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Interest in 3D TV is Falling, Says UK Retailer

By - Source: TrustedReviews | B 33 comments

Have 3D TVs had their moment in the sun already?

Though 3D movies are still very much a part of our movie-going experience, it seems that attempts to bring this technology to our living rooms may be falling flat. UK retailer John Lewis has told TrustedReviews that customers aren't really interested in 3D TVs the way they used to be.

TrustedReviews cites John Kempner, Vision Buyer at John Lewis, as saying that while there is an interest, it's not the primary purchasing decision anymore, and the noise and consumer interest surrounding the technology is not where it was two or three years ago. Kempner highlights the need to wear glasses as a big reason customers are slow to catch on to 3D viewing in the home.

"The usage of 3D for home viewing is very limited,” Kempner told Trusted Reviews. "As an experience I think people maybe enjoy it at the cinema, but in the home it’s not quite such a wonderful experience because of the requirement to wear glasses."

While Kempner says John Lewis does still sell 'a lot' of 3D TVs, the gist of his statement is that interest in 3D TVs is waning. He also mentioned that the benefits of Smart TVs, which let users browse the web and access other online services, are of real consumer interest.

Of course, with so much progress in the realm of glasses-free 3D, we can't say that 3D TV will never catch on. That said, it seems as though the days of watching 3D content at home with glasses are numbered in terms of both innovation and consumer adoption.

Did you buy a 3D TV? Do you plan to buy one? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • 2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , June 7, 2013 3:05 AM
    Not to mention watching something in 3D after a while can lead to eye strain and give you a headache. 3D was a fad it was big in the 1950's and then it faded away until the last 5 years when it came back again because of HD and now it's beginning to fade away again.
  • 2 Hide
    dns7950 , June 7, 2013 3:25 AM
    All TVs should be 3D, they just need to make them cheaper. A lot of people would get them if there wasn't such a high premium over a comparable 2D TV. I bought 3D TV in 2011 ($1600 for a 55" Sony NX720) and I definitely don't regret it. 3D is something that makes movies WAY better when done properly, but if done wrong it makes for a rather unpleasant viewing experience. I would say the biggest problems with 3D are the issues some TVs have with crosstalk (not sure if this is still a problem, but my TV has some issues with it. Maybe it's just older or cheaper models), and the fact that a lot of movies are filmed in 2D and then converted to 3D post-production as a gimmick, which makes them look like crap. If you have a good quality TV and the movie is filmed properly (Avatar for example) then there is no comparison, the upgrade to 3D is like the difference between a DVD and a Blu-ray, it adds so much depth.. I don't think the fact that glasses are required is hurting TV sales, you need glasses when you see a 3D movie in a theater and that doesn't hurt ticket sales...
  • 3 Hide
    spentshells , June 7, 2013 4:10 AM
    I still want one but I'll never pay 800-900 for a 47"
  • Display all 33 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    aznplayer213 , June 7, 2013 4:13 AM
    I bought a high end plasma and was not surprised that all tvs around that price (3k USD) were smart and 3D capable. I'm a purist in terms of image quality and have not liked how companies have been focusing on different tv features. Luckily, the inclusion of OLED technology in sets starting in 2014 and onwards will finally yield tvs that can and will surpass the ever impressive Pioneer Kuro line.
  • 0 Hide
    StarBound , June 7, 2013 4:22 AM
    Bought one of the active Samsungs. Was let down. Bought an passive LG one, was more impressed. The glasses 3D is annoying and there is no real tech that immerses you into a true 3D experience. Even the occulus rift has its short comings. At this point I am just using my passive 3D for the full screen 2 player split screen thing.
  • 2 Hide
    drwho1 , June 7, 2013 4:28 AM
    I was never interested on 3D TV's.
    I'm also not interested on "smart TV's" either.
    Now 4K/8K this I'm interested in. (for both TV and PC monitors)
  • 1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , June 7, 2013 4:34 AM
    you can turn a regular flat screen tv with 120mhz into a 3D TV with a 3D converter kit.
  • 1 Hide
    aznplayer213 , June 7, 2013 4:35 AM
    just a quick reminder of 4k and beyond: we're still in development of hdmi 2.0 for 4k 60hz for tv use. right now, hdmi 1.4a will only output 4k at 24hz. if the tv has mini display, you can run that at 4k 60hz...
  • 1 Hide
    Chetou , June 7, 2013 4:38 AM
    The interest in 3D is even smaller than they think. Fact is many 3D TV sets are simply higher quality models for 2D viewing. The best Plasmas just happen to be 3D capable, but that 3D is not the reason most of them are bought.
  • -4 Hide
    de5_Roy , June 7, 2013 4:38 AM
    who cares about 3d when 4k is right around the corner.
    3d in tv was a gimmick at best, bad experience with bad results at worst.
    in pc displays, the attraction of 3d monitors was the 120hz refresh rate instead of 3d. :lol: 
  • 1 Hide
    bambiboom , June 7, 2013 4:46 AM

    That the revival of 3D movies into the home is experiencing a tapering off of interest as the 1950's may be for similar reasons- novelty wearing off, poor translation to home, plus technological, experiential, cost and availability issues.

