Sony and LG have announced they are to end sales of 3D televisions this year. 3D never proved popular with customers due to a lack of content and health impacts including dizziness and eyestrain.

Prior to this week's announcement, the two companies were the last remaining major 3D TV manufacturers. Rivals including market leader Samsung have already discontinued their 3D ranges due to a lack of demand.

A failed start

3D's demise has come as a consequence of its inability to leave the ground. After reaching a peak of 41 million sales in 2012, shipments plummeted in the following years as the #technology proved unable to move beyond its early-adopter appeal.

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In 2013, both ESPN and the BBC discontinued their 3D broadcasts, each citing low consumer uptake as the motivation for their withdrawal. With content publishers reluctant to create new shows in 3D, TV buyers were left with even less reason to choose an expensive 3D model.

The resistance to 3D was furthered by a range of widely-reported health issues that the medium could induce. From simple nausea while watching films to claims of seizures in severe cases, consumers were turned away from the idea of bringing 3D into their homes.

"Not a key buying factor"

LG and Sony have now acknowledged that 3D isn't what most customers are looking for in new TVs. The last remaining hold-outs on the technology confirmed to CNET this week that they will launch no new models in 2017. 3D is "not a top buying consideration," Tim Alessi, director of product development at LG, said to the news site.

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"3D capability was never universally embraced in the industry for home use, and it's just not a key buying factor when selecting a new TV," Alessi explained. "Purchase process research showed it's not a top buying consideration, and anecdotal information indicated that actual usage was not high."

Sony's comments held a similar message. "Based on current market trends we decided not to support 3D for our 2017 models," the company said.

TV's future is 4K, not 3D

TV brands are now looking beyond their failure with 3D to new technologies with more universal appeal. The coming years look set to be defined by the rise of 4K displays with HDR support. HDR offers a greater contrast ratio, enabling deeper blacks, brighter whites and more vibrant colours. It will be easier to sell to consumers than 3D and its associated problems.

It is currently unlikely that 3D will make a return to new TVs anytime in the near future. Manufacturers will need to progress further in its development to win back customers.

Analysts have suggested that the successful introduction of glasses-free 3D could convince consumers to accept the technology. However, with interest low and sales now virtually non-existent, further investment isn't an attractive option to TV brands. 3D may return in the future but any significant revival is most likely years away. #Television