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Ultra HD, curved screens push 3D out of the spotlight

Patrick Budmar | May 27, 2014
Smart TV manufacturers remain upbeat about 3D, but analysts find no interest in the technology

ultra hd curved screens

Ultra HD and curved screens are currently the hot topics in the Smart TV space, particularly in LG's recently announced 2014 home entertainment range.

Originally announced at CES 2014, LG had brought to Australia its new smart TVs featuring new and improved Ultra HD and curved OLED technology.

But with all of the attention on higher resolutions and new screen formats, little mention has been made by LG and other manufacturers in regards to 3D.

LG marketing general manager, Lambro Skropidis, said despite the hype for Ultra HD and curved screens, 3D is still an important "added value feature" for LG Smart TVs.

"The feedback from consumers continues to be that our passive 3D technology provides an amazing 3D viewing experience, and we're excited that we can continue to offer that alongside improvements such as our new range of Smart TVs powered by webOS," he said.

The focus in other areas of Smart TV has raised the question of whether innovation in the 3D space has plateaued, though Skropidis said further advancements and improvements are continually being made.

"We continue to innovate the TV viewing experience, with 3D a current feature that we will continue to support," he said.

"Most importantly, Hollywood continues to make spectacular 3D movies and this is showing no signs of abating."

Avatar's departure
While Manufacturers and film studios continue to support 3D video, analysts are not as upbeat about the technology as they once were.

Gartner already noticed a downward trend in its 2012 report, Survey Analysis: Why Consumers Are Tuning Out of 3D TV, which found few consumers are interested in viewing 3D content on their TVs.

Subsequently, the analyst firm removed 3D TV services from its Hype Cycle for Media and Entertainment, as it failed to progress due to lack of interest from consumers.

This is quite a turnaround from 2009, when James Cameron's Avatar created a buzz in the technology and encouraged Smart TV manufacturers to introduced 3D into their TVs.

Gartner consumer electronics analyst, Paul O'Donovan, admits Avatar was a "great film" and "did very well" in the cinemas at the time, adding that the 3D technology improved significantly over the "old blue and red glasses."

"It also proved an interesting technological point, where no matter how good the technology is in enhancing the experience, success is really all about content," he said.

Since Avatar, O'Donovan points out more than 60 per cent of the 3D movies coming out of the studios have been computer based animation.

"Although great for the kids, this content doesn't drive the purchasers of entertainment equipment in the home," he said.


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