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Top 8 3D TV Brands: 8 Affordable TV Brands You Can Avail Online

In 2010 there was a revolution in TV manufacture when the first 3D TV’s hit the market. It was hailed as the future of broadcasting with all the major brands battling for a slice of this seemingly profitable boom.

However, it was to be short-lived. Just a few years later and virtually all manufacture of 3D TVs has ceased.

But this does not mean that 3D TV should be dismissed. With retail outlets carrying the substantial stock of these sets, and the active pre-loved market, it’s an opportunistic time to obtain a 3D TV at an extremely reasonable price.

This article will provide some background on 3D TV, the issues it faced and why you should still consider owning one. Furthermore, I will give you a rundown of the top 8 3D TV brands you should look at when searching for a 3D TV.

Why Did 3D TV Brands Cease Production?

In short, as with most business decisions, it came down to demand.

Back in 2009, the director James Cameron released the 3D movie ‘Avatar’ in theaters. A great storyline with incredible 3D effects led many people to claim it would be the future of cinema viewing.

TV brands believed that this appetite for 3D would be mirrored in-home viewing, especially when ‘Avatar’ was promised to be released on 3D Blu-ray. So production of 3D TV sets began with the first releases coming from Samsung.

All the major brands followed suit, rushing to get their products on the market. This was continued with 3rd party content providers such as Vudu, Sky, Netflix and the Blu-ray industry all producing titles. However, the demand never reached the heights that the 3D TV brands anticipated.

Here are 3 possible reasons that 3D TV failed:

Glasses

To view 3D TV, specialized glasses had to be worn.

3D TV brands could not agree on what format these glasses should take. This meant that many glasses were not interchangeable between TV sets. They might work fine on your main TV, but move to another room or your friend’s house and they could be rendered unusable.

Bad-Timing

In 2009, both the UK and USA ceased analog TV transmissions and moved to digital. This meant many customers purchased a digital TV in time for this transition. Having so recently invested in new technology, they were reluctant to then buy a 3D TV in addition.

More New Technology

To view in 3D you required a new 3D Blu-ray player and cable or satellite box which involved more expense.

Although there was some initial interest in this new medium, it soon dwindled. By the beginning of 2017, all the major 3D TV brands ceased production.

Why Buy A 3D TV?

3D TV sets are still available. Companies still hold stock and they can still provide a unique and enjoyable experience.

Here’s why purchasing a 3D TV is still a consideration:

  • They are relatively cheap. With TV brands concentrating on 4K technology, 3D TVs can be obtained at a fraction of the price
  • There are still hundreds of 3D Blu-ray movies available and they continue to be produced
  • Video gaming is very popular in 3D with many titles available
  • Some 3D TV brands offer real-time conversion. Whether a standard broadcast or watching a normal DVD, the best TVs can convert from 2D to 3D.
  • 3D TVs are excellent as an everyday TV. With all the technology behind the 3D viewing (brightness, motion speed, contrast) it means standard 2D images look excellent

What Are the Top 8 3D TV Brands?

There are still many new 3D TVs available, despite new production virtually stopped.

Here are the top brands that lead the market in the best 3D TVs.

Samsung

This South Korean brand has led the world in technology advancement since its inception. Currently, they own more US patents than any other company.

This attention to innovation has meant that their 3D TVs are considered some of the best available today.

Samsung’s dominance in the TV world has been through their industry changing LED technology. They created the world's first edge-lit LED TV in 2009, which was followed in 2010 by the only 3D LED TV.

Today, their JU7100 series could be considered the best 3D TVs available.

These TVs are primarily 4K Ultra HD, however, can still provide impressive 3D performance and have the important quality of being able to convert 2D to 3D.

In addition, Samsung’s background in smartphone technology is carried through to their 3D TV lines. A ‘mirroring’ option is available in many of their 3D TVs, enabling the user to broadcast to their TV from their smartphone.

Furthermore, many of their 3D TVs have a smart touch remote meaning the TV can be voice activated and controlled.

LG

Another South Korean brand. Originally, it was formed in 1995 by the merger of Lucky Chemical and the electronics firm Goldstar.

The ethos behind LG is bringing innovative technology to the market but at a price cheaper than their main rivals - and with a humanitarian spin.

This was most noticeable in 2016 when they produced a TV for Indian consumers which repelled mosquitoes through ultrasonic waves.

LG's 3D TVs are distinctive through 4K OLED displays and their proprietary LG Cinema 3D technology. This avoids the ‘dim’ appearance of many 3D TVs.

They include 2 pairs of glasses with their sets, which use the ‘passive polarized’ method. This adheres to the LGs mindset of value, as they are significantly cheaper than the ‘active shutter’ standard.

Probably the best of their lines is the LG C6 which offers 2D-3D conversion, 65” screen and split screen for video gaming.

Sony

Starting with a department store electronics shop in 1946, the Sony brand has become one of the world's leading TV manufacturers.

Their TV product lines, Trinitron, WEGA, and BRAVIA have all become household names and this quality continues in their 3D TV models.

Using their bespoke Triluminos Display, Sony 3D TVs claim to provide improved contrast, incredible clarity and most importantly enhanced the depth of field.

