The era of blood splatter on the screen and obnoxious cartoon characters throwing lollipops at your face may be over before as the TV industry's fascination with 3-D seems to finally be coming to an end.
Vizio's 2014 line of commercial televisions — the TVs marketed to regular folk like you and me — will not have any 3-D models, the company announced at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which currently underway in Las Vegas.) Vizio has abandoned the gimmick technology completely in favor of televisions with 4K high definition, the latest advancement in very pretty, but flat pictures.
While Vizio may not have the name recognition of a Panasonic, Samsung, or Sony, they're one of the most powerful names in home electronics, so their word matters, as the Verge explains:
It's also a major blow to 3D in the living room; Vizio sells the most TVs of any company in the US. But Vizio is confident that consumers won't miss it; in fact, the decision was made because Vizio's current customers simply aren't viewing content in 3D often. In 2014, Vizio seems willing to sacrifice what some may consider a gimmick in pursuit of a better picture.
One company quitting 3-D does not kill the technology completely. But the death of 3-D TV has been percolating for about a year now, despite rising sales of devices. Most people bought 3-D TVs because most high-end televisions had the technology included, not because they wanted to watch something in 3D. After ESPN (one of the few networks to embrace the technology) essentially abandoned it due to lack of viewer interest, there's no major media companies pushing the medium forward.
Now the industry has caught up with the consumer's apathy. “We’ve stopped talking about them,” Steve Koenig, the director of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association, told Variety before CES.
The origin of 3D's killer, the much-sleeker 4K high-definition picture, is a tale that involves movie picture buffs George Lucas and Ridley Scott. A 4K high definition picture has twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of the current high-definition standard (1080p) and about four times as many pixels, which sounds great, but there are some problems. 4K may not improve the picture for TVs under 50 inches, and right now there's little-to-no content available in 4K HD. YouTube streaming in 4K is about the only available option for normals, but again few of the videos being shot actually live up to that standard.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.