Can the VR craze and new display technologies save 3D TV? reports that after nearly a decade of promoting 3D as the next great thing in television, most of the industry has moved on to promoting 4K, richer color, flatter screens, and clever applications instead. But the flame hasn’t entirely died, and a combination of new technologies for glasses-free 3D and a coming boom in 3D source material driven by the craze for virtual reality (VR) experiences might just be enough to resurrect it.

The Holy Grail: Ditching the glasses

The need for special, sometimes-expensive, glasses to view TV in 3D is the most-often-cited reason for its failure in the market. Lack of source material has also been a major issue. Ironically, the companies pouring billions of dollars into various not-quite-ready or on-the-drawing-board VR products have doubled down on the need for glasses — their solutions all require even more onerous and expensive goggles. Beyond hard-core gamers, many of whom will put up with ungainly VR headsets to get the benefit of immersive gaming, it’s not clear how many users will put up with the inconvenience of headgear — although much like the IMAX franchise, there will be a niche market in immersive experiences using those same headsets.


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