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‘Consumer Reports’ Gives Thumbs Up to Passive 3DTV

7 Feb, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

Comfortable viewing, cheaper glasses and a significant reduction in ghosting make the first passive 3DTV in the American market a decent rival to the active-shutter 3DTVs out there thus far, according to a Feb. 7 review by Consumer Reports.

Looking at the Vizio VT3D650SV passive glasses 3DTV — which uses polarized glasses similar to those used in theaters — Consumer Reports pitted the set against Panasonic’s top-rated TC-P65VT25 plasma 3DTV.

“In general, there is a lot to like about the VT3D650SV,” the report read. “For one thing, the polarized glasses are very comfortable to wear; they weigh just 0.7 ounces, so they felt very similar to wearing regular sunglasses.

“We also liked that you get four pairs of glasses with the TV, with additional pairs expected to cost from $10 to $30. That’s a far cry from the $130 to $150 you have to shell out for active glasses.”

Consumer Reports found the passive 3DTV set to have “the most satisfyingly bright picture we’ve experienced when viewing 3D” and that ghosting “is reduced to the point where it gives plasma TVs a run for their money.”

Consumer Reports watched both Avatar and Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D for the comparison.

The drawback: The loss of resolution with the passive glasses was noticeable. Active-shutter glasses can deliver a full 1080p picture to both eyes, while the passive glasses lose half the vertical resolution.

“And if you get your 3D signals via cable or satellite broadcasts, which squeeze 3D signals into the space meant for a single high-def image, cutting the horizontal resolution, the resolution is reduced even further, to 960x540,” the report read. “This loss of resolution may be visually subtle to some viewers, depending on the 3D program material, but it's likely to be noticeable — and bothersome — to more discerning viewers.”

Video artifacts also were more obvious with the passive glasses, and viewing angles were more limited than those 3DTVs using active shutter glasses, the report concluded.

The Vizio VT3D650SV has a list price of $3,700.

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