DisplayMate Shoot-Out: Passive 3D Provides a Superior Viewing Experience

  • Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies has concluded that current Passive 3D HDTVs provide a better viewing experience than Active Shutter technology, despite the lower retail price and seemingly less-advanced technology.
  • Dr. Soneira conducted extensive testing between four high-end 3D LCD HDTVs, two with Active Shutter glasses and two with Film Pattern Retarder (FPR) Passive glasses. (The findings are detailed in the Gizmodo post.)
  • According to Soneira, both technologies have their perceived strengths and weaknesses: “For Active Shutter Glasses the main issues are excessive flicker, image crosstalk and ghosting, insufficient brightness, problems with viewing comfort and cost of the glasses. For Passive Glasses the main issues are questioned resolution and sharpness, restricted viewing distances, angles and positions.”
  • However, following the shoot-out, Soneira concluded that “Passive Glasses TVs delivered substantially and demonstrably better all around 3D imaging, 3D contrast and sense of 3D depth, better 3D sharpness, better overall 3D picture quality, immersion and realism, and freedom from 3D ghosting, image crosstalk, and flicker.”
  • The debate over Passive vs. Active Shutter 3D technology has been ramping up since the introduction of Passive 3D, which has led to division within the industry and confusion amongst consumers. Currently, Samsung and Sony manufacture Active Shutter 3D TVs, while LG and Vizio make Passive 3D sets.
  • For more details on the DisplayMate findings, the 3D TV Display Technology Shoot-Out is available online (as is the Display Technology Shoot-Out series that provides in-depth evaluations of mobile LCD and OLED displays).