• 11-01-2010, 12:17 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Plasma or LCD for 3D television
    Over the weekend, I took the opportunity to compare 3D on a plasma, and on a LCD. The sets we used for this test were the Panasonic TC-P65VT25, the Samsung PN63C7000, A Sony 65" XBRpro, a Sony Bravia HX 909, and the Samsung UN65C8000XF. We set each set on its own stand in my soon to be finished hometheater room, and covered the wall behind them with black cloth. The movies we used for this comparison included Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, Monster House, Imax: Grand Canyon at Risk, Coraline, and Monsters vs Aliens.

    Each set was calibrated using calman software, and came with their own 3D glasses(we needed 3 for each set). I was able to get every set very close to the SMPTE 3D standard, and one hit it right on the mark.

    All of the LCD were 240hz models, had LED local dimming, and only one of the LCD utilized quick pixel refresh technology(the XBRpro) which minimized pixel lag. All of the plasma utilized quick pixel technology as well, but implemented differently than the LCD model.

    After watching all of the movies, my boys and I looked over our notes. The issues we found must have been pretty obvious, because we complimented the sets at the same parts, and criticized them at the same parts.

    We found ghosting(or crosstalk) to be a problem with the LCD, that was not a problem with the plasma panels. One can attribute that to pixal lag, as the images trails of one frame bleed into the next. The XBRpro had the least bit of ghosting, and performed as good as the plasma's. The Sony bravia H909X had some serious ghosting issues at times, but also along with the XBRpro had a sharper picture than the Samsung plasma.

    Out of the plasma's, the Panasonic delivered the best picture. It had a consistently sharp and clean picture, had the fewest ghosting issues, and just looked more natural handling 3D than the Samsung. It also had blacker blacks, which only enhanced the 3D effect.

    Between the LCD models, the XBRpro for obvious reasons(it is a monitor that costs 8 times that of the bravia model) blew the bravia out of the water. Where we found ghosting on the bravia, it was non existent on the XBRpro. The pro was sharper, and with moving images it retained its full 1080p resolution during fast movement and panning. It was more competitive with the plasma's than the H909X was.

    In the end, we concluded that the plasma 3D televisions we had do a much better job with 3D than LCD's do, with the exception of the XBRpro. One thing I did find curious was that if you tilted your head to the side, the bravia ghosted like crazy. With the XBRpro, that did not happen.

    Based on this experience, and the other couple of times I have made this comparison, I believe that plasma sets are just better at 3D than the LCD panels.
  • 11-01-2010, 12:49 PM
    I'm not sold on this 3D thing yet. I've seen the Panny and Sony's and while the effect is interesting, to date I've only seen one 3D movie that was worth the extra coin; Avatar. My fear now is that studios are replacing compelling stories with 3D effects in the hope you'll be more intrigued by the experience than the characters. I'm not.

    There are still far too many compromises with this first generation of sets for me to consider them. First, I'm not ready to sit bolt upright every time I want to watch a movie (you can't watch 3D horizontally). Second, I'm not wearing those heavy flippin' glasses just to see who won the game. Finally, I find it insulting that every manufacturer has very expensive proprietary glasses. Didn't it bother you that you had to switch glasses when going from the Panny to the Sony to the Sammy? Imagine if you've got a Sony but you want to go to your friend's for The Big Game and he has a Panny. Too bad; you're SOL. I guess a universal standard is too much to ask.

    Great review SirT, very informative, although as-tested prices would've been nice to know.