3D TVs are officially dead as Sony and LG discontinue production this year

Bradley Wint
Jan 24, 2017 9:22pm AST
Photo: LG

Guys, it’s official, 3D TVs are dead.

Sony and LG, the last two manufacturers that clung on to 3D TVs, have both announced their plans to discontinue production after poor sales. With other brands like Samsung and Vizio ditching their respective lines last year, it was only a matter of time before the remaining big guns called it a day.

When I visited CES this year, there were no 3D TVs on display, as many of the top names were focusing on newer and more promising technologies like 4K UHD, QLED, OLED, and all the other TV display acronyms that you hear about these days.

While 3D technology works well some of the times in cinemas (e.g. Pixar movies), home owners never really considered 3D as a high priority when buying a TV set. Both LG and Sony saw extremely low sales in their last year, with under 10% of its TVs being sold offering some form of 3D technology.

Sales of 3D home video gear have declined every year since 2012. According to data from the NPD Group, 3D TV represents just 8 percent of total TV sales dollars for the full year of 2016, down from 16 percent in 2015 and 23 percent in 2012. Native 3D-capable Blu-ray players fell to just 11 percent of the market in 2016, compared to 25 percent in 2015 and 40 percent in 2012.

While there are many Blu-ray disc movies that offered 3D support, there were not many cable and satellite channels offering dedicated 3D content, putting yet another stake in the coffin.

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One of the biggest problems with 3D TVs is the fact that they can’t be put just anywhere in the house. There needed to be enough distance between the set and the viewer, and those wanting the full experience needed to sit directly in the center. That may not have been ideal, especially for people with smaller homes.

With the development of VR technology and what already exists in cinemas, we doubt 3D TVs will ever have a future any time soon.

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