When 3D TVs launched in 2010 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, we were there to see it. 3D was everywhere and it was the next big thing in the consumer electronics industry.
Now 7 years later, most TV manufacturers have stopped making 3D TVs and support of 3D TVs has become difficult to get. Unlike the flat panel TV itself, 3D TVs didn’t get a standing ovation when introduced in the first place. Early adopters either loved it or hated it.
So what really killed 3D TVs? We think several factor led to its demise.
Glasses: While people didn’t think it would be a big deal to wear glasses to watch their 3D movies at home, it became a big deal. Glasses were uncomfortable, couldn’t be worn over prescription glasses, were very expensive if additional ones needed to be purchased and prevented multi-tasking, which we all know is prevalent in our society these days.
Timing of TVs and content: The 3D TVs came out about the time that most people had just purchased a flat screen TV, so to buy another TV just for the purpose of having 3D wasn’t cost-effective for most consumers. In addition, there wasn’t that much to watch on these TVs. Manufacturers were not putting out many recent movies in 3D and the really good ones, such as Avatar, were only able to be watched on one manufacturers TV, Panasonic.
Cost: 3D TVs had quite a large premium price on them so given most people had already traded in their tube or projection TV for a flat panel, it wasn’t worth an upgrade at that price point. 3D DVDs were also expensive and most were packaged in multi-packs with 2D disks, so the price was upwards of $30 back then.
So, if you have a 3D TV, enjoy it while you can. If you don’t have one and want to see 3D, go to a movie theater where you get fabulous 3D quality, lounging chairs, popcorn and can ditch the glasses on the way out.