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Is it game over for 3D TV? According to reports coming out of Korea, LG and Samsung are both culling the number of 3D-compatible products...

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.

MORE: Ultra HD Blu-ray: everything you need to know

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.

More after the break

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.

MORE: The best flagship TVs for 2016


ruffian's picture

Let's hope it not gone too soon

I've got 150+ 3D Blu-ray Discs and it's worrying that when I need to replace my next tv, in a few years time, I may have problems finding a TV to view them on.

LG says it's only going to be a feature on its premium TVs, which feels like a rather cynical way to squeeze a bit more money out of people, though I admit their dastardly trick will work with me this time. I'm hoping to buy to buy an LG OLED this year but the model in my price range doesn't support 3D so I'll likely have to go up the range and pay considerably more for the privilege. 

I know it's going to be a niche feature but I don't think it's as unpopular as the media and manufacturers make it out to be. The best seller Blu-ray lists on Amazon always have 2 or 3 3D titles in the top ten so somebody is buying them.

Although I'm looking forward to owning a 4K OLED with HDR, I still find 3D a more immersive way of viewing than the extra resolution, especially when it's done by properly by the likes of Ridley Scott and James Cameron and as I understand it, the main reason the Ultra HD Blu-ray spec doesn't mention 3D is that 3D films in the cinema are not 4K.


AlexAtkinUK's picture

I totally agree.  There are

I totally agree.  There are certain movies that I will always pick the 3D version over 2D, even though I have an LG passive 3D set which means you only get half the vertical resolution in 3D compared to 2D.  Depth adds far more to the immersion than resolution.

This news is really disappointing.  I had hoped that UHD would mean we could finally have a decent resolution AND passive 3D at the same time, as 3840x1080 per eye should work really well.

I suspect its only a matter of time though.  Give it a year or two when UHD is not selling and they will need to add something to get people buying again.  I don't think it will be 8K as too many even now sit so far away from their TVs they will get little benefit from going 4K.

That said, I'm not sure Samsung not buying new glasses means much anyway.  Their recent budget/mid 3DTVs come without glasses, so it stands to reason the demand for them will be lower.

ruffian's picture

I've seen a 3D Blu-ray played

I've seen a 3D Blu-ray played back on 4K OLED. Although it's passive the 4K up scaling then plays it back as 1080p and it looks amazing. If more people got a chance to witness it like that it would be a lot more popular. 

sonycentre's picture

Is 3D Really Dead?

I own 2 3D tv's and echo in the other comments made.I must own over 170+ 3D Blu-ray films and i very much still enjoy the format(But then i still enjoy watching HD-Dvds) Wink the problem lies with the big Companys thinking that 3D would take off and last a good 8-10 years before "Launching" New products,And lets face it,its the best it has ever looked upto yet.But Most consumers didn't seem that bothered.The fact of having to wear glasses in the home,the cost of an extra £5 or more for the 3D Blu-ray discs....So another failer Hence the slow uptake of 4K(Its been about since 2011) 4K has not in my experiance blown me away up-to-yet in the same way HD did when i first watched it(And even that can still look breathtaking most of the time.I will still keep supporting 3D by buying the discs and gaining enjoyment while i can.

Chrisrosevilla's picture

Not so fast!

3D bluray on a 65" passive screen looks astonishing and on the right films really adds something special. We regularly have film nights with friends round who all agree they're better than when they've seen the films at the cinema - even full IMAX 3D.

LG, I'm waiting patiently for a new approx. 75 - 80" 4K 3D with HDR and a wider colour palette and a matching 4K 3D bluray player. My money is here waiting, so please get on with it!! 

Paul Suarez's picture

Premature, inconclusive commentary

Re "Manufacturers have shifted their attention to 4K, HDR and the upcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray format."

There's nothing mutually exclusive about the foregoing vis-a-vis 3D.  Unless and until we know more about what percentage of, say, this and next year's 4k/UHD displays from LG and Panasonic will still include 3D capability, this is kind of a non-story IMO.

lovlid's picture

About time.

Never liked it. Never going to like it. Let it die.

Jota180's picture

Not a moment too soon.

If you're going to pull the plug, pull it.  A quick shot to the back of 3D's head and get it over with.  It's been little more than a gimmick as the raft of major manufacturers and players kicking it into touch attests.  These people never throw the profitable out the window and they know a dead duck when they see one.

Friesiansam's picture

R.I.P. 3D, you'll soon be

R.I.P. 3D, you'll soon be forgotten.

Alantiggger's picture

Better not !

I just love 3D so I thought that I'd add my own thoughts here whilst it is being talked about.

I watch 3D movies on my Sammy 51" TV and now wish that I had something more like say a 65" screen to watch them on, sigh. The 3d glasses are active-shutter type and seem far, far better than watching the 3d movies in the cinema. The other night there I finally got around to watching Need For Speed, not a great movie as such but visually stunning and the sound was fab ! The 3D look was fantastic, one of the best out there that I have came across.

I just Love 3D  Man in love

ian films's picture

3d tvs

God I love 3d films I have Samsung sj9000 and my 3ds are great ,I love the depth in the films and I would hate to lose that have spent a fortune on almost all 3d films my favourite guardians of the galaxy and many more ,have Samsung 6400 48inch in my bedroom a 3d as well do not let this great format die

GettnBetter's picture

4K is Marketing Dream

I have come to learn many people can't see 3D.  The same people are prone to rear end accidents.  Sorry for you but its reality.  Don't be mad, my own son has been dealing with this

Not everyone can see properly out of both eyes.   Thats the real issue I see with 3D.

That being said I am extremely disappointed by the recent decline in 3D TV's.   I have no interest in 4k, marketing loves these terms.  Why not 8k or 16k?  In a display 40" 4k is irrelevant, all the way to 60 as well.  Above 60, 4k is meager at best.  

Just who has a 60" display?   Why limit yourself why not 120".   At that size 4k will be seriously fuzzy and of the maybe 20 releases your Blu-Ray player will struggle to achieve the resolution

3D is a measure of the bandwidth capability of a display.  To not support 3D in a 4K display is admitting defeat that the manufacturer is limited by hollywood's HDMI limits and has nothing to do with 3D at all