The Sony brand has also emphasized interactivity in their 3D TVs. Most come with built-in Wi-Fi and access to Google’s Android TV.

For the dedicated gamer, as long as you have a controller, PlayStation Now is available for online game streaming.

Probably the only negative is that their 3D TVs glasses use the ‘active shutter’ standard, which can only be obtained as an additional purchase - they are not included.

Products to look out for are the X930 series.

Panasonic

From humble beginnings in 1918 as a light bulb manufacturer, this Japanese company has become one of the largest electronics suppliers in the world.

All of Panasonic's most recent 3D TVs are edge-lit LCD. These TVs are used by Hollywood for post-production which emphasizes their quality.

An interesting angle on these TVs is that they come with a ‘swivel and lift’ feature. This enables the user to adjust the height and angle of the 3D TV screen - which is unusual.

Using a Studio Color HCX2 processor, the 3D TVs offer bold colors and clear, crisp brightness levels.

Prices are on the more expensive side. In addition, Panasonic, like Sony, use the costly ‘active shutter’ glasses which are not included.

For an older model, the best choice is the DT60 series, and for newer models, the EX750.

Vizio

One of the newest 3D TV brands available. Vizio was formed in the US in 2012. Just 5 years later, they became the largest LCD TV seller in North America.

Their name has become synonymous with low pricing compared to their rivals.

However, low cost does not mean low quality. Their 3D TVs come with super thin borders, crisp Razor LED displays and a 60 Hz refresh rate.

The Vizio brand also includes an impressive amount of user tech within their 3D TVs. The M-series has built-in Wi-Fi and access to the most commonly used apps such as Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix.

If you are able to obtain a ‘new’ boxed version of the M Series (as, like many, it has been discontinued) it comes with 8 pairs of glasses included. When you consider some ‘active shutter’ glasses cost up to $100, that’s a worthwhile saving.

On the downside, in 2015 Vizio was found to be collecting customers information and reselling to advertisers - which concluded in a $2 million payout.

Hisense

A state-owned Chinese brand emerging from the 1969 company Qingdao No.2 Radio Factory.

Like Vizio, it is a budget brand aiming to offer no-frills products but performs visually as well as their competitors.

Although their 3D TV manufacturer has ceased, I have been able to find many new TVs still available online. The best Hisense branded 3D TVs to look out for are the 55K680UWD-DT and 65XT910.

With screen sizes over 55”, LED backlighting and Ultra 4K HD they provide clear and sharp imaging.

The 3D TVs use ‘active shutter’ technology with one pair of glasses is included. However, many users have complained that these glasses are somewhat on the small side. This may be an issue if you need to wear prescription glasses underneath.

Toshiba

Founded in 1939, this electronics brand really has tried to push the boundaries of 3D TV.

Back in 2010, Toshiba proudly displayed to the world their new product, the Regza GL1. The unique aspect about this 3D TV was that it could be viewed without wearing glasses.

It was initially hailed as a revolution. But sadly, it failed.

The issue with this model and their subsequent attempts was that it was not user-friendly. For the best 3D effect, it had to be viewed no more than a meter away, in dim lighting and with the viewer-centered directly in front of the TV.

Happily, after this failure, Toshiba continued in 3D TV production (with glasses) and made some impressive sets.

Using ‘active shutter’ technology (and with 2 glasses included with most TVs) their best product was probably the Toshiba 58L7365. Many customer reviews claim that the depth of field created within their 3D TVs remains to this day one of the best on the market.

One minor issue is that Toshiba 3D TVs are not very sleek and look a little ‘clunky’. For users who like the appearance of 21st-century aesthetics, they may appear somewhat dated.

However, for incredible 3D imaging and at a reasonable price, Toshiba is worth considering.

Sharp

Taking its name from their first invention, the ‘ever sharp’ mechanical pencil, this Japanese brand now produces electronic products from TVs through to cell phones.

This brand has a mixed reputation for its 3D TVs. Their first models back in 2010 and 2011 were very well received. Sold under the AQUOS banner, their 3D TVs were praised for vivid colors, impressive 2D to 3D conversion and crisp contrasts.

However, their later models, such as the LC-60UD20 were a disappointment. Customers complained of frequent ‘ghosting’ in the image, humans looking like cardboard cutouts and ‘active standard’ glasses working like sunglasses. Everything appeared dark and dull.

The Sharp brand is included in this list as their original and best 3D TVs can be purchased very cheaply. If you are looking for powerful 3D TV at a fraction of the price of a ‘new’ TV, then the Sharp Aquos Quattron is worthy of consideration.

Final Thoughts

With the demise of 3D TV production, it’s easy to confine this technology to the vaults. But that would be a shame.

With impressive visuals, a wide range of games and Blu-rays available, and the possibility of converting 2D to 3D they still have their place.

The attraction of cheap pricing compared to other TVs on the market make them a very credible proposition.

For budget 3D TVs with remarkable quality, look at the later Vizio or the early Sharp products. But for the most up to date 4K 3D TV’s, Samsung may prove the sensible choice.

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