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Consumer Reports: 3D TV as ‘Compelling’ as Theatrical Movie

4 May, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Describing the 3D picture quality on an enabled high-definition television “as good as” a movie theater, Consumer Reports May 4 said the renaissance of the former gimmicky format is real — despite scant available content for home entertainment.

With 3D theatrical movies driving box office revenue skyward, the consumer electronics industry and Hollywood envision mining incremental 3D gold in the home.

The venerable consumer protection group in its June issue tested two Samsung LCD units and a Panasonic plasma TV with 3D capability to positive results. The publication found units presented a “compelling” 3D picture that lived up to the hype.

However, in keeping with its pro-consumer slant, Consumer Reports said people should not rush out and buy a 3D-compatible HDTV, adding that prices for 3D TVs and compatible Blu-ray players are likely to drop, and there should be more 3D content to watch over time.

“Blu-ray discs with 3D content are just arriving, and while 3D broadcasts are starting up, it will be a while before there are many of them,” said the magazine’s electronics editor Paul Reynolds.

Indeed, Reynolds found the premium prices for 3D-compatible TVs (around $3,000) not exorbitant compared with new HDTV units.

“Though there isn’t a huge price premium for the TVs, a 3D setup isn’t inexpensive,” Reynolds said. “For the sets we tested, you should figure on paying about $3,000 for the TV, Blu-ray player, and glasses for a family of four.”

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