The great experiment in 3D television is over. Effective this year, no more manufacturers are offering the 3D feature on their HDTV models, choosing instead to push for 4k Ultra HD without 3D (even though the two can easily co-exist). Does this development upset you, or have been you cheering for the death of 3D?
Back in late 2010, I moderated a panel on Blu-ray interactivity at an industry conference in Los Angeles. Nobody really cared about my panel, which was fine by me since I’m very nervous about public speaking. The featured guest at the event was James Cameron, who spoke earlier in the day to promote the impending 3D release of ‘Avatar‘ on Blu-ray (which would be exclusively offered as a pack-in promotional item with the purchase of Panasonic 3D televisions). The tone of the conference tried to push 3D as the biggest revolution in home video technology since DVD. Cameron assured the attendees that 3D television was a perfected and flawless product that would arrive fully-formed out of the gate.
Of course, that didn’t turn out to be true. 3D on TV had and continues to have a lot of issues, the most serious of which is the problem of “ghosting,” or 3D crosstalk artifacts that make the experience of watching 3D distracting and even painful on many types of televisions, especially LCD televisions. The inevitable dimming of the picture while watching through 3D glasses is also often a huge disappointment.
Beyond technical problems, the biggest hurdle 3D TV faced was consumer apathy. Many viewers either don’t care about 3D or actively dislike it. Even many of those who do like it don’t enjoy needing to wear clunky 3D glasses to watch a movie. Although some manufacturers touted the development of glasses-free 3D, that technology required viewers to sit in very specific sweet-spots for the 3D effect to work, which was not terribly convenient or practical.
Even as the feature became almost ubiquitous in HDTV models for a while, 3D never quite caught on with viewers, many of whom would refuse to buy 3D glasses or software despite owning compatible televisions. In recent years, major manufacturers like LG and Vizio dropped support for 3D, a decision that had negligible impact on their sales. This year, even the last of the hold-outs gave up on 3D for their flat-panel TVs.
This doesn’t mean that 3D is entirely dead. 3D movies continue to be made and are successful enough in theaters to justify more of them. For the purposes of home theater, many projectors still offer 3D with no sign of that changing. However, we’re already seeing home video studios curtail their 3D releases on Blu-ray, either by exclusively bundling it with Ultra HD discs or not offering it at all on some titles.
For my part, I enjoy 3D when it’s done well and enhances the movie. Unfortunately, it isn’t always done well. Too many Hollywood movies are converted from 2D to 3D as an afterthought with no appreciable benefit to the film. In those cases, I’d just as soon watch in the brighter and more colorful 3D.
I own a 3D DLP projector (DLP is the only display format immune from crosstalk artifacts) and will try to keep it in good working order for as long as I can. I’ve just ordered a replacement lamp for it this week.
I really enjoy 3D and when I was buying my TV, 3D was one of the main options I wanted. I’ve never been able to get a 3D movie to not look like it’s sped up or soap opera mode, thus I’ve never watched an entire movie in 3D on my set. I’ve turned every enhancer off there is, doesn’t work. Paid quite a bit for my set because of 3D and was extremely disappointed. Regular HD programming and Blu-rays look great. I stopped even considering purchasing Blu-rays with the 3D option available.
I’m glad 3d is going away again. Sadly it’ll probably be back in another 10 years yet again. 3d and VR will always just be gimmicks.
So basically “Waaaaa I don’t get it, so I want to make sure nobody gets to have it”
3D film releases account for up to 95% of any particular film’s sales in China (which is a much larger market than the US) and still up to 40% here, which is nothing to scoff at.
3D isn’t dead… it’s on some kind of unwarranted hiatus… only Americans complain about it, it’s really bizarre. Nowhere else in the world is there such vitriol for 3D film, and 3D blurays are abundant and affordable elsewhere, as well.
Old post but I had to comment. VR has nothing to do with 3DTV’s and is completely different experience. (A good one)
I bought an extremely cheap ($598) 47 inch 3D Vizio in 2012 and have never had problems. It’s passive, so I only get 540p, but nobody’s ever noticed. I’ve never had anyone watch a film on it and not be in awe… and when I pop in film that was actually recorded with 3D cameras, like Spider-Man or Underworld 4, it’s a real eye-popper.
I was never impressed with 3D until I bought my latest tv. It’s an LG 75 inch 4K UHD paired with a Samsung UHD 4k bluray player. The picture is bright and jitter free. I watched Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in a premium theatre. The picture was dark and fuzzy. It looks amazing on this tv.
I demo the trial by water scene in Antman for visitors and they all remark that is far better than any other 3D movies they’ve watched.
My only complaint is that many 3D movies don’t have the Dolby Atmos or DTS-X soundtrack included even though it is available on the 4K version.
Three years ago I upgraded my home theater projector from 720p to 1080p, and at the same time upgraded to 3D. I bought maybe 40 3D Blu-Rays since then, selling off many after watching them once (and keeping the 2D digital copy). In the past year or so, I’ve skipped the 3D releases of some movies out of convince. For instance, I could rent 2D Suicide Squad cheap. So my 3D Blu-Ray purchases have dropped off from about 2 a month to about 1 every few months. I haven’t charged my 3D glasses in weeks.
But, the PlayStation’s PSVR has rolled out an update so you can view 3D blu-rays through the VR headset. This has renewed my interest in new 3D Blu-Ray releases, but only for titles the rest of my family wouldn’t be interested in.
I have a similar sentiment. To me, film has been strictly a 2D format- the art of filmmaking is much like painting- framing and perspective, etc. 3D filmmaking somewhat diminishes some of that. 3D didn’t really add anything to the art. For popcorn flicks, it can be a welcome addition, but I never was really a fan of typical popcorn flicks.
I never found the need, therefore to buy a 3D television. However, since the PSVR introduced the functionality of watching 3D movies, I was certainly interested in watching them now since I wasn’t required to buy any additional hardware. And, I do like some “popcorn flicks”- Guardians of the Galaxy, The Force Awakens, etc. However, the thing that does keep me from buying more 3D blu-rays is that you have to watch them by yourself in the PSVR headset. :/
There are some 3D movies where the director makes some very conscious framing decisions based on 3D that only really work within the format, actually bringing some cinematic value to the format.
