Compatible 3D Glasses? No Such Thing

June 18th, 2010 · 5 Comments · 3D HDTV, Blu-ray Players, News

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(June 18, 2010) Contrary to recent widely published articles, so called “Universal” 3D glasses have compatibility issues. Glasses such as those recently introduced by Xpand sense the infra-red synchronization pulses emitted by 3D TVs and automatically time the shutters within the glasses to properly open and close to the on-screen 3D content.

However, these “Universal” glasses do not match the vendor-specific color characteristics of each TV maker’s factory supplied 3D glasses, resulting in skewed color.

Samsung’s and Mitsubishi’s 3D glasses (which are cosmetically nearly identical, which indicates they are most likely sourced from Samsung) have a greenish tint, while Panasonic’s and Sony’s have an amber tint that blocks some blue (though the degree of tint appears to be different on both brand’s lenses). When displaying stereoscopic content, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic 3D TVs automatically compensate for the 3D glasses’ filter characteristics.

If one were to use a non-tinted set of shutter glasses on a Sony or Panasonic 3D TV, the image would appear too blue, giving skin tones and objects a more Na’vi or Smurf tinge. On a Samsung the image would appear more purple. Therefore, “universal” glasses can’t really be a solution.

Last week we asked (by email) an Xpand executive for a comment, but have not yet received one.

HD Guru predicts that with demand growth for 3D TVs, (US 2010 sales estimates range widely from 1.2-4 million units) glasses prices will drop precipitously from the current $129-$199 range to around $25-$100. We estimate the price drops will begin within a few months and continue for the next 18.

In the past week Amazon (and select Samsung dealers) began giving 2 free pairs of Samsung 3D glasses and a free 3D capable Samsung Blu-ray player with the purchase of its 7000 series 3D LED LCD models.  The LED LCD UN40C7000 is currently Amazon priced $1665.98. The retail price of the 40″ 3D HDTV is $2000, the starter kit with two pairs of glasses and “Monsters vs. Aliens” 3D disc is $350 and the BD-C6900 retails for $400, resulting in savings of over $1084. Other 7000 models are the UN46C7000,UN55C7000. The offer expires 11:59 PST June 19, 2010.

Edited By Michael Fremer

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Mike in Arizona

    Actually i disagree with this article to a extent. I bought a pair of glassses from frys electronics which are called “Revia 3d glasses” they are compatible with samsung, sony, and panasonic. I tried both glasses at the store apples to apples on both the samsung ansd sony tv and there was absoluetly no difference whatsoever. The colors and 3d images were just as vibrant and didnt notice any difference at all. Additionally for the price of 80 a pair the revia glasses are also usb

  • Jimbo

    How is a slightly off tint incompatible? It isn’t. All you have to do is calibrate your tv to fit the glasses tint. At least you could use them at a friends house even if their tv is calibrated differently.

  • Ryan

    Incompatible 3d glasses and failure to support older 3d Tv’s (Samsung) are really leaving a foul taste in my mouth. I was all ready to jump on the 3d bandwagon. The industry’s gotta stop playing these stupid games or 3d will be DOA.

  • wotty

    “When displaying stereoscopic content, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic 3D TVs automatically compensate for the 3D glasses’ filter characteristics.”

    So how is one supposed to calibrate such displays?

  • Consumer Advocate

    To get the most impressive 3D experience we need a BIG screen, certainly not 40 inches. I’d want 60″ for a flat panel and 100 plus inches for a front projector.
    Since brightness is reduced significantly a high gain screen is essential, such as the Da-lite 2.6 High Power.

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