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
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
  • 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

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.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Usually, airstrikes, rebels seizing control of oil fields and refineries, plus a severe refugee crisis are a recipe for market panic. So why are Iraq oil prices stable?
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1236 GMT (2036 HKT)
Europe's deteriorating relationship with Russia has hit the region's growth, even before new food sanctions begin to bite.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
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.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1521 GMT (2321 HKT)
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.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
Are Scotland and England better together or apart? Nina dos Santos explores the long relationship ahead of Scotland's vote for independence.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
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.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1016 GMT (1816 HKT)
Turkey's economy, fattened with foreign investment during its boom-times, has stalled amid warnings its model is unsustainable.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
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?
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
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.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1602 GMT (0002 HKT)
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.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
With cyberattacks on the rise and here to stay, it's a modern-day challenge for everyone to get smarter about preventing them.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 2044 GMT (0444 HKT)
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.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
Imagine a skyscraper that cleans the air. You won't have to wait long -- two will soon be built in China.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
Iraq produces 3.3 million barrels per day and has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves. But the current crisis is putting all this in danger.
June 27, 2014 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
Who will lead the fractured European Union for the next five years? The question has caused weeks of bickering in already fractured EU.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
June 16, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
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.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.