With the recent hot air blowing in TV circles over the introduction of new 4K models by major manufacturers, the question on everyone’s lips is – is 3D TV dead? With Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and LG hardly mentioning 3D HDTVs during this year’s CES, it would seem that the 3D fad is finally over. No surprisingly no new models are forthcoming and it seems that 3D has lost its place as the next big thing to 4K.
About 3 years ago, DVD sales and box office takings were slowing down rapidly. 2D LCD HDTV sales were also reaching saturation point. So TV manufacturers and the big movie studios needed to create a new buzz at that time and 3D fits the bill as it uses the same existing technology. So 3D has always come across as a fad fabricated by to sell more televisions and media content.
One of the biggest bugbears that killed 3D TV are those pesky ugly 3D glasses. If you want the family to enjoy a 3D movie, everyone needs one. And for those who wear spectacles wearing double eye-glasses can be challenging and even nauseating to say the least of its a long movie. And there is a minority that cannot perceive 3D. The movie studios are also slow to adept, so availability of good 3D media also causes low market penetration. All these have culminated in 3D’s surprisingly fast demise. Industry estimates just 20-30% market penetration, as of the end of 2012.
Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic have swiftly shifted emphasis to high-resolution 4K displays and OLED. These technologies require huge R&D investments so at least you can be sure 4K will be here for a longer haul compared to 3D.