My first suggestions would be ‘Dial M For Murder’. It is interesting to notice that the staging of this is different than other Hitchcock movies. Another would be any of the Hobbit movies, as Peter Jackson really knows how to make a fantastic 3D shot.
I would never root for something to fail, but I didn’t like 3D and am fine with it once again fading into the ether. It gave me a mild headache and looked dark and blurry to me. The effect doesn’t make up for that, and when movies catered to it like Gravity it seemed gimmicky to me.
4k Ultra HD is usually a subtle improvement IMO but at least it’s an improvement I like.
It is a novelty for me, not an essential. I used to deride it (“It could come with sexual services and I still wouldn’t care”) but I enjoy revisiting the 1950s classics. I’m much less interested in modern 3D.
The sad thing is that LG really got it right with the 4K OLED TVs. Passive glasses, bright enough that you didn’t feel like you need to close all the curtains and turn off all the lights, and full HD with no ghosting.
I think the reasons why it died are legitimate. It’s just too bad manufacturers didn’t hang on long enough to give a new generation of technology a chance to spur new interest. I didn’t really care about it for years, but after seeing it on a friends LG OLED I actually went out and bought one before they are gone!
I have an LG 4K 3D set and it is amazing! It is so sad that 4K corrected issues that kept people form getting it and the industry just turns it’s back on it!
This was DOA as VR is.
There is no hard data to show that a movie in 3D makes more or less money than a standard movie and if you’ve noticed, films don’t come out in 3D any longer.
VR has even more of an uphill battle.
It’s simple, make great movies, show it in the best fidelity you can the rest will work itself out.
Gimmicks don’t last. If anything this whole 3D fiasco hurt the business more than help it.
Plenty of movies are still being released to theaters in 3D. Recently: The Great Wall, Kong: Skull Island, and Beauty and the Beast. However, each of them may play on fewer 3D screens than during the height of the 3D boom.
VR is doing very well, esp. with Sony having sold out their PSVR.
Have you tried roomscale VR on the HTC Vive or Rift? It’s an experience that really does need tried before jumping to clichés. It’s so much more fun to be part of other worlds and not just looking through. I urge you to try it at a demo – if you don’t you’ll miss something beyond past experiences.
“films don’t come out in 3D any longer” WOW! I guess you live in a 1 theater town. Looking at my movies guide for my city, there are 5 different 3D movies playing. Since you claimed that ” films don’t come out in 3D any longer” back in March, I am guessing they made a quick comeback.
There were multiple issues with the home 3D format. In the early sets, the glasses were clunky and prone to ghosting. Many of the early releases you could only get bundled with certain hardware. But I think the real reason why it did not catch on was its timing – it came out just a couple of years AFTER the digital conversion of America. When the format came out, most Americans had just bought a fancy new flat panel in the previous five years, and those who had Blu-Ray players had just picked those up in the previous couple of years. The timing was flawed, which is why you saw the format take off much better in Europe than it did in the US, as many European companies did their digital conversion right at the time 3D came out.
The reason 4k is doing so well now is people are either replacing sets or buying additional ones now, at the time that 4k sets just hit a major drop in price. I am not sure the average consumer knows enough to understand the technical benefits or all the hopes they have to jump through to get 4K and HDR working right (It is a PAIN in the butt – I am actually planning to write an article about not just the pains, but what eventually ended up working and how). I think the average consumer goes down to the store, sees this beautiful picture on display for about the price they had considered playing anyways, want to “futureproof” their investment, and then get disappointed when they get it home and realize it doesn’t look as good as it did in the stores.
The problem with both 3D and currently with 4K is lack of content. Pretty much anything benefits from the uptick to 4K with HDR, but not much benefitted to the conversion of 3D. Add to that a premium over the Blu-Ray discs (Fantastic Beasts cost me $28 plus tax for the 3d, and $32 after tax for the 4k on Vudu, so I spent $60 to get both versions, whereas the Blu-Ray and DVDs are available around $20). Add to the 4k confusion that not all 4k does HDR, that HDR10 is not the same as Dolby Vision, if the automatic resolution and Colorspace settings don’t work, you have to manully choose between 8-bit, 10-bit or 12-bit RGB or YCbCr in either Rec 709 or Rec 2020 and then select the refresh rate, many televisions support HDR ONLY on HDMI one and you have to turn the feature on under a burried menu, and many Cables and Switches CLAIM to handle 4k and HDMI 2 and HDCP 2.2, only to find out they are low bandwidth and barely handle 23.976Hz, and won’t handle 4k60hz at all, meaning your XBox One S, NVidia Shield and PS4Pro suddenly doesn’t work at all, and at least with the Shield and the PS4Pro, they lack the dual HDMI out that the UHD Disc Players have.
4k televisions are flying off the shelves, but the tech at Best Buy told me that they are getting a high number of returns. I blame bad implementation and control of the specifications. A cable, switch or receiver should not be allowed to bear the 4k, UHD, HDMI 2 or HDCP 2.2 logos if they do not handle at least 18Gbps (found out that many of the ones that I was having issues with were only 3Gbps).
The included apps don’t always work right. On Vizio, Amazon Prime Video will only work by casting the entire screen, which means 720p content. Vudu only supports HDR on a few sets. The Samsung UHD players only do Vudu at 1080p, and does not support HDR on Youtube or Hulu or Vudu. The PS4 Pro does not support 4k on Hulu, and does not support HDR on any of the streaming services. The NVidia Shield does not support HDR on Vudu, and Hulu is 1080p. On the Amazon app, the shows available in 4k vary from one device to the next. On Netflix, while there are several shows available in 4k, only a handful are available in HDR.
Oh, and if Vudu does offer something in 4k, if you open the app on a device that doesn’t support 4k, you don’t even have the option to buy it in UHD, and there is no upgrade option from HDX to UHD – you have to pay the full price, which is going to make people mad once the apps start getting upgraded on the different devices to support 4k.
