Sony Ends 3D TV Production?

It appears Sony may be out of the 3D TV game...for now.  I hesitated reporting on this because I am actually still not sure where the information that Sony was getting out of the 3D business came from.  Yeah, LG Electronics future lineup of TV's didn't have any 3D listings in them so it's pretty easy to understand why THEY would be getting out of the game, but what about Sony?!  They announced a new set of TV's with a bunch of new features.  Yet, strangely enough, a list of the specifications of those TV's were not made available.  I scoured the internet for more concrete information and came across this article that may clue you in what is going on.  Basically, while no one at Sony outright said they were killing the format, they at least alluded to the fact that it never quite picked up the way it was supposed to.  Personally, I would be surprised if Sony gave up on it entirely. 

I will explain why in a separate blog post, but I do think there are long term plans in the making to keep 3D from dying off entirely.  Sony is unlikely to ever give it up completely because they own the BluRay 3D format.  Plus, hey, a lot of studios are still releasing their movies on BluRay 3D, and they must sell something or else they wouldn't make them at all!  At least...that's what I'm telling myself these days.  Alright, it's time to get a little personal here, but I've...not been having a good past few months.  I know I've been neglecting this site, but life is hard, and writing here does not exactly bring a lot of comfort because I mostly have bad news to share these days.  I'm in a state where I'm in some serious need of good news.  That said, I will not stop updating.  It may take a few more weeks, but I will return, and we will look at what our next plan of action is.

The only cause worth fighting for a lost cause, and if this is a lost cause then I guess we are going to win on it eventually!  Right now, for the immediate future, the best thing you can do is buy BluRay 3D's.  If you don't have a 3D TV yet, now is the time to get one before it's too late.  I think this is a temporary setback than it is an actual death, but the hurt will be felt for awhile.  But keep the hope alive because they are still making 3D movies, 3D displays are still being produced, new 3D formats are being worked on every year, and we still have content coming.  That doesn't seem so hopeless right?  So I'll officially be taking a break from this blog, but I will be back, and with a bigger fire in my belly.  This wasn't the direction this post was going to take, but that's how things go sometimes.


"Moana" Coming to BluRay 3D (Really)

Disney has come through again with the announcement that "Moana" WILL be released on BluRay 3D in the US!  So fans of the movie will not have to play the import game to get this one in its correct presentation.  Obviously I have no idea why they are doing this.  Disney is so random with their 3D releases that I can only hope that they decided on this one because the 3D was just too important.  Either way, fans will appreciate the gesture, and this was one of the best 3D experiences of the year, so it's nice to have the option to view it that way.  Make sure to show your support by buying a NEW copy at a store!


"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" Coming to 4K/3D Combo Pack!

I just need to state this before we begin: my new Surface 4 Pro keyboard is a LOT better than my crusty old Surface RT touch pad!  Writing on the go may actually be fun again (rather than feeling like a chore).  So, with that out of the way, it's time to announce that Ang Lee's box office flop "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" will be making its way to stores with a UltraHD combo pack that will also include the 3D disk.  This is a Sony release, so that lines up with my theory that Sony movies are most likely the releases that are not going to make you choose between two different formats.  This is also ironic that the movie is making various versions available upfront, since the theatrical release was probably the most gimped theatrical release I can think of.  I haven't seen the movie, but I will be picking up this set, so hopefully it's not as bad as I heard it is.


LG Electronics to Ditch 3D TV's?

I'm not going to say the end is nigh like so many others are saying.  Maybe it's the fact that I'd like to be optimistic about at least one thing in my life at the moment, but I would like to think that this weeks revelation from the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 as more of a setback than it is a gut wrenching blow to fans of the 3D format.  I need to; I don't have a whole lot of hope left in my life.  And yet, here we are, with the sad realization that LG Electronics have unveiled their entire 2017 TV lineup, and not one of them supports 3D.  Last year Samsung was the latest major company to drop the format from their TV's.  This year it's LG.  That leaves only Sony and Panasonic in the 3DTV business.  Now, to be certain, I do believe that 3D wasn't the selling point it the electronic giants wanted it to be.  They invested heavily in the format and it didn't move the TV's they wanted to.  I still believe that TV's are a long term investment for many people, and that formats don't catch on until years after the fact.

Widescreen TV's took years to catch on.  So did high definition.  Basically, trends in TV don't take hold until they've been out for awhile.  TV manufacturer's would love to get people to upgrade their sets for the next big thing, but people just don't buy them that way.  This year at CES there is a lot of talk that within a few years 4K and HDR will account for 33% of the TV's in peoples homes.  These are similar numbers they were discussing for 3D, I want to point out?  Will it hit that number?  Eventually, but not right away.  The only way 4K will grab hold is if the manufacturer's adapt the format and stick with it.  Who knows if they'll invest it in long term, but one thing that is obvious is that the cost to add 3D to any of these TV's would be incremental at best, so why don't they just make it another feature?  You do have millions of people out there who love 3D.  3D fans are some of the most dedicated film enthusiasts I've ever seen.

They love the format so much, that they'll buy "The Peanuts Movie" on BluRay 3D just...because.  And - with so many TV manufacture's getting out of the 3D business - this would have given LG a competitive advantage with those people.  If anything, I expect this news to bring a spike in sales for the 2016 models, as people who are interested in the format will want to get a 3D TV before they no longer have this option.  What is REALLY ironic about this is that there were tons of UltraHD BluRay players unveiled at the show, and the vast majority of them support 3D playback (both in disk and streaming format)!  Does this mean the BluRay player manufacturer's know something that the TV manufacturer's don't?  Seems to be.  Also, if 3D were really THAT unprofitable, wouldn't studios largely stop releasing their movies in BluRay 3D?!  Alright, so "Ben-Hur" got the shaft recently and Disney has been inconsistent recently, but Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox, and even Twilight Time seem perfectly happy with the format.

When I started this blog I named it "Save BluRay 3D" because Disney's lack of support signaled a dangerous direction for the format.  Yet the format appears to be fine and healthy for the most part; it's the TV aspect that's become a problem.  Because we keep getting more and more TV's without 3D features even though the cost to have those features would be minimal.  For that matter, companies like Samsung, Phillips, and KDX (a Chinese manufacturer), are still developing glasses free 3D TV's.  Maybe that's where they believe the pull will be for the format in the future, but until that future comes it helps to keep the format alive and breathing.  To kill it for a few years and then come out with this glasses free option does the manufacturer's no favors, as you have to sell the format to people all over again.  Only this time that will be a much tougher task since people will remember you killed it once before, so who's to say you won't kill it again?

What's created our current problem is that these companies are trying to jump start the market again by creating the next 'a-ha moment,' when some argue the we will never have another 'a-ha moment' to begin with.  Finally, though I don't have time to talk about it now, 3D displays are growing so much that they actually are poised to account for MORE than 33% of screens by 2020!  This is more than enough needed for 4K displays to be considered a success, so why not 3D?  That will be worth discussing in a separate article.  For now, LG appears to be out.  Is it for good?  Who knows, honestly?  For a format that is dying it is dying a very slow death.  Because I need to be optimistic, I do want to point out that the BluRay Association seems convinced that 3D isn't dead.  The movie studios aren't convinced of that.  Stores still stock the 3D disks.  Really, only the TV manufacturer's seem to have an issue with it at the moment.

What does that mean?  Well, it means I've got a few articles to work on in the upcoming weeks.  It also means that if you want a LG 3DTV, buy one now before they're gone.  Otherwise, your next TV is going to be a Panasonic or a Sony (the latter, I want to say, is unlikely to ever drop the format, but let's not take it for granted at this point).