Getting a 3D TV
Since the resurgence of 3D in movie theaters, manufacturers have been offering various sets of 3D TVs on the market.
But with all of these models currently available on the market, which one is the best to choose on quality/price ratio?
In this section we will compare the different brands available on the market, look at which models are the best and upcoming 3D TVs that offers the best 3D experience for your buck.
Lets start with the various 3D displays offered by the different manufacturers:
The big Korean company has released plenty of models of 3D TV since 2010, all of them using active glasses technology. They are almost all equipped of LED backlight, which means, better contrasts and true black, still, there are some few Plasma models out there. However, the glasses are still a little bulky and expensive, but they are among the best out there. They also offer bundles that can save you money (IE: TV with 3D blu-ray players and 3D glasses)
They launched a line-up of 3D TVs that employs passive glasses for its 3D TV, but by reducing the resolution by half for each eye (combining the two images makes a full HD output, though). Passive 3D is the technology that uses polarized glasses (like the ones used in Real 3D equipped movie theaters). The glasses are pretty comfy and they are very cheap. The only problem is, as mentioned before, they cut the resolution and also the image is darker. Still, it’s a pretty good affordable solution for viewing 3D at home if you have a big family (or lot of friends). I recommend it.
Of course, Panasonic has plenty of high end 3D TV models to choose from. Almost all of them are Plasma screens, but they are among the best (if not, the cream of the top) but they are also quite expensive. The displays are very large and, as their main competitor Samsung, they use active glasses for their displays. If you can afford it, you cannot go wrong with Panasonic (you can even get an Avatar 3D blu-ray disc bundled with your purchase, which are pretty rare since they have the exclusive rights for 1 full year until November 2011)
The big Japanese conglomerate is betting huge on the 3D bandwagon: starting 2011, all of their 3D TV Bravia line supports 120hz output frequency (which means in better words, 3D). They also went on great technological troubles in making the Playstation 3 console 3D compatible with their displays (it also works with other brands, but the Bravia line has better integration). Their line-up offers LED back-lit displays at variable sizes. They are of great value for their offerings . All their displays uses active glasses technology.
They were among the first companies to introduce a 3D TV (along with Mitsubishi). Their 3D TVs are of excellent quality, but very steep on price. Unfortunately, they don’t offer a lot of models, only Sharp Aquos support 3D imagery. The displays size starts at 40″ (better than Mitsubishi that only offers displays from 73″ and up)
Philips entered in the mainstream 3D TV market by offering a various set of displays with LED and other gimmicks (like ambilight among other things). They use passive and active glasses for their 3D TV. However, they are only available in Europe.
3D TV with no glasses
Since a lot of people find that wearing glasses is a burden, there has been an increasing interest for 3D TV with no glasses. Currently, only a few high-tech products offer this: Nintendo with their flagship portable Nintendo 3DS, smartphones like LG Optimus 3D and very soon laptops like Toshiba’s Qosmio F750.
The problem with this technology is that it’s fairly limited: parallax barrier, which is the technique employed by the 3DS, offers a limited point of view angle for the effect to work accordingly, which is why it’s being used only on small devices. The technology still has a few years of improvement before being seen into bigger displays, but it’s coming.
Philips developed a few years ago a display using the so called WoWvx technology which was one of the firsts displaying glassless stereoscopic imagery. But as parallax barrier technology, it was very limited and the 3D was not real 3D, it was more 2,5D ish. Philips discontinued that product in March 2009 but they still license it to others.
LG also announced that they will release LED back-lit 3D glassless monitors starting with the LG DX2000 series, a 20 inches display that includes an embedded webcam to track the users eyes so it can adapt the 3D content according to the position of the viewer. It is set for release in Korea very soon.