4K, the fall of 3D TVs & what you should buy

Long gone are the days when HD televisions were the best things to come into existence. A Full HD TV comes equipped with 1080 pixels, implying a resolution of 1920×1080 (2.1 megapixels). Even though this is still a massive number, it has fallen far behind the next best thing, the 4K screen.

A Full HD LED TV was supposed to be the pinnacle of entertainment for all consumers, but as technology developed, better things came into existence. 3D televisions first became popular in 2010, selling 2.26 million units. The numbers gradually started increasing as the sales climbed in 2011 to 24.14 million units and reached an all-time high of 41.5 million units in 2012. Come 2013; the numbers started to fall. Here are the top 3 reasons we believe why the downfall began:

Considering the fact that the specifications say 3D TV is for ages 7 and above tells as a considerate amount of the damage it does to the eye. On a survey taken, 1 in 4 consumers reported irritation in the eye/headache due to the nature of the television.

  • 3D makes Gaming worse:

When you take into account that they’re

     A) bad for children,

     B) irritating on eyes, and

     C) distracting to wear,

It’s no wonder that people didn’t want a pair of cumbersome sunglasses stuck to their faces while they were trying to make sniper shots in Call of Duty. Anything that gets between us and the screen is one more variable that we’d rather do away with, especially when a pair of glasses costs as much as a brand-new game and lowers the resolution and frame rate of what we’re playing.

  • No demand for the technology, ever:

Believe it or not, 3D TVs first came into existence in the 1950s and then again in 1970s, and it failed both times because people were getting the same headaches that we get today. And yet, 3D keeps coming back, and we have people like the CEO of DreamWorks Animation stating that it is the best innovation in the movie making business since color, despite the fact that 3D cinema was introduced before color.

Stereoscopy enables people to watch in 3D without glasses but only if they stand/sit at one particular position in front of the TV. Now, who would want that?

By 2014, you would be hearing a lot of people talk about 4K TVs and lots of stores even selling them. For a non-enthusiast, 4K is just another number, that’s higher than 1080, so it must naturally be better, right? For those of you who don’t know, 4K is another name for Ultra HD TV or UHD. It comes with the resolution 4096 x 2160 pixels. That’s way higher than the resolution offered by the FHD TV.

Have a look at the chart below (Source) 

graph 4k 3D

The accepted normal eye vision is said to be 20/20.

And based on a survey taken, the distance between the TV and the viewer has been the same, since the TV developed from a CRT to OLED, at 9-10 feet. So unless you are willing to loosen up your wallet strings, heading towards 4K at 60” isn’t such a bright idea.

At a much larger distance, all 480p, 720p, 1080p, 4K, appear to be equivalent in terms of pixels. That’s only natural because the human eye has a limitation.

Heres a little experiment for you to carry out yourself. The next time you go to a beach, sit at one particular point and start counting the number of grains of sand near to you. Then start counting the ones near your feet, and then count the ones 5 meters away from you. You should be able to notice that you won’t be able to see each grain of sand as a separate piece as the distance increases. 

For a non-enthusiast, as we mentioned before, 4K is just another number. Similarly, the assumption is that an 18-megapixel camera is better than a 16-megapixel one. But everyone should know that’s just wrong. An SLR 16-megapixel clicks better pictures than an 18-megapixel point and shoot camera. This is because megapixels only determine the size of the image.

One of the CNET tech writers once tweeted, “55-inch 4K or 55-inch OLED? Duh, OLED. 4K is just better tires on an old car. OLED is a whole new car.”

The biggest complaint about Ultra HD TV is what it doesn’t address. Resolution is not the most important aspect of picture quality. Nor is it even a problem with the current picture quality. There are bigger issues to resolve, like off the top of my head, how about improvising contrast ratio, color, compression artifacts and motion resolution?

Bottom line


Nothing I say will stop Ultra HD. TV manufacturers are smelling margin like sharks smelling blood in the water. This is something they can do, now, and for a profit. So it’s happening, whether it’s necessary or not. Instead of improving aspects of the image that need fixing, we get 4K. Because it’s easy to do, easy to sell, and easy to demo. Awesome.

So in response to the title of this article, you be the judge for buying your next TV depending on what you need.


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