We've seen TV industry buzzwords come and go and it looks like this old, dying tech gimmick from 2010 is no more.
Sony and LG have confirmed that they will stop incorporating 3D functionalities in their TVs this year. This means if you're looking for a newer model TV set, even a high-end one, that's capable of rendering 3D content, you won't find one.
Sony and LG are actually the last two major television makers who were still building 3D TVs. Samsung stopped making them in March of last year, followed by other TV companies like Panasonic, Vizio and Sharp. This trend indicates that the TV industry is burying the 3D buzzword and will move on to newer tech like HDR, 4K and smart functionalities.
"3D capability was never really universally embraced in the industry for home use, and it's just not a key buying factor when selecting a new TV," said LG's director of product development Tim Alessi to CNET. "Purchase process research showed it's not a top buying consideration, and anecdotal information indicated that actual usage was not high. We decided to drop 3D support for 2017 in order to focus our efforts on new capabilities such as HDR, which has much more universal appeal."
In 2010, 3D became the TV industry buzzword after the 3D movie "Avatar" successfully wowed audiences in theaters. TV companies quickly banked on the public's desire to bring the 3D experience to their living rooms and pushed to make the feature the must-have technology for premium TV sets and Blu-ray players.
Despite these efforts, 3D didn't quite catch on with consumers as expected and while 3D movies thrived in the theaters, home content dwindled. DirecTV dropped their 24-hour 3D TV channel way back in 2012 and ESPN followed suit a year later. After content providers dropped 3D programs, the only other way to view 3D movies is via 3D Blu-ray players, which still required extra equipment.
Another issue involved the required glasses for viewing 3D content, which most people found clunky and distracting. Others avoid 3D content altogether because of motion sickness and headaches. But most of all, despite the improvements gained through passive 3D sets, the 3D picture quality on 3D TV still leaves much to be desired.
So if you've been eyeing a 3D TV for some time, better get one now before they're all gone. While 3D TVs didn't catch on as expected, it's still a good extra option to have for that occasional 3D movie you want to experience at home.