    1 > Availability of movies > There are simply not an extremely large selection of 3D movies >

    > and in reviewing this list, I've see only one in 3D, "Avatar". I've also seen "Hugo", but Hugo was on Netflix in 2D and I would possibly watch up to only ten or twelve more on that list.

    I don't mean to suggest that my taste is similar to anyone else, but that anyone's taste means that only a relatively small proportion of any catalog- books, art, clothes, and entertainment will appeal. I have Netflix streaming and with whatever they have now, 35,000 listings, there are probably no more than 500-700 I would ever watch. That's about 1.5-2%.

    2. 3D movies are considered big screen "event" not translatable to home > It seems to me that 3D is still treated as a novelty, an advertising feature. This reminds me of the touting of Panavision and Cinemascope, and of course, a new technical feature is no guarantee of any other qualities of the movie. Some people will be drawn to the movie because of the technique and the scale of the screen creating an immersive experience, as a kind of thrill ride, but that wouldn't probably translate well to the home. I saw " Avatar" mainly because of a connection to the production, but also because I wanted to see what qualities 3D could contribute to the experience- the novelty. Tellingly, I have not watched it again, partly because of the simple-minded story and surprisingly 1D and 2D characters, but mostly because the astounding visual richness could not translate in scale to a home screen.

    3. 3D made me physically ill >. While I've seen mention of the kind of motion sickness that some people experience and I have no idea how common the effect is, when I saw Avatar, in the first twenty five minutes I had a strange sense of irritation and impatience, slightly woolly-headed. Feeling restless, at about forty minutes, I started looking at my watch thinking the movie was too long and then began feeling distinctly motion sick- something that had only happened to me once before as a kid on a theme park ride after a couple of hot dogs.
    The motion sickness lasted only for about fifteen minutes, and I enjoyed the visual assault after, but overall I remember the discomfort as vividly as the images.

    4. The technology seems not yet solid for home use > I've heard complaints- mostly from my brother who has a recent 60" 3D set, that the quality and stability of the 3D image at home can vary, the depth varies scene to scene and can fade in and out a bit. This may be due to the several slightly different methods of filming / encoding.

    5. Cost > While 3D sets have, like many new technologies been reduced in price- remember the first flat panel television, the Philips cost $15,000 and the same size today is $400. Still, as 3D sets become cheaper, I hear a lot of comments that the active glasses are still too expensive- up to $110 each. Sets come with 2 pair and when confronted with 3 more pair- and +$300 to outfit the whole family- it seems expensive.

    6. Wearing Glasses. Wearing the glasses not only suggests the primitive form of the 50's, as I also wear glasses, using 3D glasses over them is distracting and uncomfortable.

    7. 3D can not be streamed.

    When there is a catalog of five or eight thousand titles, autostereoscopy without glasses is mainstream and affordable, the camera / encoding technology settles to a single standard, 3D can be streamed, and I have the money for an eighty inch screen, I'll think about it.

  • 1 Hide
    cats_Paw , June 7, 2013 6:10 AM
    Thats what ahppens when you try to shove up peoples throat something instead of actually scaning the market to find out what people want.
    Microsfot, EA, apple and so many more companies that have this form of behaviour.
    You want to play this the hard way? Now you got it with windows 8, with more iphones/pads and games like Simcity.
    Well, lets see where this all goes.
  • -2 Hide
    godfather666 , June 7, 2013 6:14 AM
    I never liked 3d, not even in theaters. Not even Avatar.
    Every time I have two options, I always pick the 2d version. Part of it is that I hate wearing the glasses. The other part is that I just don't find the technology impressive. It actually gets on my nerves.
    I think we'll be mobing to 3d eventually, but the technology needs to improve first.
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , June 7, 2013 6:28 AM
    3d is nothing but a gimmick..... 4k is the future, not 3d

    3D is the future... just the distant future. Just like Google Glass is really for a more distant future. There is nothing wrong with 3D entertainment, and I have rather enjoyed quite a few of the 3D titles that came out for this rise of the 3D fad, it is just simply not ready for prime time yet.

    This is at least the 3rd attempt at popularizing 3D content in my lifetime, and it has been by far the most pervasive. My bet would be that when 3D comes around again in another 5-10 years then it may be here to stay.