Getting 4k HDR to work once you get the set home is a bigger headache than getting 3D to work ever was and requires tons of research and knowledge on the subject, and if the industry does not do something QUICK, this will be yet another failed format.
I wish I could just “thumbs up” or +1. In any case, good comment.
I could have not said it better my self. 4k with HDR is a confusing mess and many consumers were sold on a lie (I’m looking at you Samsung… My 2015 flagship 78JS9500 is not future proof like u promised). I love 3D and I think TV manufactures are making a big mistake by taking out this feature. I, for one WILL NOT be buying a TV ever again, I will have to go to projector. I am not wasting the thousands of dollars I have spent on Blu-ray 3D. I will tell you one thing, my guests are always more impressed with the Dr. Strange 3D or The Force Awakens 3D than any demo I give them with 4K UltraHD Blu-ray. I think TV manufactures need to at least give their flagship models the 3D feature, because those of us that spend $10,000 on a TV set don’t want to be screwed out of a feature that most people who buy TVs in that $ range care about. Case in point, I can still watch my Laserdisc, VHS, HD DVD collection on any TV I buy, but I can’t watch my Blu-ray 3D collection on newer sets. HOW FAIR IS THAT???
Regarding VHS, how long do you think it will be before the legacy RCA composite video connectors and equivalent audio connectors are removed from new TVs? Perhaps next year?
My last couple of sets haven’t had them. I have an RCA to HDMI converter
William Henley, in my experience when you buy a Warner 3D and redeem the UltraViolet code, it automatically gives you the UHD version. So for example, I bought the 3D versions of Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman and Vudu shows I own both in UHD. I wonder did you try redeeming the code from the 3D Fantastic Beasts before buying the UHD version on Vudu?
I’ve seen this same cut-and-paste article about the “death of 3D” on many tech websites when it’s a slow news day. It too regurgitates many incomplete and outright bogus talking points. As someone who has subjected readers to endless whining about the lack of consideration for his constant height projector (a home theater configuration that has probably less than a tenth the penetration of 3Dtv), you’d think he’d be more open-minded. So the two choices are consumers either are apathetic or actively hate it? How about consumers don’t know or haven’t ever tried it? Articles like this certainly don’t help in educating consumers how the current state of 3D. Clunky glasses? I suppose that could just be your projector bias, but the last produced models of 3Dtv use inexpensive, lightweight passive glasses. Ghosting? Also not a problem with passive 3D. Most other review sites of 3D acknowledged YEARS ago that ghosting and crosstalk were the sole issue of not the content but the glasses and the tv and stopped even mentioning them in their reviews of 3d titles entirely (because if you don’t like crosstalk, ditch your crap glasses or get a passive 3D set). And if you already wear glasses, very simple clip-ons are available. Even my 70+ year old mother has no issue using these for her home 3D viewing (yes, my parents have a 3D set and they LOVE it).
And 3D titles are still selling on blu-ray. In fact there are twice as many 3D releases on blu-ray scheduled this year as the previous two years. Anyone who has ordered 3D blu-rays from Amazon also knows there must be significant demand because they sell out very quickly. Pro-tip Amazon UK often has 3D movies (some that might even get a U.S. release) that work fine on U.S. players and are usually cheaper even with the extra shipping. 3D blu-ray sales are likely to be greater than UHD disc sales for quite some time (if you want to talk about consumer apathy, look no further than the half-baked UHD blu-ray format). 3D HAS been perfected for home with 4K OLED passive sets. It is sad that LG dropped support this year just when they created the ideal delivery device. Given that without 3D, LG will be just another OLED set maker (with less consumer brand confidence than other OLED set makers) they might realize their mistake and add it back in the future.
This comment has a number of fallacies:
– There are no more manufacturers who support 3D in flat-panel television anymore. None. That product category is completely dead. This is an objective fact, not just an opinion.
– Passive 3D TVs are not immune to crosstalk. I have a passive set. It still has crosstalk. Crosstalk is inherent to LCD technology, because the liquid crystals don’t change state fast enough.
– Consumers who don’t know or haven’t tried 3D generally fall into the category of “apathetic.” If they had actually cared about 3D, they had countless opportunities to buy 3D TVs at the same price point as non-3D TVs. In many cases, they may already own a 3D TV but haven’t bothered to turn on the feature.
– “Anyone who has ordered 3D blu-rays from Amazon also knows there must be significant demand because they sell out very quickly.” Or, as is much more likely, retailers simply aren’t stocking as many copies of the 3D discs because they don’t want to wind up with unsold inventory.
– Ultra HD Blu-rays already outsell 3D Blu-rays. UHD didn’t take very long at all to outsell 3D.
– Studios are already pulling back on 3D Blu-ray releases. Many times, they’re exclusively foisted into the package with UHD without a dedicated 3D release. In other cases, movies aren’t released in 3D at all. Dreamworks didn’t release Trolls in 3D, Sony isn’t bothering to release the latest Resident Evil movie in 3D, and Paramount has confirmed that xXx: Return of Xander Cage won’t get a 3D Blu-ray either, despite all of these playing in 3D theatrically.
– Brick-and-mortar retailers are also cutting back on shelf space for 3D. Walmart doesn’t carry it at all anymore.
With no more 3D TVs being manufactured, it’s only a matter of time before the product is phased out entirely. You may not like this development (I don’t either), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It’s an inevitability at this point.
I definitely agree on Josh on some points. I have friends who owns non-4K Sony XBR from few years back and they have not used the 3D features. They bought some Blu-rays but didn’t bother with 3D.
I don’t know how well HD Blu-ray are selling. I could be wrong but I don’t think they will outsell regular Blu-ray anytime soon. But DVD has always outsell 3D from the beginning of time. So it doesn’t mean much if HD Blu-ray is outselling 3D Blu-ray. I think at this point not many copies of 3D are being printed. Zootopia 3D Blu-ray is said to be out of print as Best Buy and Target don’t carry them anymore. They didn’t print enough of them for such a great movie. It didn’t help the matter that Disney stopped releasing 3D because of agreement with VUDU. I think you’re right, the product will get phased out.
Josh, the Best Buy description for the 4K steel book release of the final Resident Evil says it includes 3D. Is that description incorrect?
The listing for the SteelBook doesn’t say anything about 3D. The Best Buy listing for the regular UHD does say 3D, but I think that’s an error. You can find a picture of the Blu-ray and UHD cover art at the following site, and there’s no indication of 3D.
It’s kinda funny that the company that was pushing it the most (SONY) were one of the first to abandon it. Especially where gaming was concerned. It was barely even given a chance there too. 🙁
Has there been a 3D that is bundled exclusively with UHD Blu-ray and not with the 2D Blu-ray? If not then this Steelbook most likely doesn’t have 3D. It’s sad the last resident evil does not have 3D.
There have been several titles where 3D was exclusively bundled with UHD, including Ghostbusters (2016), Passengers, and Billy Lynn. However, I believe it’s confirmed that Sony is not releasing the new Resident Evil in 3D in North America, period. A 3D version will be released in Europe, but not in the SteelBook.
The Great Wall (Universal) will not have a 3D Blu-ray release. Underworld: Blood Wars (Sony) didn’t get one either. It appears that Sony is done with 3D Blu-ray.
Both of those movies tanked in the US box office though, is it not getting a 3D release at all anywhere? the Ghostbusters remake had a 4K and 3D combo pack for only $25 not that long ago, so I can certainly see the last Resident Evil getting a similar release
Sony isn’t done with 3D Blu-ray. They just barely released ‘Passengers’ on 3D Blu-ray.
The Great Wall is a Universal release. They have been pretty consistent with 3D releases on blu-ray. The only one they didn’t release on 3D blu-ray in recent years was The Seventh Son, but that was because the movie tanked in the US (just like The Great Wall). Anyway, I absolutely love 3D at home despite the flaws and annoyances. I just boost the contrast and backlight on my LCD TV when watching 3D blu-rays. This announcement makes me sad. I will keep buying 3D blu-rays until they stop making them. Now I just need to get the only 1 or 2 4K with HDR TVs that have 3D before they are all gone. But I just bought my 3D tv in December of 2014, so this suck-diddly-ucks.
European versions may have the 3D disc.
Just to name a few.
Sony isn`t done with 3D just yet. They still produce most blockbusters in 3D for the cinemas, and at least here in Europe, they keep release them on Bluray 3D. But poor Americans. Seems they lost interest in the 3D home market.
This helps back up one of my points. The reason 3D took off so well in Europe is that Europe made the digital cutover about the time 3D sets were coming out, so people bought them. 3D sets appeared in the US a couple of years after we cut over, so people had no reason to go out and replace their expensive 2-3 year old set with a 3D one.
Josh, I am curious. Did you have your projector calibrated by a professional?
I have CalMan software and a color meter to do my own calibration.
They both got 3D bluray releases outside of the United States.
In fact, I purchase all my 3D movies on Amazon UK now, because they are abundant and cheap (only $14-16 a piece)
The TV companies have nixed 3D for THIS year’s models. They could very easily bring it back for the next models. I think they are just doing it for the time being.
Don’t tell me that 3D TV won’t be back for the AVATAR 3D sequels…THEY WILL.
Nope, HDR is the new hotness. Anyone who has been to a Dolby Cinema and watched the Dolby Vision version of a movie would attest to this. 3D simply cannot match the picture quality.
That’s a stupid thing to say, because HDR and 3D are not mutually exclusive…
I was under the impression that UHD is the only format that supports HDR, and also that UHD does not support 3D.
In home theater, yes. You can only get HDR with UHD, and UHD doesn’t support 3D. However, he may have been talking about theatrically. Dolby Cinema is technically capable of doing both HDR and 3D simultaneously (though, at the current moment, most North American Dolby Cinemas are 2D only).
There are more than 18 3D TVs TVs available right now , Panasonic has a line of 3D models in 2017, (facts) LG and Sony just released some newer model 3D TVs in October and November.
New Passive 3D 4K OLEDs are crosstalk free if you are at eye level with the TV
“Newest” – Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 4K uhd vs 3D
3D – #36 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
4K – #37 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
3D – #12 in Movies & TV > Blu-ray > Kids & Family
4K – #11 in Movies & TV > Blu-ray > Kids & Family
Sales are very close when in stock , also….. the 3D assassins creed was in the top 10 Tuesday on release day.
Thanks to Disney , The top 5 international movies in total ($) last year were all in 3D & releasing in 3D blu-ray , None were released in 4K Blu-ray.
The 3D B.B. Steelbook for Doctor Strange sold out in a few hours…. and the regular 3D version sold out by Friday in my area. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6NJJpwVAAAS2oF.jpg:large
Disney gets it …. they made every ? movie in 3D in 2016 and it paid off.
the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA)
3D – film releases
2007 – 6
2008 – 8
2009 – 20
2010 – 26
2011 – 45
2012 – 40
2013 – 45
2014 – 47
2015 – 40
2016 – 52 – (the most ever)
The U.S/Canada Media generally has a unrealistic view of the popularity of 3D when “only” 39% of theater screens are 3D capable. The more popular the movie is the less the 3D percentage will be just because there is less screens.
In 2016…… nine of the top 10 and 19 of the top 25 films were released in 3D,
both are UP compared to 2015 (six and 14)
Home 3D is getting popular again , (just look at your own poll) Content is also up, demand is still there.
I think the Manufacturers never saw this coming …. They thought 2014 was the end of 3D , now they are stuck with decisions they made more than a year ago . Without any advertising whatsoever , and with less and less shelf space 3D has continued to keep pace with UHD 4K Blu-ray sales.
Also ….. Sony just now updated their PSVR software to play 3D Movies , The reason they did it was the demand to do it from the people in the Sony PSVR forums.
TVs released in October and November are 2016 models. Both LG and Sony confirmed that they have discontinued 3D in 2017:
Panasonic has one single 3D capable TV in 2017 (not a line of them), and it’s not the flagship model, which is 2D only. Given that Panasonic no longer makes its own panels but sources them from LG, they will have no choice but to discontinue 3D entirely because LG won’t be supplying any 3D panels.
