It is the year 2020 and everyone says 3D television is dead. This is only half true and since I have dealt with this topic extensively, I will tell you my 2 cents about it. For me, as a 3D fan, it has only just begun.
Searching for a 3D TV in 2020
I always wanted to have a 3D TV, but – as an economically thinking person – I waited until my – meanwhile 15 years old – TV was obsolete.
The problem: All manufacturers without exception have stopped the production of 3D TVs. „WTF!?!“ I thought to myself and even called the market leaders who not only confirmed this to me but also told me that there are not even 3D motherboards available for repairs; in other words, if the board of a 3D TV breaks, it is replaced by a 2D board. 3D, goodbye! So what to do?
New features (HDR, OLED, QLED, local dimming) are lame!
So I looked at the TVs of the future, all of which no longer support 3D playback, and found that all these new features just leave me cold. The features sound good, but in my eyes they are lame.
The latest topic is black levels. Who cares about that? When suddenly you don’t see the newsreader in his black suit anymore, but only his head and white shirt sticking out of a black spot? What use is this rich black if you can’t see anything anymore? 😉
And the next big thing is the information about the resolution. Meanwhile already 8k TVs were presented. Who should benefit from that? By the way, we have already experienced this in digital photography. At some point it’s the end of the terrain. In my opinion already now.
720p (HD ready) is already very good. 1080p (FullHD) is awesome and 4k (UHD 3,840 x 2,160 pixels) is hardly distinguishable from FullHD for my eye. But here the opinions may differ. But the main problem remains the missing content. The normal HD television still grumbles around at 720p – some (PayTV) channels sometimes broadcast in 1080i – these are then half frames, so not a real FullHD. Nobody broadcasts in 4k, except SAT test stations and streaming platforms and the selection is still quite modest, although it is of course constantly increasing.
My insider tip: get a 3D with 4k (second hand)
We 3D enthusiasts are unfortunately a fringe group. Maybe comparable to the vinyl fan community. Only a few people are interested in it and only a few know how to appreciate it. So not suitable for the masses. That’s why the TV manufacturers are sparing themselves this expensive panel production and have jointly decided to say goodbye to 3D. In my eyes a terrible mistake, because at least for the 3D freaks one could always have produced at least 1 model. This is like not producing record players anymore.
My insider tip to all 3D enthusiasts: Buy the last 3D TVs of 2015 & 2016 used, because only there two technologies overlapped: For the first time there was 4k resolution paired with the dying 3D technology. The result is impressive. Because every FullHD 3D movie is excellently upscaled to 4k and therefore you see the highest resolution combined in 3D. This is simply the hammer! Better than in the cinema, because there is not such a high resolution.
And I would also recommend passive 3D for everyone, instead of active 3D. It works better and the glasses are lighter and cheaper. The normal Full-HD 3D TVs can be found on the second-hand market and also very cheap. If that’s enough for you, go for a good offer. If you also want to have a 4k 3D TV, the choice on the second-hand market will be smaller.
Concrete purchase recommendations
I have bought the LG UG 870 V (passive 3D) and I am completely thrilled. The model is available in 55 or 65 inch and the 3D in 4k is great. (about € 600-900,- used)
Even Samsung – especially the series 8 from 2016 – has built good 3D 4k TVs. Samsung example with active 3D glasses (approx. € 600-900,- used)
One user recommended the Epson Beamer EH-LS500W with active 3D – which would be the last option if you want to buy a new device in a store. (about € 3000,- new)
I would like to thank everyone who wrote to me, because it shows me that there is definitely a demand for a certain target group, which unfortunately is ignored by the TV manufacturers. I have personally answered every email so far, but I didn’t expect so many and hardly ever manage to do so in my spare time, so I have now published my 3D 4k TV recommendations right here.