Just a five years ago, 3D TVs were supposed to be the next big thing. Manufacturers hoped the public interest in smart TVs would translate into a willingness to put on glasses in their living room to watch 3D.
ESPN announced ESPN 3D, a network devoted to 3D programming and all of the major TV manufacturers scrambled to offer 3D models.
But someone forgot to tell the public to get enthused about 3D TV. By 2013, ESPN had shut down their 3D network and it’s been estimated that less than 1% of the audience watches the 3D version of broadcasts.
The main problem with 3D is the one that’s plagued it all along. You must wear special glasses or goggles to view 3D programming. If there were 15 people watching a 3D football game in your living room, every one of those people would need to put on special glasses. Another problem with 3D is that it makes some people, including me, ill. Attempts to view in 3D leave me queasy and with a splitting headache.
Vizio quit making 3D TVs in 2014, and now Samsung is following suit. None of their new models will include 3D support.
If you own a 3D TV, that doesn’t mean it will stop working, but you may find a shrinking amount of programming available as the sets become less and less popular.
TV manufacturers are focusing their attention on smart TVs that act as control hubs for your home and there’s also a growing interest in 3D programming delivered via virtual reality goggles like the Samsung Gear. These experiences are designed more to be experienced by yourself instead of sitting in a room with a bunch of people wearing glasses.
There could still be hope for 3D TV. Stream TV has begone production on 3 monitors that don’t require glasses or goggles.
These Ultra-D displays promise glasses-free 3D viewing using the same technology that displays holograms. These monitors are expected to hit stores soon.