The best home theater 3D television can be quite expensive, depending on what type and quality of TV you want. Of course you are looking to get the best deal possible on your new 3D television so to help you figure out this complex entertainment technology, Macworld.com published this comparison written by Patrick Miller for PCWorld which takes three different types of 3D television’s and compares their performance to see if the priciest options are really the best home theater 3D television.
“What are you paying for when you choose a pricier set? We tested three active-shutter 3D TVs from different manufacturers—of varying display types and prices—in order to determine whether 3D enthusiasts should pay more for a prettier picture.
The verdict: You should.
“We chose the 43-inch plasma Samsung PN43D490 ($550) for our low-priced TV, the 50-inch plasma LG Infinia 50PZ950 ($1500) for our midrange model, and the 46-inch LED-backlit Sony KDL-46HX820 ($2000) for our highest-end set. With this mix of TVs, we were able to tease out the factors that make the difference between a 3D movie and a 3D headache, including the screen size, display technology, refresh rate, and so on.”
Test Scene 1: ‘Viperwolves’
“The “Viperwolves” scene depicts Jake (in his Na’vi avatar form) fighting a pack of viperwolves at night. It’s an up-close scene with a lot of foreground 3D effects—arrows flying here and there, underbrush obstructing the camera, and fast-motion scenes where viperwolves burst from the background into the foreground (and vice versa).”
“During close-in shots with a pronounced foreground and background, 3D display tech has the potential to look downright stunning; but if it isn’t done well, it’s a recipe for an instant headache. Also, “Viperwolves” is a nighttime scene with a lot of contrast, so it’s a good test for determining whether a TV’s contrast suffers significantly in 3D.”
Samsung PN43D490: ”Watching this scene was rather frustrating. All of the foreground effects—the vegetation, the flames, and the like—looked flickery, and at certain times we noticed a mild case of “crosstalk,” which made it look as if we had double vision. Make no mistake, the 3D effect was certainly present, but in a headache-inducing way, not a good way.”
“Color and contrast appear reasonably good as long as you’re watching in a pitch-black room (which is ideal for 3D and plasma TVs, of course), but if your room has too much light, you’ll struggle to see the darker parts of this scene due to the reflection on the TV’s glass screen.”
LG 50PZ950: ”Overall, “Viperwolves” looked great on this set. We noticed mild crosstalk in the foreground plants, but the rest of the scene seemed crisp, clear, and deep. 3D tends to look its best when it’s subtly adding depth to the scene rather than randomly throwing things into the foreground, and the 50PZ950 did a good job of showing that. The colors were vivid, which looked good but tended to counteract some of the ominous darkness of the scene.
Sony 46HX820: “Viperwolves” looked good on the 46HX820, albeit slightly less deep than on the LG 50PZ950. One judge commented that she found the motion sequences rather jarring, and that she felt a little queasy while watching; another judge had neither problem. This scene did show off the 46HX820’s contrast range quite nicely, though—Sony’s set was the only one of the three to do justice to the dimly lit portions of the scene without losing detail.”
What makes for a good 3D TV?
“Even though you can buy a 3D TV for cheap, our testing makes it pretty clear that you get what you pay for. Image-quality factors such as refresh rate, image detail, color accuracy, and contrast level still matter once you put the 3D glasses on, and even if your cheaper TV supports 3D, that doesn’t mean it’ll make the effect look good.”
“Samsung’s PN43D490 managed a respectable showing against TVs that are three to four times as expensive, but it doesn’t take a hard-core home theater enthusiast to appreciate the difference between the PN43D490 and the two pricier sets.”
“The overall 3D performance results of the LG 50PZ950 and the Sony KDL-46HX820 were fairly close, with the LG model generally producing a better 3D effect and the Sony set edging it out in overall image quality.”
“Considering that the LG is a bigger set priced $500 less than the Sony model, value-minded 3D fans would do well to consider it. Even if you’re not sold on either set, however, the LG shows that when it comes to 3D effects, a big high-end plasma is your best bet for the money.”
My mother used to tell me “You get what you pay for” and when it comes to electronics that is generally true. According to the article above it is true with 3D televisions too. There is a reason a certain piece of equipment costs more than another and it usually has to do with quality parts and workmanship. Finding the best home theater 3D television for your needs can be confusing so read this article carefully and shop in a reputable store with knowledgeable staff.
Have you recently purchased a 3D Tv? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think of it…
Share this article with a friend