth, even before new food sanctions begin to bite.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Russia's beef with the west has escalated after the country banned foods from a host of Western nations including the U.S., Australia, Canada and those of the European Union.
updated 11:02 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
At the last soccer World Cup, it was all about 3D. This time around, it's nothing less than 4K.
updated 11:21 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
For months, the West has struggled to take a strong stand against Russia for its incursion into Ukraine. Now, its facing the reality that it will need to suffer too.
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Are Scotland and England better together or apart? Nina dos Santos explores the long relationship ahead of Scotland's vote for independence.
updated 10:16 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made history as the country's first directly elected president but his ambitious economic plans could be scuttled by the region's volatile geopolitics.
updated 6:16 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
Turkey's economy, fattened with foreign investment during its boom-times, has stalled amid warnings its model is unsustainable.
updated 12:31 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
The West has slapped stringent sanctions on Russia in response to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. But is it still doing trade with Russia in weapons?
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Forget the new black. This is the real black. You can't see it, or figure out its shape, it's the darkest material in the world.
updated 12:02 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Jibo robot is designed to be an organizer, educator and assist family members. CNN's Maggie Lake met him and says she was impressed with his skills.
updated 12:34 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
With cyberattacks on the rise and here to stay, it's a modern-day challenge for everyone to get smarter about preventing them.
updated 4:44 PM EDT, Tue July 15, 2014
Britain will launch the world's first spaceport outside the U.S., with first space tourists blasting off from the UK as early as 2018.
updated 6:44 AM EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
Imagine a skyscraper that cleans the air. You won't have to wait long -- two will soon be built in China.
updated 11:27 AM EDT, Fri June 27, 2014
Who will lead the fractured European Union for the next five years? The question has caused weeks of bickering in already fractured EU.
updated 8:22 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
The gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine could have a knock-on effect on Europe. Explore this map to find out why is the EU nervous.
ADVERTISEMENT