A Survey of 3DTV Displays: Techniques and Technologies

Philip William Benzie, John Watson, Phil Surman, Ismo Rakkolainen, Klaus Hopf, Hakan Urey, Ventseslav Sainov, Christoph von Kopylow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Citations (Scopus)


The display is the last component in a chain of activity from image acquisition, compression, coding transmission and reproduction of 3-D images through to the display itself. There are various schemes for 3-D display taxonomy; the basic categories adopted for this paper are: holography where the image is produced by wavefront reconstruction, volumetric where the image is produced within a volume of space and multiple image displays where two or more images are seen across the viewing field. In an ideal world a stereoscopic display would produce images in real time that exhibit all the characteristics of the original scene. This would require the wavefront to be reproduced accurately, but currently this can only be achieved using holographic techniques.. Volumetric displays provide both vertical and horizontal parallax so that several viewers can see 3-D images that exhibit no accommodation/convergence rivalry. Multiple image displays fall within three fundamental types: holoform in which a large number of views give smooth motion. parallax and hence a hologram-like appearance, multiview where a series of discrete views are presented across viewing field and binocular where only two views are presented in regions that may occupy fixed positions or follow viewers' eye positions by employing head tracking. Holography enables 3-D scenes to be encoded into an interference pattern, however, this places constraints on the display resolution necessary to reconstruct a scene. Although holography may ultimately offer the solution for 3DTV, the problem of capturing naturally lit scenes will first have to be solved and holography is unlikely to provide a short-term solution due to limitations in current enabling technologies. Liquid crystal, digital micromirror, optically addressed liquid crystal and acoustooptic spatial light modulators (SLMs) have been employed as suitable spatial light modulation devices in holography. Liquid crystal SLMs are generally favored owing to the commercial availability. of high fill factor, high resolution addressable devices. Volumetric displays provide both vertical and horizontal parallax and several viewers are able to see a 3-D image that exhibits no accommodation/convergence rivalry. However, the principal disadvantages of these displays are: the images are generally transparent, the hardware tends to be complex and non-Lambertian intensity distribution cannot be displayed. Multiple image displays take many forms and it is likely that one or more of these will provide the solution(s) for the first generation of 3DTV displays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1647-1658
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE transactions on circuits and systems for video technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • holography
  • TV
  • 3-D displays
  • dispersed liquid-crystals
  • multiple light-sources
  • autostereoscopic display
  • detection system
  • membrane mirror
  • Bragg gratings
  • tracking
  • parallax
  • video


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