Posted Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM PDT by Michael S. Palmer
3D displays aren't for everyone. Some people don't care about 3D; some people hate 3D; heck, some people can't even see 3D. But for the rest of us daring to jump into those wild dimensional waters, there's the issue of pricing.
From its earliest days, the Blu-ray Disc Association has wanted 3D in the home to be a high-quality affair, which is why they required the 3DBD spec to be capable of full 1080p HD for both the right and left eyes. In order to meet that spec, current general 3D HDTVs require the usage of active-shutter glasses, which are expensive (generally, $75 or more), often exclusive (can only be used with one brand of television), and more prone to eye strain. This added cost, along with the high prices of early 3D models, has been a burden to some 3D fans, who most likely purchased a new 2D HDTV within the last few years.
Enter Westinghouse, who this week announced a sub-$1000 (it MSRPs for $1,200, but will street for less) 3DTV that uses polarized, passive glasses. In fact, each of the 47-inch W47S2TCDs will ship with four pairs of passive glasses, and if you want more, just keep the ones you get when you see a 3D movie at your local cinema, because those should work as well.
What's the catch?
Well, as we mentioned briefly above, active shutter glasses are the only way to get full HD 1080p for both eyes in stereo 3D. Passive technologies display both frames at the very same time (rather than rapidly alternating them when using active technology), so there is a resolution reduction over all. On the other side of the coin, passive glasses technologies should allow for better pans and movement on screen, without jarring, jittery feeling that can accompany active shutter worlds.
So how does it look?
We haven't seen it in person just yet, but Zach Honig over at Engadget did. He was "actually somewhat impressed with its performance, especially from a distance of more than six feet." Not exactly the best review, but at this price point, maybe more people will be able to afford 3D.
What do you think? Will a sub-$1K price tag and cheaper glasses be enough to make you take the 3D plunge?
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