3DTV Fades Away

First 3D was the next big thing in television. Then it was a feature, not a category. Now it may be turning into an absent feature and a dead category.

An anonymous source at Samsung told cnet that 2016 models will not support 3D. Some Samsung models carried over from 2015 will still support it, as will some sets from LG and a couple from Sony. Vizio pulled out of 3D in 2013.

But who needs 3D when we have virtual reality? Samsung’s Gear VR headset will enhance in-the-flesh rollercoaster rides at Six Flags amusement parks by adding heroic visuals of Superman battling the LexBots and fighter jets repelling alien invaders.

notabadname's picture

I have an 84 Ultra HD 3D by LG. Love it, buy every movie in 3D when it is an option. The problem with 3D's acceptance, IMO, was Active 3D. I have two neighbors that have active (and used to use it), both on Samsung. I'ld say it took about 1/2 year to one year for either family to get tired of having the glasses not be charged for a viewing (it's a simple fact of science that lithium Ion Batteries lose small bit of capacity with every charge cycle- sorry just the way it is), or have the glasses lose synch. And every once in awhile, one of their 7-13 yea-olds would break a pair of pricey glasses. Not often. But how long does it take before your 4 pairs become 3 or 2. How many families feel like buying another pair when they cost usually twice-to 4 times more than buying another blu-ra. Now back to my TV, where everyone, including the kids, likes to see 3D movies - they truly love them, so don't I. Have we broken any glasses, yes, a coupe pairs. Do I care? Nope. I laugh at the parent's initial panic as they look at a broken frame or a popped out lens after sitting on a pair. Then I pull out a fresh box (4 pair for $9 on eBay or Amazon) and tell them not to worry about it. You can't beat the image, and since there is no 3D spec for Utra HD blu-ray, using passive technology is not hurting the image quality (in case someone was going to argue that you would need active to enjoy true Ultra HD 3D - no such thing). There is simply no argument for the need of active 3D now with Ultra HD screens that cost a grand for 65 inches and can provide Full HD to both eyes, with no dark picture or apparent crosstalk. Everyone that has seen my LG agrees that it is the best looking 3D they have ever seen. My one neighbor, moved their 65 in Samsung up to their master bedroom suite, and Bought an LG 3D for their HT as a result. (Mine's still bigger;)

My hope, with Samsung pulling out of the Market, is maybe LG's passive format will prevail and be adopted. It's not that 3D is dead. Tell me the major release NOT coming to the screen in 3D. 3D was simply made to be an unreliable nuisance in the home. And when the glasses where over $100/pair, I don't know of anyone that could do a showing for 6-8 viewers- who bought more than the2-4 included glasses? A gadget, that once broken, or discovered uncharged too many times, found itself sitting in some HT cabinetry, soon to be forgotten. 3D, to succeed, needs to follow Apples old tag line, "It just works". Passive 3D just works.

Traveler's picture

I predict that VR is the next BIG THING to fade away.

FrakU's picture

I will NOT buy a new tv without 3D capabilities! You anti 3D manufacturers can go frak yourselves!

Nuff sed.

Lanceknightnight's picture

I find the 3D haters to not understand what 3D was and is. It was an invention to make customers excited over tech that was gradually moving to 4k and above. The innovations of 3D included larger data pipes and developing tech for them first. This moved the HDMI gigabytes up dramatically. So signal transmission improved and we payed for the development as customers. Next the screens needed to go from grey to grey quicker. This helps with sports but outside 3D this is not very cutting edge. Gamers wanted faster TVs but the market did not make them, rather we got fake marketing garbage numbers. We let this behavior of slow screens slide "ghosting" on many screens that are not 3d but 3D pushed faster screens. A Ghosting screen in 3d is unbearable. Next 3d gave a viable reason to up the Hz. This is not gray to gray and ghosting but to show double the images in a second the screens got faster. The production lines made faster and faster screens. Next 3d glasses dim the screen. This made 3d tv's get better at outputting higher lumins. Thus the screen themselves are better. Also 3d take more processing power in the TV.

