Will we ever see a 3D TV again?

Will we ever see a 3D TV again?

  • Yes, the Avatar sequels will do what the first film did for 3D technology!

  • No way the technology will ever return!


Results are only viewable after voting.

The_Wierd

Well-known Member
I'm a huge fan of stereoscopic 3D even back to when comics had special anaglyph editions and green and red glasses stuck on the front. Every TV in my house still supports 3D. They are all pretty old and in 2016 I couldn't afford an OLED, so I got one of the last LCD models with 3D. The 11 year old Samsung 3D plasma in the bedroom was one of the first TVs on sale with 3D and still refuses to die and I can't bring myself to scrap it because the picture is still excellent), and I selected a 4K projector that still supports the format. I have a couple of hundred 3D discs. Even as an enthusiast, I still don't always watch movies in 3D, and I don't expect every piece of content to be presented in 3D.

I think the main problem with 3D at home is that it only benefits dedicated movie or TV watching, by which I mean you have to sit down, get comfy, put your glasses on and concentrate on the content. While I am happy to watch anything in 3D from a critical point of view - it is still interesting to me how well or poorly the 3D is executed - for most people the content needs to benefit from it, and the 3D needs to add some value to the experience.

4K, HDR, Atmos and other new AV technologies work any time, anywhere in any context. You can appreciate a great 4K HDR picture or good sound even if you are watching in a group or family setting with all the normal interruptions of life.

So I understand why the industry dropped 3D - it just doesn't reach enough people, it was always a tough sell and badly marketed even at that in the beginning. I think it did find it's niche with home cinema enthusiasts, but that's still a niche within a niche as we see from the responses here.

What surprised me was how rapidly and completely it was dropped. One year every TV had it, the next pretty much none. I expected that it might become a more niche feature for higher end enthusiast models, but still hang in a for a few years. While passive 3D is better, it needs a special filter over the screen, so it adds to the build cost, but as I understand it, active 3D is pretty much trivial to implement only needing signal processing and a bluetooth transmitter for the glasses, so I thought it still be there in top of the range models, but I guess sales have proven that it didn't need to be.

Seamless, no compromise, glasses-free 3D is technically really hard to do in a way that piggy backs on to existing display technologies, so I don't think that is going to happen soon, in the home anyway. I can imagine it coming to the cinema in some form, although no idea how that would work.

I think the VR route is more likely if VR headsets can get down the the size and weight or a normal pair of sunglasses, and AR technology allows the content to be overlaid on the real world. They might even eventually get to the point where any kind of fixed display technology is redundant - if you can just create a virtual display of any size where ever you are then that's the end of cinema as we know it! It's not that long ago that the idea of carrying a what is basically a pocket computer around seemed impossible and no one could even imagine why you would want to, but of course everyone has one now.
 

Coulson

Suspended
The 65 inch E6 was and is astonishing. Showed some friends up from London Wonderwoman a couple of weeks ago...Best 3d we've ever seen, didn't know it could be this good, wow, amazing etc were typical comments.
I remain a big fan - fortunately I was a late adopter!
I assume you don't mean the original WW but recent WW with the male r*pe scene? I've seen both and I remember the 3D of original being meh. However the recent WW disaster does have a very nice 3D transfer.
 

Coulson

Suspended
I was a big fan of the format, although I'll happily admit watching 3D at home on my old 55" Panasonic TV wasn't a patch on watching it in the cinema – especially on the IMAX screen.
For size yes, but for actual 3D quality, modern 3D discs are so much better than the "Real 3D" cinema equivalent. Even some of the remastered classics from the 1950s look great.

but I was often frustrated with the misaligned 3D image that always left a ghosting effect, no matter how much you tried to manually adjust/tune it. Or perhaps that was just my Panasonic TV?
The problem with 3D is there are too many variables. First the disc has to be good, then the TV and the glasses technology have to work well enough to not cause display issues like ghosting. Finally your eyes also play a role in how much you can tolerate.

Alas, that telly is no more and my fairly recent LG OLED TV has no support for 3D. And that's a shame because I still have a huge stack of 3D blu-rays that I can't make full use of unless I bought a 3D projector, and that's not going to change anytime soon.
I think I've got almost every 3D disc I want at the moment but if you decide to sell then .....lol
 

czure

Novice Member
Personally I've always enjoyed the 3D experience at home on both of my LG TVs and BenQ PJ so was greatly dissapointed when it got dropped.
I've only ever watched 1 movie in 3D at the cinema (The 1st Hobbit film), and was quite dissapointed with how few moments in the movie seemed to pop out, after that I just bought the trilogy on BR/3D to enjoy at home, and strangely found the 3D experience more enjoyable on the smaller screen of the 55" LG.
My grandson is one of the many who cannot watch 3D due to suffering from dizziness and headaches within minutes of beginning to watch, but for me I truly hope that 3D can again become mainstream, it will be a sad day indeed if once my current screens die I'm unable to replace them with quality 3D screens.
 

rpr

Active Member
I know there are some die hard fans of it but for me 3D is awful, looks like the same effect as a shadow puppet theatre.
 

