The 4 Best Reasons to Avoid a 3D TV Today

Hey there! If stellar 3D visuals at home sound enticing, you may be considering jumping on one of those now-discounted 3D TVs collecting dust on store shelves. I totally get the appeal! Who wouldn’t want to recreate that awesome, immersive theatrical 3D experience from the comfort of their couch?

Well as someone who’s tested this tech firsthand back when it was brand new, I’m here to give you the real scoop. While scoring a cheap 3D TV model seems tempting, trust me – it’s just not worth investing in. Simply put, the era of 3D TVs has essentially died thanks to a bunch of glaring downsides I can explain.

So let’s walk through the four key factors causing 3D TVs to flatline and explore some WAY better home entertainment options available instead…

#1 – Good Luck Finding New 3D TV Models These Days!

The most obvious indicator that 3D TVs have flopped is how the biggest brands have all abandoned them entirely over the last several years. We’re talking the cream of the crop display makers here too – LG, Samsung, Sony, Vizio…the list goes on.

Per CNET, each of these manufactures phased out any semblance of 3D support between 2013 and 2017 as sales utterly tanked. We’re talking a whopping 98% drop from 2012 by the end of the decade!

Analyst Steve Koenig sums it up well: “3D capability was never embraced by consumers and manufacturers have moved on.”

So just finding available stock of new 3D TVs can prove challenging, outside of lingering old units collecting dust or off-brand models with questionable quality. Simply put – if the biggest names in the game have cut all ties with the tech, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement!

#2 – Good Luck Finding Stuff to Actually Watch in 3D!

Okay, suppose you somehow score one of those last remaining LG, Samsung or Sony 3D holdouts. What the heck are you even going to watch on that thing??

Well, contrary to the early days when 3D Blu-ray discs flooded stores hoping to capitalize on TV demand, almost zero current media gets released in a 3D format anymore. Why would studios invest in such a niche market with rapidly declining viewership? So outside of digging up some older 3D movie titles, you‘ll find pitiful options trying to utilize a 3D display in 2023.

2021 Films Released in 3D Theaters9
2021 Films Released in 3D for Home Media3
Streaming Services Offering 3D Films2

Even streaming has almost fully moved on from 3D – Netflix and Hulu never really supported it in the first place. And only niche services like Vudu offer a tiny selection of 3D titles…we‘re talking around 30 films TOTAL. Not exactly an enticing library!

#3 – Those 3D Glasses Are a Total Pain!

Okay, so you’ve secured that coveted 3D capable display plus tracked down some elusive 3D Blu-ray discs to pop in. Time to sit back and enjoy the future of TV…wearing those silly, uncomfortable, rechargeable 3D glasses!

Uh yeah, about that clunky required accessory…it kind of torpedoes the experiences. Not only are those bulky 3D glasses anything but stylish, but keeping everyone’s pairs working and not lost is a chore. Trying to relax and enjoy a movie constantly adjusting slides plastic glasses digging into your nose defeats the purpose.

And given active 3D TV glasses used to cost $50-100 per pair, a family movie night got very expensive! Did I mention they take AAA batteries to function at all? So toss in frequent battery swapping or charging yet another device in your house between uses.

#4 – Hate to Break It To You…But 3D TV Kind of Sucks!

Okay, okay – so maybe you don‘t mind rocking goofy glasses and digging up rare 3D Blu-ray copies of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. As long as the awesome 3D effects translate to the TV properly, it’s worth any hassle right??

Ehhhh, well, that’s the last nail in the 3D TV coffin right there. Because due to technical limitations, watching 3D films at home just CAN’T compare to the theater in any meaningful way. Something about the precise way modern 3D projectors beam images to a massive screen gets lost shrinking things down to a TV.

While I was psyched to try out my buddy’s fancy new 3D capable TV back in the day, I came away majorly letdown. The 3D effect just didn’t WOW me like at the theater…in fact it barely registered at all! And experts agree choosing a 3D TV in hopes of recreating an Avatar-esque cinematic adventure will majorly disappoint.

SO What SHOULD You Buy Instead of a 3D TV?

Okay, okay – I get it. You went into this article intrigued by the prospects of expanding your media collection into the third dimension. And I just spent 1000 words ruthlessly eviscerating the practicality ofmodern 3D TVs…hardly seem fair does it?

Well rather than leaving you totally empty handed, let me suggest some WAY better tech investments almost certain to blow your socks off! We’re talking gorgeous visuals that practically leap off the screen without needing any clunky glasses…

OLED TVs – Incredible Picture Quality & Bold Colors

When it comes to jaw-dropping TV display technology available now to consumers, OLED reigns supreme. Thanks to self-illuminating pixels producing perfect blacks alongside super vibrant, precise colors, OLED TVs look downright incredible.

We’re talking visuals seemingly melting off the screen, no 3D trickery necessary. Movies and shows feel cinematic and immersive thanks to the intense color contrast. And gaming leaps to life with smoothed motion clarity. Plus, OLED TVs still sync with current media standards like 4K HDR unlike aging 3D sets.

ModelScreen SizePrice
LG G3 OLED TV65-Inch$2596
Hisense U7G ULED TV65-Inch$996

The latest 2023 LG G3 OLED TVs top most “best of” lists, but I’m also super impressed by budget-friendly options like Hisense’s ULED panels. Either brings true next-gen display tech to the table minus frivolous 3D gimmicks…and cost LESS than those clearance 3D dinosaurs!

Home Theater Projectors – Giant Immersive Imagery

Of course, NOTHING replicates the true cinematic experience like a dedicated projector! Imagine kicking back to a 100+ inch screen sprawling across your living room wall. The sheer scope and size of imagery projected in shining 1080p/4K detail cannot be matched by standard TV tech, 3D or otherwise.

And given their giant projected light source, 3D movies truly impress through a nice projector. Feeling like you’re sitting in a commercial theater won’t come cheap…but projectors like the $1700 Epson Home Cinema 4010 handle 3D media masterfully. Paired with surround sound, a dark room, and some legit projector screen real estate, you’ll achieve visual nirvana!

Virtual Reality Headsets – The FUTURE of Immersive 3D Entertainment

Okay okay, I know what you’re thinking…projectors seem awesome, but what about recreating that stunning Avatar 3D perspective INSIDE my living room?? Immersed within the images rather than staring at some wall??

Well my friend, achieving THOSE kinds of next-level 3D movie adventures at home lies with VR headsets like the hugely popular Meta Quest 2! Modern virtual reality devices fully surround your field of view with wildly vivid stereoscopic 3D visuals in all directions.

And unlike clunky old 3D TV tech, VR displays two slightly different images simultaneously to mimic natural depth of field vision rather than relying on hokey protruding shapes. The effect feels MUCH more realistic and nuanced!

Plus, the level of immersion and interactivity provided by VR devices completely trounces passively staring at a 3D capable TV with glasses. For under $400, the wireless and controller-equipped Meta Quest 2 provides next-gen 3D movie watching capabilities well beyond what ANY television can match.

The world of home 3D content consumption continues to rapidly evolve. But investing in the PAST with constraints around a largely abandoned 3D TV format will only lead to disappointment and wasted money. I say avoid those dinosaur displays and go experience the FUTURE with some of the awesome alternatives I just outlined instead!

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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