With just what I said the screens are faster brighter more responsive it is no shock Samsung wants to drop them. 3d TVs take "A" grade parts to make and the TV market is always in a race to the bottom. Samsung can now put in slower screens with less contrast and a lower top Hz. This option will lower MFG costs and make their profits stabilize. But we will get inferior panels to what we could get. We will see fewer screens that can overclock and more crosswalk in rapid moving sports due to removing the only true proof a TV can do those high speeds. In short the real topic should be Samsung gives up producing high quality panels 3d capable screens to pursue lower price point. On a side note 3D on a 4k screen is very nice. Also the price of the 3d movies is silly and killed the medium. 3d movies are still more expensive then 4k movies. This killed 3d but I digress. But I also add VR is nice an all but to game in it you need a machine beyond the dreams of man today.Even 2 1080s would be hard pressed to output a compelling virtual reality. As the tech is today we will have migraines and the issue of glasses bulkiness for 3d is magnified by a factor of 100 and a wire to the device. The thought is over 100 hz is needed. Again drawing back to 3d. But since you move it actually takes more images.

Pitbull2's picture

That's Crap I have the 80in Vizio right before they pulled it and What a bad idea I buy all 3D movies if I can my Kid LOVES them. Do they think that they will stop making them for the Theater? If so the are NUTS

notabadname's picture

Samsung stops making 3D, and we get a headline about 3D Fading away. The same company Samsung stopped making OLED, and I don't think I heard the same ringing of the bells for OLED.

Again, clearly, 3D is not dead as a theater experience. It is generally all IMAX runs on their screen. Certainly a few exceptions, but our 2 local IMAX screens always show their big ones in 3D, weather it is Star Wars, or one of the (countless) Avenger movies. So if you want the ultimate Home version of the Cinema, 3D is still a major part of it. The below list shows just some of the big 3D films of this year.

Zootopia, Kung Fu Panda 3, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War, The Angry Birds Movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass, X-Men: Apocalypse, Warcraft, Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan, Ghostbusters 3, Ice Age: Collision Course, Star Trek Beyond, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

montvilleguy's picture

I have a 2015 65" Samsung SUHD TV, one of the final generation of Samsung 3D capable sets. It was one of two that was top rated by Consumer Reports for 3D performance. I am in the pro video/audio/broadcast business, and am fairly technically savvy, although not really a video "guru". I love 3D on my Samsung. It uses active glasses, and for good measure I bought a few that are powered by replaceable batteries and a couple that are rechargeable (which last a very long time on a charge). The 3D image quality is outstanding, with no visible ghosting on good content. I like UHD/HDR/WCG content as well, and it has its own unique visual appeal, but overall I prefer 3D to UHD... Regarding an earlier post about passive vs active, my opinion is that passive looks pretty bad on an HD set, and I have no doubt is looks quite good on a UHD set, where the resolution reduction to 540 vertical lines is offset. However, at least on my UHD TV, the visual clarity of two alternating full HD images running at 24 fps each, each being upconverted to UHD is truly spectacular. I am sad to see the slow death of 3D for the home, just when with the advent of UHD capable screens it has gotten really good, at least with the best TVs. Fortunately, Sony and LG are hanging in there with new 3D models, but it's hard to be optimistic about the future.

JohninCt's picture

I wrote about a year ago of some of your writer people putting down 3D. Now you are at it again. So Samsung is quitting 3D TV making, a good reason is put up by Lanceknightnight on this topic up above. So their loss, I won't buy Samsung or Visio anymore. I hate people who abandon a ship that doesn't have to sink, but are trying to sink it to save some bucks for their coffers. How about all the projector makers who still support it? No mention of them in the article, And yes, they are still making 3D movies for us who like them. Hope the studios keep up with it. To hell with the clumsy VR headsets, which likely have to be charged on every use, I won't buy them either. Wearing a pair of glasses is such a minor task..