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LED 3D TVs, Plasma 3D TVs
3D TV Screen Technologies
LCD TVs have dominated the flat screen TV market for years, although plenty of lower-end 3D TVs are now considered LED 3D TVs -- the Sony Bravia KDL NX720, LG Infinia LW5600, and Toshiba TL515U are examples -- despite the underlying LCD technology. Other 3D TV series, including the Samsung D8000, Panasonic Viera TC-PST30, LG Infinia PZ950, and top-of-the-line Panasonic TC-PVT30 (starting at $2,150, Amazon), are plasma 3D TVs.
LCD (liquid crystal display) technology is popular because you can build a lightweight and super-thin TV with it.
One disadvantage of any LCD panel is the narrow viewing angle. If you move too far to the left or right, the image seems distorted; you have to sit almost directly in front of an LCD/LED 3D TV to see the best quality picture. Another weakness of LCD screen technology is the difficulty of producing deep black levels, although the introduction of LED lighting largely compensates for this shortcoming. And finally, experts note that crosstalk is still a problem for LED 3D TVs that require active 3D glasses (see below).
A plasma display is an excellent technology for 3D TVs. The viewing angle is comparatively wide and black levels are very deep, a performance attribute associated with very high picture quality. Experts tend to prefer the 3D experience, as well as the 2D picture quality, that you get with plasma 3D TVs compared to LED 3D TVs. There are several things to be mindful of with plasma 3D TV, although in our opinion they're minor issues. Some consumers worry that if a plasma 3D TV displays the same image for a long time, it could be permanently etched into the screen; known as "burn-in," this hasn't been a serious problem for years. Another concern is that the deep black levels may fade over time; again, experts say this isn't a matter to fret over. Finally, plasma 3D TVs are heavier and bulkier than LCD panels and less energy efficient.
3D TV Glasses.When watching 3D content, each eye sees a slightly different image, so you need special glasses to merge the images together. Active 3D technology calls for battery-powered 3D glasses to create the 3D effect; of the models we researched, the Samsung D8000, Sony Bravia KDL NX720, Panasonic Viera TC-PST30, and LG Infinia PZ950 are active 3D. Passive 3D technology, as in the LG Infinia LW5600 and Toshiba TL515U, uses simple glasses like those you put on in a movie theater when watching a 3D movie.
Experts assert that active 3D creates a more realistic 3D effect, but the required 3D glasses are expensive (up to $150 a pair) and can be uncomfortable. Another problem with active 3D glasses is that they're not universal; any given brand of active 3D glasses is designed to work only with that brand of 3D TV. By contrast, passive 3D glasses cost about $10 a pair and are often included with the 3D TV (the LG Infinia LW5600 and Toshiba TL515U each come with four pairs). Passive 3D glasses are interchangeable among TV brands but they don't work at all with active 3D TV.
Don't Bother Cheap 3D TVs
Sony XBR HX929 Review
LG PZ950 Review
Toshiba TL515U Review
LG LW5600 Review
Panasonic TC-PST30 Review
Samsung PND8000 Review
Sony KDL NX720 Review
LG Infinia 47LX9500 LCD 3D HDTV
Samsung UN46C8000 LCD 3D HDTV
Mitsubishi 738 series
Panasonic VIERA VT25 Plasma 3D HDTV
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