You insinuate in your opening comment that NO manufacturer offers a 3D TV to buy (starting this year) , I probably would have said next year. Also , The average person that buys a TV will never know what year the TV at the store was manufactured.
Keep in mind I don’t mind it that much because it points out what the manufacturers and media need to know, dropping 3D is a mistake. (Your doing a good thing) Look at the results.
Your right about Panasonic , I typed that too fast , ….. Panasonic has a line of sizes of ONE model – 75″,65″,58″,50″
Similar poll from cnet in 2015 (similar results) : Would you care if 3D TV died?
Would you care if 3D is not a feature on your next TV?
Goodbye and good riddance. – 23%
Nooo! I love my 3D! – 52%
3D? That’s still a thing? – 25 %
You hit on an interesting subject. Development cycles can take a couple of years. A lot of manufacturers moved to pull 3D a few years ago, right as 4k was going onto the market. This was right about the time that prices drastically dropped on 3D sets, and about the same time people started replacing their aging plasmas and 720p LCDs. I think at this time, consumers are buying whatever is on the shelves – not because they prefer 4k over 3D, but because 4k is on the shelves at the time they are needing new televisions (the life expactancy of a bulb on your average LCD is 7-10 years). You know how many people are still running DVD players and analogue cable into their televisions? Shoot, I got a friend who is running analogue cable into a 4k set. Their argument was good though – the cable company charges more for HD, their craptastic DVRs don’t have big enough Harddrives, and the HD channels are compressed so much, there isn’t a huge difference over the SD stuff (although they can see some difference). They do have 4k Netflix, but are thinking of canceling it because of lack of content.
However, I don’t see manufacturers bringing back 3D, mainly because it would take 2-3 years to get 3D sets BACK onto the market. Considering the fact that UHD Blu-Ray doesn’t support 3D at all, I just don’t see it coming back.
Its interesting that as 3-D approaches its centenary , early ones available here : (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VGXABLI/panandscathed-20) some people are still predicting its demise and , just like vinyl , it never quite goes away . Not every movie needs 3-D but Hitchcock , Ridley Scott and James Cameron have found constructive uses for it and Lg have thrown away their role as tv manufacturer with the most complete set of functionalities way too soon .Such a pity .
I’m glad I jumped on a 3D set in September just before they started announcing all the 3D sets would ne discontinued. I love my LG and 4K fixes the resolution issue for passive 3D which itself has more comfortable, lightweight glasses. Hopefully the projector folks keep buying 3D movies so I won’t see the availability of media dry up so quickly.
I hate this article. 😟 I’m still in denial about the death of 3d and will continue to support the format until 3d blus are no longer produced. I’m sure I’m in the minority of minorities here, but I pretty much buy any release if it’s made available in 3d, except for a small handful. If Ben-Hur or Trolls were made available in 3d, it was a guaranteed sale for me. I haven’t even bothered to rent them. All those vintage movies available in 3d are gold to me and hope for more in the future. What I’m hoping will happen is that maybe one company decides to make 3d available again in 4k tvs with the idea that they’ll be the only ones on the market with that feature and that’ll be the one I’d give my money to, regardless of any previous brand loyalty I might of had. A boutique style TV company perhaps? Maybe Bob Furmanek could strike a deal with a TV company to preserve 3d or maybe James Cameron will make 3d cool again if his Avatar sequels ever see the light of day. Wishful thinking. I’m mostly worried about my tv crapping out and then not being able to replace it with a 3d model. I’m not really looking to upgrade a new tv anytime soon and that could create a real problem for me if or when that happens. In my household, 3d viewing is a pretty regular thing and I’m sure I’ll find a way to preserve that if anything happens. I’m sort of resenting 4k for this and the fact that a lot of studios are formatting Atmos and DTS:X to their 4k discs only even though they can easily be featured in regular blu. I knew this would happen and even suggested it a while back ago. I’ve been “future proofing” some new blurays with 4k, but I was hoping they would coexist instead of having to pick one. If that’s the case, I still choose 3d over 4k and find it a more immersive experience.
Yes, very bummed out about the prospects of no longer being able to enjoy 3D.
I had a very nice JVC projector that worked just fine, then I was cursed by Tron Legacy coming out. As soon as I saw it I knew I would never be satisfied not having 3D. I bought a Panasonic plasma 3D TV, but it was then a comprise as it wasn’t the true theater experience that the projector gave me. So I spent $5,000 or close to it upgrading (when I really didn’t need to) my projector, strictly so that I could watch 3D.
Nowadays I almost exclusively only buy 3D blu rays. I mean I can go spend a couple bucks to rent movies at Red Box, so no reason to buy everything. However as anyone knows, it’s not so easy with the 3D, so I’ve become used to avoiding 3D movies in the theater so that I can justify the expense of having them at home to watch.
So yeah, if 3D goes away I will miss it and be bummed.
A relatively inexpensive way to watch 3D movies is via VUDU. My Sony 3D Blu-Ray player (but not my PS4) has the option to rent 3D movies within the VUDU app. Sometimes you can even find movies where the 3D versions were only released in Europe (such as The Gate).
Are these SBS versions, where your screen has to stretch the image and you lose resolution (like broadcast 3D), or is it full resolution like Blu-Ray 3D?
I dug around a bit and it looks like they only offer side by side or over/under versions of 3D movies. It’s kind of appalling that they give you a lower resolution final image than the 2D version, and your display has to do all the work of making it 3D, and they charge you more for it.
I knew several people who realized it was a feature that came on their televisions; they gave it a token try once, then never used it again. It just didn’t jive with most people’s home viewing habits and/or environments. I never bought the home technology nor have I even tried it. 3D in the cinemas never did much for me. I generally tried to avoid 3D showings if I could see the same movie in 2D. So I won’t notice this is gone.
A few years ago, Ibought the best tv at Costco and it had 3D. I wouldn’t have tried it if my PS3 wasn’t already a 3D player. I like 3D better at home than in the cinema. Other than IMAX the theater screens are too dark. I’ll be sad to see it go, but am pissed that the discs cost so much more.
People Just don’t give things a chance like they once did. I remember when DVD first came out and there were HORRIBLE transfers that sometimes barely looked better than VHS. Or they we viewing it on a crappy TV that didn’t get all the value out of then DVD. Then with 720p/1080i, some people said they saw no difference. Same with 1080p and even 4K. But 3D is unique. It’s not just whether or not it’s 3D, it’s how well it’s utilized by the people who made the movie! Any fan of 3D will tell you that some movies use it to great affect while others do not. If they are going to keep making 3D movies for the theater, it will be a shame if they stop letting us buy them in 3D. Hopefully, this is just about no more 3D sets. Sad but I have mine. Just keep making Blu-Ray 3Ds for movies in 3D at the theater for as long as they make them. It really is a shame. I think many people that don’t like it haven’t actually seen it at home or have only done so on a small crappy set. NO ONE that has seen a 3D movie at my place hasn’t been amazed.
I cant let it go. I own several 3d blu rays (just bought doctor strange and looking forward to buying rogue one). As a self proclaim film historians its greats to have as a record as the way the film was theatrically presented. For instance, Gravity is a decent film in 2D but 3D is the only way you can appreciate the cinematography. I can only imagine watching Ready Player One or Star Wars Ep8 or Spider-Man in the theater in 3d but not being able to replicate the intended experience in my expensive home theater set up… what a bummer, but hey 1st world problems! Trump is my real future concern
Reminds me of the decision to scrap alternating aspect ratios with Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. I too like to have the experience in my home theater as close as it was in the cinema even if it isnt exactly the same.
I have a Sony XBR TV with 3D. It works, but not that great. Wearing prescription glasses and having to put 3D over top has always been painful. The added cost for the 3D Bluray has always been distasteful. I’ve got a rack of 3D titles and am sad that they will be obsolete in the coming years when I replace my XBR. So, it’s been an expensive experience for not much joy. I’ve stopped buying 3D and will only purchase regular bluray until the whole 4K thing with the various HDR formats turn to jello. I’ll also not buy anything 4K that doesn’t have a complete 4K production chain.
Interestingly enough one of the main reasons viewers didn’t like 3d was because they had to wear glasses. But yet, the industry would have us believe that people will strap boxes to their heads to do VR. Really?!?
Very different audience and very different type of source material is how I explain why the boxy VR viewers have become accepted while 3D glasses have not.
I like 3d. I will be bummed if it stops altogether. I watch it on my 120″ screen with my BenQ 1080ST projector. I have a Plasma TV which I can watch 3d on but I prefer movies on the big screen. I like it when the 4k version of the movie comes with the 3d disc like Passengers I just picked up this last week. I hate it when I have to choose between 4k and 3d. To be honest when I have to make that choice I choose 4k as I want to build my 4k library. If I am paying a premium for 4k then I think the 3d should be bundled in.
As soon as I saw that 4k spec didn’t have 3d I new at some point 3d will die unless they update the 4k spec at some point…maybe when they release the 8k spec (yes I know…dreaming).
I was disappointed when they got rid of plasma as I think it is a better viewing experience. I don’t like LCD whether it is in a panel or through a projector which is why I buy DLP projectors.
Whether it is 3d or Plasma I choose what I believe to be the best and most immersive technology but consumers keep choosing the cheaper stuff which means I lose choice…I hate that.
This decision is terrible, having bought my first 3D tv 3 years ago a Sony 46″ I have purchased many 3D films and enjoyed them immensely. 12months ago a bought a 65″ Sony 3D that uses Bluetooth glasses which are more comfortable, lighter to wear, cheaper and the batteries last longer. We all love it. Six other members of my family have also bought 3D tv’s and enjoy them very much. We have all spent extra money buying movies to enjoy in 3D, it seems unfair to me that they will be reducing the 3D Bluray release after people have spent 1000s of dollars on their TVs and movie library.
I have the JS8500 model in the 55 inch version. I see it’s 3,999.00 on the internet these days. I wondered why? Guess it’s a rare item now. I have 4K and 3D at this point, so I’m all good maaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnn.
LG TVs got 3D right, a long time ago. Just like always, the larger amount of TV manufacturers chose the 3D format that made them the most money. That’s the only reason they didn’t choose the passive format. Of course 3D died, when you had to pay practically $100 for a pair of glasses. I have two LG 3D televisions. One is about 7 years old and the other is 3 years old. Both use passive glasses. These are the same ones that you use in the theaters. I have a huge basket of 3D glasses, because of this, which means there is enough glasses for every guest in my house, when we watch a 3D movie. That is what sells 3D TVs. Since most people were conned into buying the 3D TV with expensive “active” glasses, they can’t share the experience with their guests. When they do share the experience the battery operated glasses start dying before the movie is even over, causing darker pictures and ghosting. What this means is that the majority of 3D TV owners, who unfortunately own active sets, have bad experiences watching 3D, and their guests experience the same thing. It’s a shame, because, passive sets doesn’t have these issues, the way that active sets do. Josh claims passive sets have ghosting, too. I don’t agree. I own EVERY SINGLE 3D blu-ray released. I have only seen ghosting in two of those releases. Both of those releases were not from a bigger studio, and it appears as if it is the film or the transfer, because I tried it on both types of televisions and the ghosting happened in the exact same place. Passive 3D is great. It’s nice and bright. As I’ve already said, I have seen no ghosting on the movies I own. You can use the 3D glasses that you bring home from the theater. The biggest thing is that everyone loves 3D on my TV. The active 3D TV owners that watch my television can’t understand why their 3D doesn’t look as good as mine. A lot have people have bought passive sets after seeing how well mine works. The bottom line is this: if 75% of 3D TV owners have bad experiences from their “active” sets, and the other 25% have “passive” sets with great experiences with their 3D. More than anything, manufacturers rely on “word of mouth” to seek more 3D televisions. With the largest percentage of 3D TV owners having “active” sets that are expensive and problematic, you’re not going to get too many new sales generated. This is not our fault. This is the manufacturer’s fault. As always, greed is what is killing 3D. People love 3D TV. Unfortunately, the majority of new TV buyers rely on sales personnel and manufacturers ads to decide what TV they want to buy. I studied up on 3D TV before I bought mine. Most critics loved the passive more than the active 3D TVs. I have been completely happy with my LG Passive 3D sets. I’ll probably buy a LG OLED 4K 3D TV before the year is out, just to be safe, but I’m pretty confident that 3D isn’t going to die. As long as people keep buying it, I expect LG will keep supplying a 3D model. If that model keeps selling well, all of this year, I expect to see a new 3D model from LG in 2018.
