Published On: August 1, 2010

The Best 3D HDTVs So Far

Published On: August 1, 2010

The Best 3D HDTVs So Far

We know that bigger, better, brighter 3D HDTVs are out there waiting for us to catch up to them in the future, but there's no time like the present to give readers a Top Five list of what's available right now for those who want home 3D today.

Panasonic-3D-BestHDTV.gif

Yes, we're still in the early-goings of the 3D TV era, but it's never too early for a top-five list, right? This list includes the most compelling offerings that are currently available from each TV camp: plasma, LCDand DLP. In each case, the TV is a top-shelf model that, in addition to 3D capability, uses the company's most advanced 2D performance technologies and includes desirable features like video-on-demand streaming and other Web-based services.

Additional Resources
• Find a 3D capable Blu-ray player to get the most out of these televisions.
• Learn what 3D content is availableto you.

Panasonic TC-P58VT25 Plasma HDTV: $3,059.99
Panasonic's VT25 Series has earned praise for its 3D performance, due in part to its ability to keep crosstalk (or ghosting around edges) to a minimum. This 58-inch TV does not offer the 2D-to-3D conversion that you get with 3D-capable models from other manufacturers. The package does include one pair of active-shutter 3D glasses (additional glasses cost $150 each). Beyond its 3D performance, the TC-P58VT25 also happens to be a THX-certified plasma that uses Panasonic's 600Hz Sub-Field Drive to improve motion resolution and the Infinite Black Panel Pro to reduce ambient-light reflections and improve black-level performance. The VIERA CAST Web platform is onboard, with access to Amazon and Netflix VOD, Pandora, YouTube and Picasa. An optional WiFi USB adapter and USB camera (for Skype) are available. The VT25 Series also includes screen sizes of 65, 54 and 50 inches.

Samsung UN55C8000 LED LCD HDTV: $3,499.95
The 55-inch UN55C8000 is a stylish, full-featured edge-lit LED LCD. Edge lighting allows for an impressively slender profile of just 0.9 inches, and Samsung's Precision Dimming technology allows for more control over the LEDs to produce better black-level performance--similar to the local dimming employed in full-array LED models. The UN55C8000 also features Auto Motion Plus 240Hz processing and 2D-to-3D conversion. This is a 3D-ready TV, which means it doesn't come with 3D glasses. Samsung's active-shutter 3D glasses cost between $150 and $200 apiece, but the company is currently offering a deal: With the purchase of a Samsung 3D TV and Blu-ray player, you get a free 3D Starter Pack with two pairs of glasses and the Monsters vs. Aliens Blu-ray 3D disc (a $350 value). The UN55C8000 features the Samsung Apps Web platform, which includes VUDU, Netflix and Blockbuster video-on-demand, as well as Pandora, YouTube and much more. An optional WiFi USB adapter and USB camera (for Skype) are available. The UNC8000 Series also includes screen sizes of 65 and 46 inches.

Samsung PN58C8000 Plasma HDTV: $2,999.99
Samsung's LCD lineup certainly receives more attention, but the company continues to offer a large assortment of plasma TVs, including several new 3D-capable models. As one of Samsung's high-end plasma models, the 58-inch PN58C8000 is loaded with features, yet it's still the only TV on this list priced under $3,000. However, that price does not include 3D glasses. (As I mentioned above, Samsung is offering a free 3D Starter Kit if you buy a Samsung 3D TV and Blu-ray player.) The PN58C8000 features 2D-to-3D conversion, as well as 600Hz Sub-Field Drive to improve motion resolution, Motion Judder Canceller to reduce film judder, and Samsung's new Real Black Filter to cut down on ambient-light glare and improve black-level performance. This TV also includes the Samsung Apps platform, with access to VUDU, Netflix and Blockbuster video-on-demand, Pandora, and more. The PNC8000 Series also includes screen sizes of 63 and 50 inches.

Read Page 2 for The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion

Panasonic-3D-BestHDTV.gif

Sony XBR-52LX900 LED LCD HDTV: $3,999.99
The LX900 Series is Sony's premiere 3D TV line. While the step-down HX909 and HX800 Series require the separate purchase of active-shutter 3D glasses ($150 each) and an add-on IR emitter ($50), the LX900 models have built-in emitters, and the package includes two pairs of active-shutter 3D glasses. The 52-inch XBR-52LX900 has an attractive monolithic design and uses edge LED lighting; this model does not employ Sony's Dynamic Edge LED lighting for more precise control of the LEDs (which is available in the HX800 Series). Among the TV's many features are 2D-to-3D conversion, the BRAVIA Engine 3 video processor, Motionflow 240Hz technology, and an Intelligent Presence Sensor with Face Detection that knows where you are in the room and adjusts sound and picture parameters accordingly. You also get integrated WiFi to access the BRAVIA Internet Video platform, which includes Netflix and Amazon VOD, YouTube, Pandora and more. The LX900 Series also includes a screen size of 60 inches.

Mitsubishi WD-82738 DLP Rear-Projection HDTV: $3,799
Come on, it's an 82-inch screen for $3,799. You won't find a more immersive 3D experience without moving into the projection realm, which isn't quite as conducive to an afternoon of 3D gaming. Mitsubishi has actually offered 3D-ready rear-pros since 2007. Their 3D display technology differs from the 3D signal format introduced by the Blu-ray Disc Association; so, to watch 3D Blu-ray movies, you need the Mitsubishi 3DA-1 3D Adapter ($99)--unless you own a 3D Blu-ray player that can output the Checkerboard display format that Mitsubishi 3D TVs use (like Panasonic's DMP-BDT300 and BDT350). Mitsubishi's 3DC-1000 3D Starter Pack ($399) includes the 3D Adapter, two pairs of active-shutter glasses with the IR emitter, an HDMI cable, and a Disney 3D Blu-ray Showcase disc. The WD-82738 utilizes the company's Plush 1080p 5G 12-bit video processor and Smooth120Hz technology, and it includes the StreamTV Internet platform with VUDU, Pandora, and Picasa, among others. An optional WiFi USB adapter is available. (Mitsubishi will soon release the step-up WD-82838 that adds a 16-speaker integrated sound projector, if you want a more immersive audio experience to match that 3D video.)

Additional Resources
• Find a 3D capable Blu-ray player to get the most out of these televisions.
• Learn what 3D content is available to you.

Subscribe To Home Theater Review

You'll automatically be entered in the HTR Sweepstakes, and get the hottest audio deals directly in your inbox.
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Your support is greatly appreciated!
© JRW Publishing Company, 2020
magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram