3D TV's: Are they worth the price?

4:48 PM, Mar 19, 2011   |    comments
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Its 3D glasses are lighter, more comfortable, and much less expensive. That could make it far more appealing to consumers. But Consumer Reports finds some drawbacks to the new technology.

In the 3D mode, passive TVs can show only half the vertical resolution of a standard 1080p TV. Because there are fewer pixels creating the image, the testers saw jagged lines where there should have been smooth ones.

Another issue with the Vizio: Moiré interference creates a shimmery effect in certain scenes. But overall, testers were fairly impressed with the Vizio's performance. It's the brightest 3D set they've ever seen, and it has minimal ghosting, so you won't see double images through the glasses. And the ability to wear lightweight, inexpensive glasses is sure to be a plus with a lot of families.

When it comes to active 3D sets that use more expensive, bulkier glasses, testers find big differences between plasmas and LCDs. To evaluate the TVs, engineers create 3D patterns and view the patterns through glasses. In general, plasma sets provide a better picture, with less ghosting.

Consumer Reports gave top Ratings to the Panasonic Viera TC-P65VT25, $4,300. It delivers a crisp 3D image. But if you need extra glasses, you'll have to pay $150 a pair.

More comfortable, cheaper 3D glasses are a step in the right direction, but will there ever be 3D TVs that don't require glasses at all? For now, Consumer Reports testers say that glasses-free 3D is still a few years away.

Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this Web site.

(Copyright © 2006-2010 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.)

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