Is 3D TV really dead or Alive?

Just a few years ago, 3D TV was the "next big thing" and we were all looking forward to glasses-free 3D technology to bring high-impact, in-your-face viewing pleasure into our homes. But ESPN's recent decision to drop 3D TV sports programming has made many insiders announce the death of glasses-free 3D home technology.

Is 3D TV really dead or Alive? Here's our take on the debate.

Game over: 3D TV is dead MORE than a Doornail

The very best of use of 3D TV in homes is for SPORTS. 3D technology is uniquely suited to transmit the adrenaline and action of high-paced basketball, high-impact football, and high-speed hockey, among other popular sports. Now that ESPN is giving up 3D sports broadcasting, what will be left to enjoy in 3D?

Sure, there's the occasional movie. But without a viable glasses-free system, it's really not a practical option for the home. We're admittedly hopeless multi-taskers. We text our friends, do our homework, and cook our dinners while watching TV. This does not allow for accessorizing with a set of 3D glasses.

3D makes a mess out online gaming, and carries enough risks to vision and brain function that it's not recommended for young children to be exposed to it on a regular basis. The international market has already turned its back on 3D, and with the new "next big thing" ‒ the ultra high-def 4K TV now available, 3D TV will rapidly go the way of cassette players and VCRs. The fat lady is singing. 3D TV is over.


The reason why 3D TV is no longer the "next big thing" is because it's not new anymore. Most new televisions are arriving with 3D capability as a standard feature. Glasses-free 3D technology is still in its early, very expensive stages ‒ but that work is ongoing.

Vizio, in particular, demonstrated an impressive glasses-free, 54 inch prototype TV at CES 2013 in January that earned rave reviews. The company presented the demo hoping to get input from attendees; they currently have no plans for a commercial product release.

While wearing those encumbering 3D glasses isn't a great choice at home, it won't be the only option for much longer. And although 4K TV delivers great resolution, the 5-figure price point puts it out of reach for all but the most obsessively critical viewers.

Our conclusion? Let the fuss over 4K die down a bit. Glasses-free 3D TV is still in development, and we hope it's still coming to your home ‒ SOON.


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