The time has arrived for 3D TVs to meet their maker: Major manufacturers stop investing in the once-popular product

Emily Kraus, Contributing Writer

Over the past few years, companies have made great strides in the world of technology by developing 3D televisions. 3D television, which allows viewers to feel like movies or sports games are coming to life before their very eyes, used to be available only at movie theaters.

In theaters, the option of watching a movie with 3D glasses costs a few dollars extra, but by bringing home a 3D TV, people would always have this luxury available to them. In essence, people would be able to watch movies and shows in their own home theater.

“I have seen many commercials for 3D T.V.s. It seems so cool to be able to simulate a movie theater experience in your own living room,” said junior Celia Christake.

Despite all the hype, there has been a recent plunge in sales of these televisions. For three years, companies like Samsung, Toshiba, LG, Panasonic, and Sony were the leading producers of this innovative technology, but they are now moving away from 3D TVs. At technology conventions like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2015, both Samsung and LG did not showcase or announce any new models that supported the 3D function.

One of the reasons behind this decision is that many of the companies were more interested in improving the basic 2D television. Samsung, for example, wants to focus on the “Smart TV” function instead of developing 3D televisions. Smart televisions have access to the internet, allowing users to stream video from applications like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon.

“It feels like I only watch television on my laptop and phone because of Netflix, but the option of a Smart TV means I can watch my favorite shows and movies with my family and friends” said junior Maddy Wiener.

Aside from internet access, companies are also investing more in improving the viewing quality of the screen. Ultra HD has been a major concern at the CES convention in recent years.

Another reason for the decreased investment in the 3D televisions is the disappearing network of 3D-supported content. This includes movies and television shows that can be enhanced by the 3D function. According to CNET, ESPN cut funds in 2014 for its 3D-only channel, saying it would fund it again “if or when 3D does take off.” Other 3D-only channels that are no longer around are 3net, Xfinity 3D, and Sky 3D. The same goes for 3D movies, as fewer 3D Blu-ray movies are being produced.

3D televisions are also more expensive than the regular television. Today, Best Buy offers a 65’’ Sony smart and Ultra HD television without the 3D feature at $1,599.99, while a 65’’ Sony smart and Ultra HD television with the 3D feature is $2,199.99.

“My family considered buying a 3D T.V., but after comparing it to a T.V. without this feature, we decided that it wasn’t worth it,” said junior Davida Harris.

High prices are to be expected for such advanced technology, but consumers had another issue with 3D TVs: physical discomfort. Nausea, dizziness, and eye strain were common side effects of the 3D feature.

According to a 2016 Forbes article, “Everything from incorrectly adjusted interpupillary distance in the optics to the slightest of deviations in frame rate to image smearing during motion can all cause nausea and discomfort.”

Many owners end up closeting their 3D glasses, having paid hundreds more for televisions that ultimately make them sick.

“My aunt has a 3D TV, but she never uses the 3D function because it makes her head hurt. I wouldn’t want to get dizzy just by watching T.V.” said junior Saige Gitlin.

While advertisements have tried to popularize the 3D television, throughout recent years, the cons of buying one seem to override the pros.