Is 3d Dead? Once upon a time, 3D was an innovative technology that immersed the viewer. However, it began to dwindle over time, and like a bulb, it just went off. So what happened to 3D technology?
3D was the talk of the town a couple of years ago; remember 2009’s Avatar? But the technology hasn’t lived up to current expectations. Here’s why:
- Consumers reported headaches and strain from using 3D glasses
- Manufacturers stopped making 3D TVs.
- High prices to watch 3D movies in theatres
- Active 3D glasses were too bulky for consumers.
You’re welcome to keep reading on how 3D technology took 2015 by storm. As fast as it came is as fast as it left.
Also read: How To Watch 3D Movies At Home
The Rise and Fall of 3D Technology (Summarized of course)
In 2010, movie theatres recorded a whopping $10.6 billion revenue from 3D ticket sales. IMAX was at its peak. If you came across some information that filmmakers made a movie with IMAX cameras, it was at the top of its game. The movie was going to be amazing.
2D wasn’t fascinating to the world anymore, a new innovative movie experience was knocking on the door, and its name was 3D.
Not only was 3D taking over in cinemas, but TV manufacturers were taking that concept to television. LG and Samsung, two of the biggest TV manufacturers in the world, were developing 3D TVs. With this new development, consumers could have that immersive experience at home.
So what happened? Why is 3D a thing of the past?
Is 3D really dead?
RIP to 3D technology. It’s safe to say that 3D isn’t what it used to be. In 2020, 3D registered a $0.7 billion revenue in sales. You could say it resulted from the pandemic since movie theatres took a big hit in sales thanks to the pandemic.
However, in 2019, 3D registered $6.5 billion revenue while 2D in the same year registered a $35.7 billion revenue. The difference in revenue doesn’t bode well, and when the pandemic hit, it took a turn for the worse.
To make matters worse, in 2019, Avengers: Endgame, one of the year’s biggest films, was in 2D. There was talk about converting it to 3D, but so far, that hasn’t happened.
Here are the reasons why 3D technology has quite possibly left the spectrum:
1. Consumer feedback
For consumers to indulge in the immersive 3D experience, they’d require 3D glasses. 3D glasses came in two formats:
- Passive glasses
- Active glasses
Consumers just had to wear passive glasses, and voila, you get the 3D experience, but active glasses required a battery.
Regardless of which type of glasses consumers used, they complained of headaches and strains.
You can’t enjoy an immersive experience if you’re going to have headaches afterward. To top it all off, filmmakers were switching to the 3D route, so it was inevitable (at the time) that watching movies would be a strain.
2. Manufacturers’s stopped making 3D TVs
Samsung and LG were huge contenders in 3D television. However, as consumer demand started to dwindle, it became less profitable to manufacture 3D TVs. The only option was to cut them from the production line.
Manufacturers stopped making 3D TVs as far back as 2016. That was five years ago, and they haven’t made another TV since. This decision from manufacturers hasn’t helped 3D technology, and it’s another one of the reasons why 3D is no longer with us.
3. High prices to watch 3D movies in theatres
You could blame movie theatre companies for the fall of 3D. They charged premium prices for a ‘3D immersive experience’ that left many consumers wanting less of it and unsatisfied.
Most of the time, movie theatres did not adequately execute the 3D experience. Consumers felt ‘ripped off’ when they had to pay an extra cost to watch a 3D movie.
Not only that, but consumers would get headaches and eye strain from the entire experience, which wasn’t doing 3D any favors. It was different when it came to 3D TVs in the comfort of your home.
However, due to exorbitant prices, the damage was done, and consumers had a less optimistic outlook on 3D. Finally, they chose to forfeit it. Consumers are one of the driving forces in any market. Without consumer demand, suppliers and manufacturers see no point in continuing their losses, and finally, the 3D market began its slow and steady decline.
4. Active 3D glasses were incredibly inconvenient
As shared earlier, 3D glasses came in either passive or active. You just had to wear the passive glasses, and voila, you’re experiencing 3D, while the active glasses required a battery to experience 3D.
Here’s where the tables turned. Some companies wanted active glasses, and others wanted passive glasses.
Nevertheless, active glasses were too bulky and inconvenient for the consumer. They needed to either change or charge the battery to watch TV, which was too much.
Thus, the decline of 3D technology persisted, and so far, it hasn’t changed since. The steady decline persists, and the state of the world isn’t doing it any favors.
Here are some helpful FAQs.
1. Are 3D movies dying in popularity?
Why yes, yes, they are dying in popularity. In 2020, 3D movies reported a $0.7 billion revenue. It’s a massive difference from when it was at its peak. Manufacturers don’t make 3D TVs anymore, and consumers are back to enjoying their movies on 2D.
2. Does Hollywood consign 3D cinema as a bad idea?
It’s different for everybody. But 3D came out at a horrible time. 3D came out right at the peak of HDTV, and a lot of consumers bought HDTVs. So no one had the money to buy 3D TVs. Not only that, but movie theatres hiked ticket prices to watch 3D movies.
3. Why did TV manufacturers stop making 3D TVs?
It all lies with the consumer. People weren’t buying 3D TVs anymore. Consumers spent all their money on HDTVs, and so manufacturers stopped making unprofitable 3D TVs. It was inevitable.
- Robert Silva, 3D TV is Dead – What you Need to Know, Lifewire, https://www.lifewire.com/why-3d-tv-died-4126776
2. Julia Stoll, Global box office revenue from 2014 to 2020, Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/259987/global-box-office-revenue/
3. Carolina Giardina, Pamela Mccintok, Is the Golden Age of 3D Officially Over? Hollywood Reporter, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/is-golden-age-3d-officially-1025843/
4. David Coldewey, 3D box office totals take another dive, Tech Crunch, https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/05/3d-movie-box-office-totals-take-another-dive/