Most current LG 4K 3DTV’s have been “fire sold” here in Australia, so it will be pretty hard if impossible to find one after April. As I’m building a new home I want the electronics to be new too, so with the above knowledge in mind I bought 2 a couple of weeks ago for less than the price of 1! Having a TV without 3D is not an option even if they are only for the lounge and bedroom. Sometimes you just don’t feel like powering up the home theater for a movie every now and then.
I feel 3D has gotten a bum rap in so many ways.
First was all the cheap 2D to 3D conversions that were done after Avatar was a success (Clash of the Titans, for example). This glut of horribly done 3D movies made people think that Avatar was a fluke and there was something wrong with 3D. Many of them have never looked back since.
Then when home 3D came out most manufacturers backed active glasses. This was horribly bothersome to me, and definitely did not feel like the “right” way to do 3D. Expensive glasses that you wouldn’t want to hand to a five year old, and headache inducing flicker. No thanks.
Passive sets were better in my eyes, but losing half the resolution made it a hard sell to people. Particularly when they would look at the technology in the store and be very close up, which exacerbated the issue by revealing every other line of resolution as a black line, making a horrible looking effect. Passive had to be viewed at a decent distance.
Now, with 4K passive sets we have finally hit the point where 3D feels “right”. And of course, now is when they decide to give up. I have not had a 3D set until recently, but have been buying 3D releases since they came out. I always figured I would want a passive 4K display, and I bit the bullet after hearing that LG is eliminating it from their panels for 2017. I am NOT disappointed. It’s as amazing as I always imagined it would be.
To put the final nail in the coffin, nearly all 4K releases force you to choose 3D OR 4K, rather than making an “ultimate edition” pack with everything. This move alone caused me to slow down my software purchase over the last year greatly… I didn’t know if I would prefer 3D or 4K, so I decided to not buy.
Now that I finally have a 3D set, I am definitely much more impressed with the additional value of 3D over standard Blu-ray than I am with the value of Ultra HD over standard Blu-ray. The 4K releases look slightly better in most cases, which the 3D changes the whole experience. If we’re dumping 3D for 4K, I don’t feel like it’s a good trade. Very disappointing.
I got so much invested in 3D it’s devastating to say the least. My bedroom TV is a 46″ Sony XBR 3D. My home theater TV is the Sharp Elite 70″ LED and the money I spent back then probably could have gotten me a non-3D 4K OLED. The 3D effect I get from the active glasses were even better than the movie theater. I know a lot of people always complain about the glasses. Well it’s what you get for the performance. People still go to the theater to watch Real3D or IMAX 3D. Guess what, it’s better at home. Don’t care? Then why do people pay so much more for IMAX 3D or Real3D in theaters? I don’t know what went wrong. I think the first sign of trouble was the end of 3D broadcast and that was long time ago.
I also think economic factored in the demise of 3D. It’s much more expensive to make a 1080p TV with superb performance (contrast, accuracy, artifact,…etc) than to make a 4K TV that don’t do as well in those areas. It’s probably a lot more expensive to include 3D than to make 4K if you have to choose one feature to add. 4K is much easier to sell. Profit margin of TV is diminishing. Typical household should do just fine with 1080p. But manufacturers can no longer make good profit on them. That’s why they have to go to 4K to charge you more (but doesn’t cost them a lot more) and make more money.
For me, having Sharp Elite doesn’t give me much incentives to upgrade to 4K, but I get much more out of 3D. I’m sure I’m a tiny minority.
I Love 3D and that is why I still own a 2015 Samsung JS9000 and won’t be upgrading to a KS series or a QLED because there is no 3D and I feel like they never gave 3D a chance, they hardly put out 3D Blu-ray Disc, they made the glasses super expensive, and they tie Avatar up with a Panasonic exclusive for 2 years. I mean really how could people watch something that wasn’t available they act as if there were 100’s of titles on the shelf and no one was buying them. Then when they finally get to a point where folks have spent lots of money and built decent 3D movie libraries over the years then they want to drop the tech all together and make folks throw all that money down the drain. Now they want to sell you on 4k. but look now at the 4K blu-ray library verse 3D in the same time. they have a genuine interest in 4k so that is why they are pushing it. they never truly had a real vested interest in 3D maybe some more than others so of course they wanted to do away with it. WhY not just put out 4K blu-ray disc that include a 3D disc along with regular blu-ray and a digital copy that way the consumer has choice and don’t have to purchase the same movies 2 or 3 times. instead of being greedy and always trying to capitalize off the consumer. some studio’s have released 4k disc that include 3d copies and those are the only 4k titles I own and I own about 75 3D blu-ray disc and it is my preference when it comes to enjoying movies at home. someone has a petition for Lg to bring 3D back and I started one the other day for Samsung to bring it back to there tv’s if interested please sign my petition at the following link.
I purchased a lg 65inch oled 4k 3d tv 5 months ago and over 100 3d movies in that timeframe.I’ve watch about half so far.I love it and everyone who has come over loved it some who have hated in the past.the only thing I can say about people who say 3d doesn’t do any thing for me .need to see on a oled set.I agree in the past it was not good for many reasons. That why go figure when they finally get it right they drop it.