LCDseeker

Distinguished Member
I doubt it will make a comeback anytime soon, but maybe one day in the future if companies/film is needing to try and generate a new revenue stream.
 

Tropi

Active Member
The leading question has excessively polar opposite options, so I can't vote.
Given the all too common human habit of re-inventing something that fails every 20-30 years or so, I would not be at all surprised to see the re-introduction of 3D TV in a decade or two.
I would be equally unsurprised to see it disappear again a year or two later, on the basis that, regardless of the excellence of improved technology, the presence of 3D in the home is of such incredibly limited appropriateness that the majority will have little to no interest in the gimmickry, outside of a very narrow subject field.
I strongly suspect that most if not all cinemas will have disappeared by then, so production will all be aimed towards the home.
On the other hand, by then, the IQ of the average viewing public might well have deteriorated to a level that can't handle anything more intelligent than monsters, explosions, violent crime, pornography and perversion. So maybe it could become mainstream.
I'd like a third answer option:
I don't give a flying one because I won't be around long enough to find out. :)
(But I'd still like to see how the voting went)!​
 

MCharlie

Member
After experiencing the incredible 3D effects of LG's 2016 4K OLED TV lineup, I can't help but believe that the tech was killed off just as it (finally) matured. I had owned 3D tvs before, but somehow the dim lighting or the strain of active 3D never lived up to the surreal experience I had when watching AVATAR in IMAX 3D a decade ago! LG's 2016 lineup actually exceeded that cinematic experience for me - the images jumped out of the screen and the colour and brightness remained superb. The 3D experience far exceeds 4K HDR & owners of these TVs know exactly what I am talking about!

Sadly, the 2016 TVs are all but extinct and the technology looks to have been abandoned. Normally, I'd have given up but James Cameron hasn't. The guy has doubled down on the technology, which makes me believe that it may actually make a come back (The first film practically made the technology mainstream). Would be curious to know the rationale behind your thoughts if you believe otherwise.
Something to keep in mind...3D is still big in other parts of the world. Not all, but many of the movies that are released, that I am interested in, are available from Amazon Great Britain.

I too have the LG OLED 3D 4k TV and it is awesome!
Any movie I have that is in 3D, I watch in the theater room. Little farther from the kitchen, but, hey!......
Oh, and yes, I am a big fan of 3D. I wear glasses so wearing the special glasses is a pain, but I have a special headset I made that makes the 'experience', (Wearing the glasses) forgettable, if not pleasant.
 

Coulson

Suspended
Something to keep in mind...3D is still big in other parts of the world. Not all, but many of the movies that are released, that I am interested in, are available from Amazon Great Britain.

I too have the LG OLED 3D 4k TV and it is awesome!
Any movie I have that is in 3D, I watch in the theater room. Little farther from the kitchen, but, hey!......
Oh, and yes, I am a big fan of 3D. I wear glasses so wearing the special glasses is a pain, but I have a special headset I made that makes the 'experience', (Wearing the glasses) forgettable, if not pleasant.
This is a UK based site so the majority of us are in the UK :)
 

mrtickleuk

Well-known Member
My grandson is one of the many who cannot watch 3D due to suffering from dizziness and headaches within minutes of beginning to watch, but for me I truly hope that 3D can again become mainstream, it will be a sad day indeed if once my current screens die I'm unable to replace them with quality 3D screens.
Add me to that group of many. The 3D effect is done by forcing your eyes and eye muscles to focus in a very unusual way. No wonder it causes eyestrain and headaches. Good riddance to it (a personal view, obviously - I know some people liked it!). That's something they would have to solve if they ever wanted to bring it back in the future (but I don't think that they will).
 

Coulson

Suspended
Add me to that group of many. The 3D effect is done by forcing your eyes and eye muscles to focus in a very unusual way. No wonder it causes eyestrain and headaches.
If you want to see a film that makes your eyes focus in an unusual way try watching the 1954 film Creature from the Black Lagoon. I nearly went cross eyed a few times with the 3D ultra close ups lol.
 

Daviator

Novice Member
I do expect the TV makers will try again at some point, if only because they desperately need to find reasons to convince people to spend money on new televisions. Manufacturers will always have a bias toward adding features, the question is whether those features necessarily add any legitimate benefits to viewers.

