Bye Bye 3D

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What happened to 3D TV?

I don’t miss 3D TV. I never owned one, never saw the attraction and thought I looked like a berk wearing the glasses. I did try it and felt a little nauseous, but then again I get seasick quite easily so maybe it just wasn’t for me.

I was just curious as to what happened, especially following the massive hype of recent years when everyone thought it was a domestic must-have. I also note that there is a lack of 3D content at the cimema although I confess to totally loving the 3D experience of Avatar and Gravity – but these really suited the big screen and were totally immersive so I didn’t feel yucky. Did I mention I loved Gravity? Oh yes I did but I thought it was worth mentioning again.

Here are some other thoughts re the quick demise of this technology which was so hot:

  • Because of lack of consumer demand, Samsung, the biggest maker of 3D TVs stopped making them in 2016. Sony and LG – the other main players – joined Samsung at the end of 2016.
  • Consumers felt self-conscious about wearing glasses to watch TV at home although it seems to be OK in the cinema. Personally, I think the screen size makes a big difference to 3D and so it is simply works better in the Cinema. Whereas at home it may have been too uncomfortable causing strain, headaches and that yucky feeling.
  • The other main challenge was the lack of content (echos of the VHS vs Betamax tussle perhaps) – and without content there is no demand for the content player. So, perhaps the end of 3D TV is down to the program makers. But the same applies to the cinema – there seems to be a lack of proper 3D blockbusters?
  • TV makers have switched focus onto HDR – which to me is a much more useful and exciting consumer technology. No glasses for a start.

What about VR

The silly glasses thing is interesting because although wearing silly eyewear seems to be a factor in the demise of 3D – it seems that VR Headsets don’t trigger the same negative emotion. Or at least not yet. When I tried a VR game it was, of course, very immersive so I didn’t feel quite so self-conscious – although I must have looked like a deranged fool playing the game.

The thing with 3D is that it was easy to do – put the glasses on. But VR – especially at the high-end and for gaming – is very complex and needs a lot of setup and configuration.

We will have to see if VR becomes properly mainstream; we’ll see how the silly headset thing plays out…

If you fancy trying VR and you have a suitable smartphone, this VR Headset was selling for under £23 at the time of publication, so it’s a great way to try it.


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