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TWO of the world’s biggest TV makers — LG and Samsung — are apparently ready to start progressively phasing out production of new 3D televisions in the future, reports South Korean news site ET News, essentially signing the death warrant of 3D technology in the consumer market.

A total of 40% of LG’s TVs made in 2015 came with 3D functionality. This could drop to 20% in 2016, before being cut further. In fact, the manufacturer may keep 3D for premium models only in future TV ranges.

Samsung’s decision is apparently even more drastic, with reports of no new TVs getting 3D technology. However, neither LG nor Samsung has yet confirmed these claims.

Since the first models launched in 2010, 3D TVs have struggled to win over consumers, put off by the need for special equipment that’s costly and not necessarily compatible from one brand to the next. Plus, the hassle of wearing 3D glasses and the eye strain they can cause soon curbed the public’s enthusiasm for 3D TV, despite its innovative nature.

With the choice of available content slowly dwindling, the end of 3D TV won’t come as a surprise to some. After the initial enthusiasm, buoyed by the 2010 movie Avatar, interest in the format seems to have waned.

Other types of TV technology have proved more appealing in the consumer market, pushing 3D out of the limelight. Manufacturers now prefer investing time and effort in chasing pixels, with the arrival of ultra-high definition (4K), or enhancing image quality with OLED or developing their own smart TV platforms.

Today, 3D has become the realm of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. This emerging sector makes it possible to explore three-dimensional environments with no need for a compatible TV set. It remains to be seen whether 3D entertainment will prove more successful in this new immersive form. Currently, Facebook, Microsoft and Google all have VR headsets in the works.

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