In the case of 3D, I'm not really interested. Avatar is one of the few films in which the 3D actually added something to the film, because it was filmed that way natively and the 3D wasn't added later as a gimmick (most 3D films fall in the gimmick category for me.) But the experience is still visually taxing for many people, myself included, and I go out of my way to avoid watching the 3D versions of movies in the theater. I don't have any desire to duplicate the 3D experience at home.

It's certainly possible that they'll come out with some new 3D viewing technology which removes all of my objections to it and is sufficiently compelling to get me to invest in hardware which supports it, but I don't think that technology is here yet. Until there is a 3D technology which doesn't require glasses, doesn't strain the eyes, and is widely adopted by filmmakers, I won't be interested in spending money on it. And if and when that tech arrives, it will likely make previous 3D TV hardware obsolete, which justifies my unwillingness to spend any money on it until then.

I totally get that some people seem to find today's 3D technology worth spending money on, and if that's you, go for it. For me, it annoys me more than it wows me.
 

Coulson

Suspended
In the case of 3D, I'm not really interested. Avatar is one of the few films in which the 3D actually added something to the film, because it was filmed that way natively and the 3D wasn't added later as a gimmick (most 3D films fall in the gimmick category for me).
I actually have a back log of 3D films to watch. I've completed the majority of the MCU films (3D works really well with these) and I have watched the few classic 3D films i have bar one. I like 3D enough to have certain films which I wouldn't buy in 2D. Some films like Dwayne Johnson's Hercules are not going to win any awards but I was pleasantly surprised with the execution of both the story elements and the 3D.
 
Last edited:

Coulson

Suspended

sheldonkapoor

Standard Member
The future, if there is any, of 3D is not dependant on the technology, past, present or future. You can have the best system available, but if the studios decide that it is not going to pull in the punters then it simply isn't a worthwhile investment. In my lifetime it has had 3 launches on the public and they all soon fizzled out through lack of interest. Sure, its fun and the impact when you see it on the big screen, for example IMAX, it's sensational. But people walked away with headaches and hated wearing the glasses. With the exception of Avatar, which did quite well in the box office, after that interest quickly tailed off. Cinema owners would quickly switch to showing a standard version after a couple of weeks as audience figures diminished.

The additional investment in making a 3D movie is considerable whether it is shot on location, in a studio or with additional CGI. Unless the studios, who are working on tighter budgets these days, can achieve a reasonable profit on their investment they are not going to be committed. It just isn't worth the hassle. Add to that the cost of kitting out the cinemas for the occasional film. I recall my local Odeon used two 2K projectors working simultaneously to show 3D.

In its last manifestation the films tended, towards their end, to be electronic recreations of normal mono film stock which often produced very unconvincing results. Even rehashes of Jaws and Titanic didn't attract that much attention. As a result the public said 'no more'. Presentations on the home screen went down two different routes which confused people. The BBC were brave enough to have a crack at it, but the public reaction was poor. TV manufacturers had a product which the public no longer saw the point in owning so they dropped it too. The format is nothing unless there is material, and lots of it, to back it up. A few thousand expensive Hi Def DVDs is not going to tip the financial balance since it is a dying format anyway. I believe there has been one recent Japanese animation presentation in some cinemas, but that is it. It may live on with a few documentary productions via IMAX but I'm guessing that is it. Even IMAX have dropped their amazing 70mm presentations in favour of an inferior digital one.
Last film I viewed in UK Cinema was "Black Widow", prior to that was "Godzilla v Kong" and "Wonder Woman 1984" ...so it's a Yes from me.
 

sheldonkapoor

Standard Member
Gravity is a film that I needed to feel part of the experience to really appreciate. I watched it in 3D on my TV years ago and I was a little bored but more recently I watched it on a large screen. Along with the Atmos track I added, this greatly increased my immersion into the experience which increased my enjoyment of the film.
Is Gravity available on home format in 3D with ATMOS ?? Or is it a case of syncing the ATMOS track from the SE Blu Ray with 3D Picture? Thank You.
 

Coulson

Suspended
Is Gravity available on home format in 3D with ATMOS ?? Or is it a case of syncing the ATMOS track from the SE Blu Ray with 3D Picture? Thank You.
Syncing track from SE Blu-ray.
 

Joecool1885

Novice Member
Love the discussion.
Started out as a 3D fanatic in the late 90s when I found a wired active glasses configuration for my PC and started playing Mario 64 in Stereo. Felt like I could reach into the CRT and pick him up.

