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The 4 Best Reasons to Avoid a 3D TV Today

Conceptual image of a family watching 3D television and stretching out their hands as though to touch the image on the screen

The 4 Best Reasons to Avoid a 3D TV Today

Key Points

  • 3D TVs failed to catch on and the best reasons to avoid a 3D TV today should be concerning if you’ve considered picking one up.
  • New 3D TVs basically ceased to exist around 2016 as manufacturers turned towards new display technology like 4K and HDR.
  • The lack of quality content and limited availability of 3D movies made it difficult to enjoy a 3D TV experience.
  • The glasses for 3D TVs were expensive and uncomfortable, and glasses-free 3D technology is not yet ready.
  • Watching a 3D movie in a theater does not translate well to the home setting, making it hard to replicate the experience with a 3D TV.
  • There are better alternatives to 3D TVs today, such as OLED TVs, projectors, and VR headsets.

3D TVs were supposed to change how we consume content at home, but that didn’t quite pan out. While current discounts are tempting, the best reasons to avoid a 3D TV today should be concerning if you’ve considered picking one up. These television sets can still wow viewers with an immersive experience, but the pros are minimal compared to the cons.

Reasons to Avoid a 3D TV

We could think of a dozen reasons to steer clear of a 3D TV, but four stand out. They are the main reasons why 3D TVs failed to catch on and the best reasons to avoid a 3D TV — unless you’re picking one up strictly for historical purposes.

New 3D TVs

Are you interested in purchasing a new 3D TV set? Good luck, as they basically ceased to exist sometime around 2016. While these TVs were incredibly popular for a period of time, manufacturers began to turn away from the technology shortly afterward.

Avatar is one of the reasons 3D TVs exist and a significant reason consumers flocked to the tech. The ability to watch the film in 3D from home was a game changer and helped move a lot of units. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long.

Consumers and manufacturers alike turned towards new display technology. It didn’t take long for 4K and HDR to overtake 3D, resulting in a rapid demise across the board. If you want to buy a 3D TV today, you’ll need to purchase a used model or take a chance on unknown brands and tech from the Far East.

Lack of Content

One of the two biggest reasons why 3D died a quick death was the lack of content. While Avatar broke records and helped manufacturers move these types of TVs, 3D discs and the lack of quality content had a negative effect.

There was no shortage of 3D Blu-rays initially when 3D was popular, but the format itself limited what was available. Given the price of a new 3D TV in those days and the equipment needed to play movies from home, it quickly became a niche product.

That made finding your favorite flicks in 3D challenging or impossible in many cases. You won’t have any trouble locating 3D movies at a discount today, but you won’t find any tiles that are remotely current.

The Glasses

New technology is exciting, but early adopters always have to weather the storm with any rough spots. If you owned a 3D TV, the glasses could be a major problem for several reasons. Pricing was one of them if the glasses weren’t included with the TV set.

It wasn’t uncommon for a family to spend $500-800 on 3D glasses for everyone to watch a film at once. However, prices have dipped and are considerably cheaper now, considering a four-pack of passive polarized glasses costs less than $20.

Newer styles of 3D glasses will work with older sets and are much cooler looking than the classics. They can be just as uncomfortable, however, especially if you wear contacts or wear prescription eyeglasses. Glasses-free 3D isn’t ready for prime time yet, and that technology could take some time to come to fruition.

It’s an Acquired Taste

The last reason to avoid a 3D TV is arguably the most important and something that’s hard to test. If you watched a 3D movie in a theater and want to replicate the experience at home, you’re going to be thoroughly disappointed.

3D technology has advanced over the past decade, but you won’t find that tech on consumer products. In fact, you’ll probably have a hard time finding someone with a 3D TV set you can test out. They aren’t found in showrooms at places like Best Buy, so you can’t try them before you buy.

Your best chance to see how you feel about 3D is on the big screen. As we mentioned, that doesn’t translate especially well in a home setting. It’s also difficult to find 3D content on the big screen, regardless of where you reside.

Alternatives to 3D TVs

While there’s always a chance that 3D TVs will make a comeback when we can use them without glasses, there are much better options today. Most of these devices can’t display 3D images, but they will blow you away with clarity, brightness, and depth of color.

