3D-Ready vs. Built-in 3D
We explain the difference between 3D-ready TVs and 3D TVs.
July 14, 2010 by CE Pro

Q. What is the difference between a 3D-ready and a built-in 3D TV or Blu-ray player - with respect to performance? - Yaw Owusu, Hayward, CA

CE Pro Senior Editor Bob Archer and a couple CE pros weighed in via the CE Pro Forums.

Archer: TVs labeled as “3D ready” don’t have built-in 3D processing. They will work with an external box - sold separately - that will decode the 3D content. The big caveat with these decoding boxes is they tend to be proprietary, meaning Mitsubishi’s decoding box won’t work with a Samsung TV.

A TV labeled as a 3D TV has the processing already built in.

Mark Coxon: It was my understanding that, at least in Sony‘s case, “3D-ready” means the IR emitter for the 3D glasses was not built into the set, nor were the glasses included. You would have to buy an external emitter and glasses to use the 3D capability, and could update firmware via the web if need be.

Is there an actual 3D converter box as well, like the old HD cable receivers?

Archer: You are correct, Mark. You need the firmware download for the existing 3D products, and the IR transmitter and active shutter glasses for the latest TVs. Sony’s 3D products are only now starting to hit the market.

Dave Stevens: Bob and Mark are absolutely correct. I just purchased a Mitsu 73WD737 TV that is “3D ready” because I refused to spend an extra $350 for the 738 model, which is exactly the same set with 3D built in, because the current 3D format is nothing more than a gimmick and not ready for prime time.

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