Well thats part of the problem, 3D was ahead of the home tech, even today, a 65″ 4K OLED is out of my price range and I’m pretty middle of the road, so the majority of the people out there arent forking out that kind of money to find out that 3D is still relevant 🙂
Having a 3D DLP projector at home spoils me for 3D. I notice ghosting all the time at cinema 3D, and much prefer my 3D at home where I’ve never seen ghosting once. It’s a shame that support is dropping, especially because most people were viewing sub-standard 3D at home, which would have turned them off 3D.
What type of theaters are you seeing 3D ghosting at? Most cinema projectors are DLP.
I haven’t kept track of the locations, but I most often go to either Imax or 4DX when I go to the movies, so it was probably one of the two. Actually the last movie I remember it on was Assassin’s Creed, which was just a “regular” 3D theatre.
It’s not the entire time mind you, just a couple times during the movie, but it still makes me shake my head (figuratively, so as not to detract from the viewing experience).
IMAX 3D uses glasses with linear polarization, which can cause ghosting unless you keep your head in a rigid upright position. If you tilt your head or lean to the side, you may get artifacts. I’m not sure about 4DX, but most other forms of theatrical 3D use DLP projectors and glasses with circular polarization, which should be free of crosstalk.
Good to know. I’ll make a note of it next time and come back to comment on this thread. I’m sure no one will see it, but you know, for posterity’s sake.
I enjoy 3D in theatres, but using 3D at home never even crossed my mind. I remember espn trying to get broadcast 3D to be a thing and it failed (I think they tried it with soccer and basketball). Without getting all the networks on board, I don’t think 3D tvs ever had a chance.
I waiting about 30 years to have 3D this good at home, and the news that they’re trying to take it away now is DEVASTATING. I’ve done all I can to support the format, buying about 99% of ALL 3D Blu-Rays released in the US and other countries. Having had a Sharp 3D TV first, I can say that the 3D on that wasn’t great, but mostly due to this news I sold it and bought an LG TV with 4K and passive 3D, which works a LOT better! It uses very light glasses (and works with the same ones you get at the theater) which are low-cost and require no charging like the older ones did, so that problem is essentially solved. (I wear regular glasses and have NO problem wearing these over them!) If 3D goes away, then this will likely be the LAST TV I ever buy, and my movie buying will severely decline as well!
The industry simply had unreasonably high expectations for 3D when it started out, and they simply need to give it MORE TIME to catch on! Many people had just bought new HDTVs before home 3D was introduced and weren’t about to replace them right away. There are many great 3D movies available on Blu-Ray, but very few of them have been available for rent and many have also sold at high premiums over the 2D-only editions. There simply needs to be better promotion all around for 3D discs- Disney withholding “Frozen” from the US certainly didn’t help matters!
By the way my new TV also supports 4K and I bought a 4K disc player, but so far the 4K discs I’ve seen have NOT been very impressive, certainly not enough to give up 3D for! Ironically a large percentage of the movies available on that format right now are 2D presentations of 3D movies! I have little to no interest in the 4K format as long as it doesn’t support 3D.
Thanks to Jamar Champion for starting the Samsung petition, I will promote it as much as I can. Also everyone please sign the LG petition if you haven’t already- LG is absolutely INSANE for dropping 3D after getting it better than any other company did! https://www.change.org/p/lg-please-revive-3d-on-a-2018-oled-tv-model/u/19348463
I agree, the 4 4K movies I bought are not much better than the 2K ones . Given that they often shoot with less than 4K cameras, the only thing I see is a few more colors. At least I know when I am watching a 3D bluray.
I just don’t care. I never cared for 3D. I don’t like it much in the theater either. I find it makes the picture look dim, and for me, its not worth the trade off. I have no desire to wear glasses to experience 3D in the home. And the typically small home screens don’t lend themselves to 3D either in my opinion. I am much more excited by 4K OLED. I think pixel density is “The Next Big Thing” – or maybe its better said as “the big thing now”. So bring on 8K!
Totally absurd that they remove 3D when it’s not even a special hi-cost add-on anymore! I just got the LG E6 OLED and the passive 3D on it is the best I’ve ever seen!! Every person who sees it gasps in shock at how amazing it is! It could not be more simple in that it uses the same glasses you get in a movie theater and 3D bluray players are now dirt cheap (and 4k UHD players have 3D playback as well), It’s not fair to those like myself who’ve spent considerable dollars on 3D bluray discs and players to play them on… Keep the goddamn 3D for those who want it! What’s even sillier, is they are not even compromising and keeping 3D as an option on some of the sets, which is an utter slap in the face! If 3D were so dead, then why do they even make movies in 3D anymore!!!??? Why have IMAX!?? Why make Rogue One and The Force Awakens in 3D if it’s so dead!!! Why is Doctor Strange being heralded as one of the best 3D movies ever!? 3D is not dead…it’s just laziness and a rush to judgment by studio hacks! I heard Samsung dropped the 3D ‘to concentrate more on streaming apps’…ENOUGH with the streaming crap already! I don’t bother stream anything because it’s all compressed garbage that pales in comparison to even a regular 1080p bluray! Anyone that spends 3,000 bucks on a top-end display just to stream compressed signals is wasting their money… Someone should start a petition – at least to LG, because the OLED 3D experience is second to none and one reason why I’m glad I got the 2016 model vs a 2017. DOn’t let them take away your 3D without letting them hear it!
I posted this earlier. Profit margin has been terrible for the manufacturer until 4K. Every dollar matters and the cost is relative. I don’t think it’s that cheap to add 3D. It might be cheaper to increase pixel count for 4K than to include 3D.
Completely agree- and the new LG TV I bought has a TON of streaming apps AND 3D anyways. However it can’t output Dolby Digital Plus via HDMI, so at least the Vudu app on it is useless to me, I’ll still need to buy a 4K Roku if I want that. (Compressed garbage is usually good enough for movies I just want to check out once when they’re cheap enough to watch, then I buy the disc if I like them.)
There already IS a petition to LG, sign it here: https://www.change.org/p/lg-please-revive-3d-on-a-2018-oled-tv-model?source_location=minibar
There’s also this new one for Samsung: https://www.change.org/p/contactus-samsung-com-please-bring-the-3d-feature-back-to-samsung-flagship-4k-tv-s?source_location=minibar