Good Riddance: 3D TV is dead
A report on Cnet suggests that 3D TV won't be the next big thing after all, as the last two major TV makers of 3D TVs announced that they would stop producing 3D TVs in 2017.
The revival of 3D in home entertainment began with the release of Avatar back in 2010, but the technology never really took off.
It required a TV capable of 3D playback, special glasses for every viewer, and a player supporting 3D as well.
Even if you made those expenses, you were stuck with limited options to use the 3D capabilities. Not all movies were released as 3D versions for instance, and the few TV channels that were offered in 3D were canceled early on when networks realized that viewer counts were lower than expected.
3D was a novelty item when it came out, but the novelty factor faded quickly. Apart from 3D movies being more expensive than regular movies, it also required you to have enough 3D glasses at home which was another expense.
Sales of 3D home equipment have declined since 2012. In 2016, 3D home video gear accounted for merely 8% of TV Sales, down from 16% in 2015 and 23% in 2012. Blu-Ray players capable of playing 3D content dropped from 40% in 2012 to 25% in 2015 and 11% in 2016.
If you are interested in 3D TV at home at this point, you are stuck with purchasing hardware from 2016 or earlier, or investing big in home theater projectors.
TV manufacturers have moved the focus away from 3D towards 4K and HDR, and adding smart TV features instead.
It seems unlikely that the decision will have an impact on theater releases. What is likely going to happen though is that fewer titles will be released as 3D versions for the consumer market.
There is also the question of whether 3D TV will see a revival in the future. I don't think that this is likely, unless technology changes significantly. This does not necessarily have to be the same setup as of today, as new tech, virtual reality or holographic projections for instance, may offer a better user experience.
For now though, it seems unlikely that manufacturers will start to produce new 3D TVs in 2018 or beyond.
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