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The truth about Passive 3D vs. Active Shutter 3D systems!
There are some big misconceptions out there about passive 3D technology (LG and Vizio sets) versus shutter style systems (Samsung, Sony, etc.). People have made claims that passive systems (sets that use the same glasses as the movie theater without batteries) are only getting 540p resolution, where shutter systems (battery operated glasses that blink back and forth) get 1080p resolution. This claim is completely false, and I'll explain why the naysayers are not only wrong, but why passive systems have better motion, brightness, and look a whole lot better.
Passive 3D TV's have a polarized screen and lenses, that alternate horizontal lines of resolution per eye in every frame you see. What this means is that each eye sees a 540p picture in every single single frame of a movie. BUT, it takes the image combined from both eyes to create a 3D image in your brain. Since both L and R eye images exist in every frame you see, your brain combines them as a single 1080p 3D image! What's better is that if you are watching a 24 frames per second blu-ray, with a passive 3d set, you get both L and R eye images 24 times per second as you should, giving you a full 1080p 3D image 24 times per second, with very smooth motion and a brighter picture, along with no headaches that some people get from blinking lenses! Want proof? Watch "Open Season 3D" and look at the millions of hairs on the bear. Each hair can be seen vividly, with no breakup in resolution or clarity. If it weren't 1080p that infinitely small detail would not be possible.
Now, what about the active shutter system? This system alternates frames of a movie, a 1080p image for the L eye, then a 1080p image for the right eye, back and forth, and the glasses blink back and forth to match the frames on the screen with your eyes. What people don't realize is that your brain still needs to combine one image for each eye in order to see a 3D image in your head. When you are watching a 24 frames per second blu-ray, there are only 12 frames per second for each eye, blinking back and forth! So you really only see 12 frames per second of 1080p 3D watching 3D with active shutter sets! This is what creates very blurry motion, a darker picture, and helps enhance the headache people get from shutter systems.
So the truth is that both types produce a 1080p 3D picture, but with a passive set like in the movie theaters (RealD, Vizio, LG, Cinema 3D) you still get 24 frames per second 1080p 3D, but with an active shutter system (Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, etc.) you only get 12 frames per second 1080p 3D! Also, both types of 3D systems will display all of the 3D blu-ray discs. (as long as you have a 3D blu-ray player)
In the real world:
I tested every set I could in person. I took a 3D blu-ray with me so that I could see the same material on all the sets in broad daylight in the stores. I was very disappointed in the active shutter systems that I viewed. They lost a lot of brightness under daylight, and the motion was blurry. Plus I didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for glasses and batteries. When I tested the LG and Vizio Theater 3D systems, I was happily surprised. The pictures were brighter, crystal clear, and I could bring home recycled glasses from the movie theater for free to use with the sets! I loved LG's 50" and 55" Theater 3D sets, but since a bigger screen is better in my house, I bought the 65" Vizio with Theatre 3D from Sam's Club. It's an amazing set with fantastic wireless internet apps as well, but for 3D content, there is not a better TV out there to date! (until they make an 80" Theater 3D set! maybe in a couple years).
Please feel free to copy, paste, and share this review anywhere you like! More people need accurate information on 3D technology!
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