Grabbed a PN64D8000 back in 2011 and collected 100-150 3D discs since. The TV developed a yellow line at the beginning of the year though. As luck would have it, someone near me was selling a PN64F8500 NIB, so I grabbed it. One pixel has died since I bought it, but easily ignorable. Came back to this forum after seeing some adverts for Leia Lightfield Tablet. Seems like a nice concept, but can't find any really solid reviews.

Anyways, I'm optimistic JC can reignite the spark, because otherwise, when my plasma goes kaput, no more 3D for me. I've already reduced my consumption of it significantly, but just last week my wife and MIL were enjoying Fantastic Beasts 3D.

We shall see!
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
It always used to amuse me in my local cinema that people would put their 3D specs on the moment the lights went down. They would watch normal material, trailers, adverts etc which were not in 3D. I got the impression they had no idea what they were watching or how a 3D presentation works. Admittedly I remember that Red Bull, for one, did produce a 3D commercial.

It seems odd that many people have good feelings about films that were not originally shot with dual cameras in true 3D, but had it faked on afterwards. This gave them the opportunity to overplay the 'pop out' moments which enthusiasts crave. Much of what you saw was like flat objects moving in front of one another. Real depth was very limited. Compared with the classic IMAX 70mm documentaries they were poor efforts which I'm sure put people off the medium altogether. I understand the Marvel series is largely re-created 3D and not the real deal.
 

Coulson

Suspended
It seems odd that many people have good feelings about films that were not originally shot with dual cameras in true 3D, but had it faked on afterwards.
Actually pop out is pretty rare in modern 3D films.

This gave them the opportunity to overplay the 'pop out' moments which enthusiasts crave.
There are different levels of enthusiasts. As a beginner I definitely wanted lots of pop out. Now I understand that 3D can be used in many different ways. Then there are the enthusiast experts who fully understand the concept and see things I still struggle to see when watching 3D films.

Much of what you saw was like flat objects moving in front of one another.
That's what Titanic looked like to me when I watched it. But again, it's not something I'm seeing in modern 3D films.

Real depth was very limited. Compared with the classic IMAX 70mm documentaries they were poor efforts which I'm sure put people off the medium altogether.
I suspect that your issue is with cinema "Real 3D", mine too. I don't think I've ever seen 3D work properly in the cinema outside of Avatar (with very little if any pop out) and the Odeon countdown which is probably the most 3D pop out you will ever see lol.

I understand the Marvel series is largely re-created 3D and not the real deal.
It doesn't matter, not anymore. Some of the best 3D films are now post processed.
 

Coulson

Suspended
When I said above that there are expert enthusiasts I was talking about this guy. :) Check out his reviews of other MCU films like Dr Strange as well to help to tell the story.

 
Last edited:

Aggrajag

Active Member
I used to have a 46" Samsung 3D TV with active glasses and I was blown away with 3D films. I wore the glasses over my normal glasses and had no issues whatsoever. Bizarrely my left eye is classified as 100% lazy by multiple eye tests, and I know I don't use it normally, yet the 3D worked fine for me.

My (then teenage) kids on the other hand, neither wear glasses, both have decent vision and they both hated 3D films at home and at the cinema. Go figure??!

I was gutted when I made the move to 4K that I had to lose 3D.
 

CoolNeo

Active Member
Regarding cinema 3D, technically the only issue I have is the loss of brightness over a conventional movie. However, I've read that the new laser 3D projectors have eliminated this issue. So in theory it's good news for the upcoming Avatar films. But I believe most cinemas don't have laser 3D projectors, so they will need to buy them. No doubt they will pass the cost on to the cinema goers by raising the ticket prices of Laser 3D films, which will kill 3D dead, like it did the last time!

Regarding home 3D. I feel that last time active glasses failed because they were too expensive, too bulky, needed batteries and gave cross-talk issues. Passive 3D was slightly better, but was hampered by a lack of resolution, only giving about half HD resolution. However, a modern 4K TV would do passive 3D in HD resolution, which is great, and a 8K TV could even do 4K 3D. So I would like to think that passive 3D will come back to TVs sometime, but when is anyone's guess? Most likely in quite a few years once 8K TVs have become the norm and manufactures are looking for the next big thing after 8K.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Panasonic JZ2000 Final Thoughts - TV Calibration: Should you? And More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

What's new on Blu-ray Special - The Cinema of Zhang Yimou & Gong Li
  • By Mark Costello
  • Published
Black Friday 2021: What you need to know
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 24th November 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Panasonic 2021 TV update brings full 4K resolution with VRR and HFR
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Best Hi-Fi Products of 2021 - Editor's Choice Awards
  • By Ed Selley
  • Published
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom