Is 3D TV Dead? Big TV Brand Drops Support For 3D Glasses

Written by David Richards     16/01/2014 | 07:48 | Category: 3D TV

With some mainstream TV vendors already dropping 3D glasses support from their future TVs some industry analysts are questioning whether this is the "death knell" for 3D television.

Is 3D TV Dead? Big TV Brand Drops Support For 3D Glasses
At this year's CES 2014 show Visio the often #1 US TV brand said that 3D with glasses is "dead" and that the Company is dropping support for the technology that TV Companies 2 years ago said was the technology that would help them to sell millions of TV's

Hollywood Magazine Variety said that in truth, 3D TV is like the ailing old man in the "Bring out your dead" scene in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," who protests to the corpse collector, "I'm not dead. . I'm getting better."

Hollywood executives claim that 3D TV "Is getting better". 

While TV makers claimed at CES that that there is no point "even trying to promote" 3D TV with glasses.


Instead the TV industry is now focusing on autostereo (glasses-free 3D) TV.


Vizio said that they are moving away from 3D based on glasses and redirecting all of its development effort on glasses-free 3D, according to the company's chief technology officer, Matt McRae.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told SmartHouse that demand for 3D Movie content had slumped after the initial hype.

"Vizio believes consumers enjoy 3D content, but the living room is a very different environment than a movie theatre," McRae said.

The days when 3D looked like the Next Big Thing are over. Nobody thinks the current generation of 3D TV tech will ever generate enough consumer excitement to trigger a new upgrade cycle - which is what the TV makers want.

At this year's CES show Sharp had what may have been the most imposing autostereo screen at the show: an 80" prototype using an 8K panel. The extra pixels provide a very sharp image in 3D.
Samsung was showing a prototype autostereo TV using a UHD screen, not as big as Sharp's but larger than Vizio's. Dolby (which provides some of the tech Vizio is using) revealed an autostereo TV built on a 4K UHD panel. Hisense also showed a 55" autostereo prototype.

LG, the main remaining manufacturer of TVs using passive glasses, hasn't given up on 3D tech, either.

But the 3DTV market will need time. McRae said Vizio's autostereo tech is probably a couple of years from being market-ready. The image is still too dark and doesn't have as much 3D depth as the company would like, and the components need to come down in cost. But McRae said those issues are being taken into account. "Vizio feedback from retailers was very positive, not least because without glasses, 3D TV is much easier to show at retail," he noted.