Do New Ultra HDTVs Support 3D?

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Q Are any of the new Ultra HDTVs coming out 3D-compatible? I don’t want my 3D Blu-ray disc collection to become an unusable relic. —Don Fowler  

A Sorry for the news, but no new UHDTVs coming out in 2017 are 3D-compatible. That doesn’t comes as a surprise, however, given the downward trend in 3D support among set manufacturers over the past few years. Vizio was the first TV maker to dump 3D display capability back in 2014. The next company to drop 3D was Samsung, which ended support for the format in 2015. Finally, the glaring absence of 3D on the specifications list for new LG and Sony sets shown at CES 2017 made it clear that both companies had also called it quits.

Another factor accelerating 3D’s demise: the lack of 3D support in the new Ultra HD Blu-ray format.

The good news for 3D Blu-ray enthusiasts is that select 2016 UHDTVs with 3D support are still available from Sony and LG. That list includes two Sound & Vision Top Picks: Sony’s Z9D Series and LG’s OLEDE6P Series. Both sets support the Dolby Vision and HDR10 formats and feature up-to-date HDMI 2.0a connectivity.

Considering an upgrade from a TV to a projector? Many new 1080p models support 3D, and some, like Optoma’s $579 HD142X DLP projector do an outstanding job displaying it. The format also gets love in high-end 4K-resolution models such as JVC’s top-of-the-line DLA-RS4500.

Will set manufacturers reinstate 3D support? The prospect isn’t likely—consumer reception of the feature has been tepid at best, and it’s now been eclipsed by high dynamic range. So, if you love 3D and are inclined to buy a new TV, now is the time to jump. Studios regularly release new movies on Blu-ray 3D, and there’s no indication that the flow is slowing.

jnemesh's picture

Formats die, even ones some people like. It happens.

drny's picture

The best value for an outgoing 2016 4K TV with 3D capability can still be had for $3,500.
For 3D screen size matters quite a lot, that's why the same movie that blew people away on IMAX 3D theater, seems underwhelming in a 55" screen.
I agree with Al that both Z9D and E6P are great 4k Tvs with excellent 3D, but for the price Sony 940D is a high quality bargain.
If money is no object, then the Sony 75" Z9D is the way to go ($9,000).

Traveler's picture

Seems I missed the whole 3D thing, next up VR.

javanp's picture

3D is an integral aspect of VR.

Traveler's picture

VR is even worse than 3D because you have to wear that absurd helmet.

davidbe's picture

Although new movies are still being released on Blu-ray in 3D, the numbers are diminishing. Some have not been released at all (e.g. Pete's Dragon, Ben Hur, Trolls) and some have not been released in the U.S. but have been been released in Europe (e.g. Alice Through the Looking Glass, The BFG, The Finest Hours, Frozen, Maleficent, Noah).

I think 3D TV failed because it wasn't that good -- until the 4K OLED passive 3D came out, which is stunningly beautiful, but people don't know about it because it was never promoted. Can you see it in a showroom? No! At least not where I live. And LG never advertised it either. They could sell 3D OLEDs in seconds if they had it out where people could see how good it is.

It's a shame that LG has stopped supporting 3D, which was the last chance to revive the format. I bought an extra LG E6 so I would not have to give up 3D when my E6 dies.

Vaschamp's picture

3D in my opinion is a big factor between people choosing to buy one TV over the other and contrary to what many may believe many folks still enjoy 3D at home very much. 3D has just got to a point where its done very well and now that 4k and now HDR is available to accompany 3D. Now is not the time to remove such a great feature. which is why I have started a petition to bring 3D back to Samsung and there is also one out the for LG please support.

javanp's picture

Only when you see movie theaters starting to completely drop support for 3D should you be concerned. They won't, simply because it's additional revenue for them. And revenue is the same reason TV makers are dropping 3D at the moment--so you'll buy a 2D 4K display today and in another couple of years they can sell you a 3D capable 4K display.