January 03, 2011
| by Grant Clauser
One of our favorite industry observers, the HD Guru (aka Gary Merson ), has raised a red flag on his blog about the new crop of 3D TVs that will be shown this week at CES.
Most 3D TVs boast full 1080p resolution—that’s something we’ve come to expect from our TVs these days. However, we also don’t like the expense and the bulk of many of the active shutter glasses that most 3D TVs make us wear. To solve that problem, several manufactures will be releasing TVs using passive polarized glasses that are lighter and considerably cheaper. But don’t start cheering yet. HD Guru reports that these systems come with what may be a significant compromise—they cut the resolution in half. The TVs, to be offered by LG, Visio and probably others (JVC already does this in commercial products) use something called a Passive Pattern Retarder which only permits half the vertical resolution to be seen by each eye. Go here for the full description of the process.
So is this a big deal or a glass half full/half empty situation? I know people in my own family who can’t see the difference between a DVD and Blu-ray (or if they can see it, they don’t care). Is this what the industry needs to do to get 3D to take off? I’ll be looking closely at these sets later this week at CES 2011 when I have the opportunity to get up close to them.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.