LG and Samsung to phase out 3D TV

Let's be honest, 3D TV technology has always struggled for traction. While there was a brief renaissance a couple of years ago, the general public has, on the whole, remained unconvinced. Manufacturers have shifted their attention to 4K, HDR and the upcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray format.

Competing 3D formats, the need for different types of glasses, the added cost, and incompatibility between brands hasn't helped the situation - and it now looks as though some TV manufacturers are ready to call time on the technology.

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Korean publication ET News reports that LG is planning to cut by half the number of TVs with 3D support. An LG representative is quoted, saying: "Although 40% of all TVs last year had 3D functions, only 20% of TVs this year will have 3D function... because there are still consumers who enjoy 3D movies, we are going to apply 3D mainly to premium products."

So it seems although 3D integration will be scaled back, LG isn't going to completely pull the plug... yet.

In the same article, one of Samsung's partners claims the company hasn't placed any orders for 3D glasses this year, and that the company won't be adding 3D tech to any of its future TVs. Whether or not its entire range of 2016 models will support 3D remains to be seen.

A statement from Samsung said, "Samsung does not comment on rumour or speculation". We're currently awaiting a response from LG.

It was way back in 2013 when a BBC controller reported "3D is dead", having found little mention of the technology at CES 2013. Sky then closed its 3D channel in June 2015, but still offers some 3D programmes on demand. There's no mention of 3D on the 4K Blu-ray spec either.

With fewer and fewer ways to get hold of 3D content - you can still buy 3D Blu-rays - it's perhaps no surprise manufacturers think about taking away the functionality altogether, even if it will no doubt leave some hardcore 3D film fans up in arms.

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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.