Watching 3D at home is different from watching in the movie theatre. There’s room for improvement in the look of 3D at home, and special 3D glasses can get in the way of your regular viewing habits, like gathering around the TV with friends, getting a snack, checking your smartphone for last week’s score, and ultimately, getting into the action of the game or film.

There’s more to 3D than meets the eye. It begins with production, when the director has a vision for the story and your experience of it. In 3D, your experience is shaped by the placement of objects. The subtlety of those effects has to be encoded as instructions along with visual effects in the program, and that data must be transmitted—over the air or over cable or wireless networks by a broadcaster or a movie-streaming service like Vudu™—to your television or to another device that’s capable of 3D presentation.

Technology constraints at every point in the chain can put boundaries on your experience of 3D, whether it limits you to watching from a narrow “sweet spot” in your living room, on one dedicated channel for 3D shows, or on only a TV set, rather than on a portable device. It’s no wonder that all eyes are on glasses-free 3D at the NAB Show® conference for broadcasters this week.

Dolby and Philips developed Dolby 3D technology to bring out the best possible glasses-free viewing experience from any 3D device. The two companies just unveiled the final piece in the 3D puzzle: a content format that carries the information about how the director intended the image to look, all the way from creation to playback. People will get to see Dolby 3D in action at the NAB Show, where Vudu and The Foundry, which makes 3D tools favored by filmmakers, are demonstrating Dolby 3D with live streaming content.

The “intelligent information” works with Dolby 3D technology in the device—whether it’s a TV, PC, tablet, or smartphone—to perfect the imagery on the screen, so that it truly looks its best in any setting. Picture sharpness, perceived depth, and smooth viewing transitions make programs in Dolby 3D very comfortable to watch. You can skip the glasses. Then pass the popcorn or text your friend, and get right back into the action. Renowned filmmaker James Cameron is looking forward to it.

What do you think makes 3D worth a look—on TV or on another device?