Once again 3D has come and gone, as the world’s biggest TV manufacturer has dropped it as a feature on its 2016 TVs. In fact, the only Samsung TV in its 2016 line-up with 3D capabilities is a model that was launched in 2015.
It was just a few CES’ ago that 3D was heralded as the ‘next big thing’ in home entertainment. It seemed to be for real this time around, with almost all TV manufacturers investing heavily in 3D sets and all the movie studios boasting 3D content.
Unfortunately for many movie studios, while its films will still screen in 3D at the cinemas; as for home entertainment, viewers will have to enjoy their favourite films in two dimensions.
It’s not just Samsung either, a report surfaced earlier this year that LG and Philips are also phasing out 3D (with just a third of LG’s TVs in 2016 supporting 3D) – Panasonic has also largely ditched the technology, while just two Sony TVs in 2016 boast 3D technology.
It’s no surprise that TV manufacturers have ditched 3D – after all consumers are less interested in the technology than they were a couple of years ago. Especially considering far more interesting formats have launched since – including HDR and 4K.
3D also alienated people who would rather not wear special glasses while watching TV – in fact, if people are going to wear something while watching TV, why not VR; which is much more immersive than 3D.
It also had a content problem – and it’s not about the amount of content. Sky launched a 3D channel showcasing the latest sporting events, documentaries and films in 3D but – unlike Avatar which launched in 2009 – much of the content available doesn’t warrant 3D or is just as enjoyable in 2D.
While 2016 will be the year of HDR and 4K, that’s not the reason behind Samsung’s change of heart when it comes to 3D. In fact, the main focus for Samsung in 2016 will be to push its smart home platform – SmartThings.
Smart TVs have struggled over the years due to their clumsy interfaces and their poor performance, but in 2016 Samsung is hoping to dispel that image with a much cleaner and better performing smart TV interface.
Despite its 3D snub, Samsung stated that it’s not yet done with 3D for good – it’s just done with 3D that requires the viewer to wear glasses. Until that technology gets good enough, Samsung is keen to focus on 4K HDR as a way of making the picture quality as realistic or three-dimensional as possible.