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.
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