    The 3 issues that keep me from it are price, size, and glasses.
    -The price is obvious as the TV costs quite a bit compared to their traditional 2D counterparts.
    -The size issue was something I noticed in theaters when 3D came out this last time. The problem is that anything that pops out of the plane of the screen towards the audience looks gimmicky, which means that everything gets pushed back into the screen and makes everything feel smaller than on a 2D medium. This is not such a big deal in theaters as the screens are huge, but in the home you either need a really huge TV, or you need to sit a lot closer to the TV than most people are comfortable with. When 4K starts to become popular it will bring larger screens with it because the viewing angle is meant to be a lot wider than 1080p.
    -3D glasses, google glass, VR headsets, and even smart watches are all going to face a similar headwind: People do not like to wear technology. How many people still wear watches? When cell phones became popular, watches disappeared very quickly because it was redundant, and much more comfortable to have a device in your pocket than on your wrist. People go through great lengths to avoid wearing glasses by using expensive contacts and getting laser eye surgery... It is hard for me to believe that these same people will willingly wear glasses again on a regular basis, and harder to believe that people who have never worn glasses would start to wear glasses just for the sake of features that are already on the phone that they carry.
    For that matter, people don't even like to carry stuff, much less wear it! It is amazing to me how over the last 10 years people have complained about the cost of new laptops, and how they are not worth the price of the loss in weight, and yet a 5 year old laptop is very hard to sell today simply because they are monstrously bulky and heavy compared to todays offerings, even though (other than GPU) they offer much the same processing power. Tablets are replacing laptops, and not terribly long from now phones will replace tablets, and eventually an internalized google glass will replace everything so that we neither have to wear or carry our tech.
    Either way, until we can get glasses free 3D TVs what have a wider viewing angle, there is not a chance that 3D TV will become used on a regular basis.
  • 6 Hide
    InvalidError , June 7, 2013 6:46 AM
    3d is nothing but a gimmick..... 4k is the future, not 3d

    4k is pretty gimmicky too since most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference at normal viewing distances and even for those that do, most would consider the difference not worth the extra cost.
  • 2 Hide
    ubercake , June 7, 2013 7:33 AM
    The whole active 3D tech killed this market. The initial impression of 3D televisions was each person had to put on a $250 pair of glasses to enjoy this tech.
    Hell, I've seen 3D from old standard DVDs that came with cardboard glasses (the smoked lenses, not the red/blue) included that did 3D with almost the same quality as the theater. We go to the theater and watch 3D with disposable plastic glasses.
    And along come the TV manufacturers telling us each viewer needs a $250 pair of glasses and a 3D-capable blue ray player plus a 3D capable television in order to view 3D content.
    Can these manufacturers now see why we're disenchanted with giving them money for 3D!? I really hope so.
  • 1 Hide
    wererat , June 7, 2013 7:54 AM
    3dTV is faltering, not because active or passive is bad or a gimmick, but simply because content creators aren't making any 3d available!
    You'll recall that when HDTV was new, there was almost no HD content. However, HD-DVD came along and Bluray to show us old and new movies in HD, and networks & cable/sat providers gradually provided first dedicated HD channels and later more, until it's the rare channel that's SD only.
    By contrast, movie studios choose to charge extra for a 3d copy of their movies, and on the TV side, there are still nearly zero - I think DirecTV has 3 showcase channels, Comcast 2, Dish zero.
    Also, not every type of content is a good fit for 3d; sports yes (emphatically) and movies (most); but shows which switch angles rapidly (some dramas/sitcoms) and especially rapid-scene-changing commercials would be awful.
    Mostly, though, it's just that the content producers haven't elected to shoot in 3d. No content = no point.
  • 1 Hide
    warezme , June 7, 2013 7:59 AM
    waiting for 4K 3D with no glasses on a touch, skinny bezel less screen, doh!
  • 0 Hide
    jmcrowe , June 7, 2013 8:06 AM
    3d is nothing but a gimmick..... 4k is the future, not 3d

    3D is the future... just the distant future.

    I don't think 3D in this form will ever be "the future." All of the iterations we've had of 3D so far have been the same faking of depth from 2D planar imagery. Our brains are already good enough at distinguishing this depth already. It doesn't need to be forced upon us.

    True 3D would be something like holographic imagery, where you could see true depth and parallax. But something like that would be a whole new art form/medium altogether.
  • 0 Hide
    jmcrowe , June 7, 2013 8:09 AM
    3d is nothing but a gimmick..... 4k is the future, not 3d

    4k is pretty gimmicky too since most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference at normal viewing distances and even for those that do, most would consider the difference not worth the extra cost.

    Exactly. We're reaching the point of diminishing returns with the increasing of resolution. The ultra high resolutions are great for post production and theater projection. But the home viewer really isn't getting much more out of it.

    So unless more people start buying displays the size of their walls, then 4K isn't really that far off from 3D in the gimmick department.
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