The Best OLED TV: LG G3 OLED TV

Every year, LG releases new OLED TVs, which rocket straight toward the top of the charts. The 2023 version of the company’s popular G3 series is no different, and when you want immersion without glasses, it’s the ideal choice.

The LG G3 will amaze viewers with its deep, inky blacks and vibrant range of colors. The self-lit evo OLED panel has 100% color fidelity color volume. It can hit 2,000 nits peak brightness in HDR vivid mode, but it is responsive with several features designed for gamers. That means you’ll get AMX FreeSync and G-Sync along with the Gaming Dashboard.

LG’s TV has fantastic image quality and a streamlined design, providing users with an ultra-slim panel. The 65-inch model is only around an inch thick with barely-there bezels and a slew of innovative features. The UI is easy to use, and you’ll appreciate the intuitive Magic Remote. Other notable features of the G3 include LG’s a9 AI processor, voice assistant compatibility, and Dolby Vision support.

From four 4K ports rated at 120Hz to the design of the TV itself, the LG G3 is arguably the best TV on the market today. There’s little doubt that it’s the best OLED, and while it’s more expensive than comparable models from Sony and Samsung, it’s a best-seller for a reason. This 2023 LG G3 is available in four sizes, including 55, 77, and 83-inch versions.

A Budget-Friendly OLED: Hisense U8 Series ULED TV

Hisense 65-Inch Class U8 Series 4K ULED Mini-LED TV (2023 Model)
$1,097.99
  • Quantum Dot color delivers over a billion color combinations
  • Dolby Vision HDR
  • 144Hz native refresh rate
  • ALLM, 144Hz VRR, and FreesSync Premium Pro
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 11:16 pm GMT

If you’re sold on the prospect of an OLED TV but not the price, consider the Hisense ULED U8. While the company doesn’t have the same name recognition as Samsung, Sony, or LG, the U8 provides consumers with a lot of bang for their buck.

This OLED TV can hit 1,500 nits of peak brightness. The colorful mini-LED panel also features full-array local dimming with up to 1,620 zones. While not as bright as LG’s panels, the U8 has Dolby Vision support, and it’s capable of gaming thanks to a variable refresh rate on the 144Hz screen. It’s not NVIDIA-friendly, but you do get AMD FreeSync support.

Hisense uses Google for its operating system, so you can say, “Hey Google” into the voice remote or browse for content through their UI. It also supports Alexa, and the audio gets a boost thanks to a 2.1.2 multi-channel surround sound system. This ULED TV has four HDMI ports like most models, but only two are rated at 144Hz with 4K.

It’s taken a while to see other manufacturers roll out OLED TVs outside of the big three, but we’re thrilled to see Hisense join the party. The 65-inch model of the U8 is considerably cheaper than other TVs in this class, and the 55-inch version is even more affordable. While hard to find in stock, there is also a massive 100-inch version of the most recent Hisense U8.

Best Projector: Epson Home Cinema 4010

Best Projector
Epson Home Cinema 4010 4K PRO-UHD
$1,699.99
  • Displays 4K content at 2,400 lumens
  • Max resolution 4096 x 2160
  • Supports 3D content in Full HD
  • 100% of the RGB color signal in every frame
  • HDR processing accurately reproduces HDR content
  • 100% of DCI-P3 color space in Digital Cinema Mode
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 03:07 pm GMT

TV sets can only take immersion so far, even if they have stunning OLED panels. Consumers looking for something different and more in line with a movie theater experience should consider the Epson Home Cinema 4010 projector.

Epson’s home theater projector is a premium system with full 10-bit HDR support. The dynamic contrast ratio is 200,000:1, and images are stunning at any size. That’s because the 4010 can project content in 4K, not FHD, with a brightness of 2,400 lumens. The color space is 100% of DCI-P3, and it supports 3D content with the right glasses like the Epson ELPGS03’s.

Watch 3D Content on your Projector
Epson 3D Glasses (RF) - ELPGS03
$180.18
  • Easily adjustable and will fit over most eyeglasses
  • Lightweight design
  • Rechargeable up to 40 hours
  • USB charging
  • 3-minute quick charge
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 03:23 pm GMT

This projector is in the middle of the pack in Epson’s lineup, but it’s still full of high-end tech. It has the company’s precision 3-axis motorized lens array along with 3LCD technology. The projector utilizes three chips instead of one. While it doesn’t have HDMI 2.0, that’s the only drawback of this powerful home theater projector.

Projectors are a pricey addition to home theaters, and that’s before you factor in the screen and audio components. The Epson Home Cinema 4010 Pro-UHD projector isn’t cheap, but it is incredibly impressive with the proper setup. It’s one of the best 4K projectors on the market today, and it’s the only real option if you want to display 3D content on a new device.

Best VR: Meta Quest 2

Best VR
Meta Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset
$249.00
  • Self-contained, no PC required
  • 360-degree field of view
  • 3D positional audio
  • Hand tracking with haptic feedback
  • 128GB
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 03:05 pm GMT

We’ve seen a number of technologies promise to change the game over the years, including VR. Thanks to new advances, consumers are starting to embrace this tech. If you’re interested in trying an immersive experience that leaves TVs behind, you’ll want to check out the Meta Quest 2.

Unlike many VR headsets that came before it, the Meta Quest 2 is a standalone unit. It’s self-contained, so there are no wires — just the headset and two controllers. There’s a wealth of VR games available for the headset, but it also allows users to watch movies and TV shows. That includes 3D movies, as long as they are in the correct format.

The ability to view 3D content is a plus with VR headsets, and Meta did a great job with the Quest 2. It’s comfortable, incredibly easy to use, and has respectable specifications. The resolution is 1,920 x 1,832 per eye with built-in IPD adjustments. The Snapdragon XR2 chip powers the headset, and the base model comes with 128GB of storage.

While the Meta Quest 3 will debut soon with better resolution and updated features, the Meta Quest 2 is the best choice for people new to VR. It’s also a great reason to avoid a 3D TV today. The price has dropped since the new model was announced, and we could see another discount when the holidays roll around.

The Wrap-Up

We’re not sure what the next big innovation in the TV world will be, but we don’t think we’ve seen the last of 3D-based consumer tech. That includes TV sets, even if companies turned a cold shoulder to the format almost a decade ago.

  1. Hisense 65-Inch Class U8 Series 4K ULED Mini-LED TV (2023 Model)
    $1,097.99
    • Quantum Dot color delivers over a billion color combinations
    • Dolby Vision HDR
    • 144Hz native refresh rate
    • ALLM, 144Hz VRR, and FreesSync Premium Pro
    • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/17/2024 11:16 pm GMT
  2. Epson Home Cinema 4010 4K PRO-UHD
    $1,699.99
    • Displays 4K content at 2,400 lumens
    • Max resolution 4096 x 2160
    • Supports 3D content in Full HD
    • 100% of the RGB color signal in every frame
    • HDR processing accurately reproduces HDR content
    • 100% of DCI-P3 color space in Digital Cinema Mode
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 03:07 pm GMT
  3. Epson 3D Glasses (RF) - ELPGS03
    $180.18
    • Easily adjustable and will fit over most eyeglasses
    • Lightweight design
    • Rechargeable up to 40 hours
    • USB charging
    • 3-minute quick charge
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 03:23 pm GMT
  4. Meta Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset
    $249.00
    • Self-contained, no PC required
    • 360-degree field of view
    • 3D positional audio
    • Hand tracking with haptic feedback
    • 128GB
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/17/2024 03:05 pm GMT

Summary Table

Reasons to Avoid a 3D TV
New 3D TVs are hard to find
Lack of content
The glasses can be expensive and uncomfortable
3D viewing is an acquired taste

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the highest resolution TV for consumers?

8K Ultra HD is currently the highest resolution consumers can achieve from home. It takes a backseat to 4K, however, due to pricing and lack of content.

Is 3D better than 4K?

They are completely different formats with different purposes. 3D movies and content provide an immersive experience, while 4K TVs are known for sharpness, clarity, and color.

Are there any 3D computer displays?

Yes, ASUS has an excellent line of 3D OLED panels in their Vivobook Pro series laptops.

Does 2D content work on 3D TVs?

3D TV sets are backward compatible. While you can’t make 2D movies 3D, you can view traditional 2D content on these TVs without using glasses.

Can you buy a new 3D TV?

No, unless you find one that’s old stock or try a model from a lesser-known manufacturer from the Far East.

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