Sorry, but if you’re already feeling at all confused by this new-fangled 3D-on-your-telly business, then we’re about to make things even worse. For what we’ve got in LG’s 47LD950 is a TV that throws the cat among the 3D pigeons in no uncertain terms, by bunting into touch the en vogue active shutter/alternate frame/full HD 3D system in favour of a rather more old fashioned passive/side by side approach.
Why, you might well wonder, would anyone want to do this when it could potentially undermine the whole 3D momentum the TV industry is so desperately trying to get going? Actually, there are more reasons than you might think.
The single biggest one concerns the price of 3D glasses. As you doubtless know by now, the typical asking price for a pair of active shutter 3D glasses is around £100. Which is bad enough if you need just one pair, but for a family of four or more... well, let’s just say it starts to stack up. Passive 3D glasses, on the other hand, are cheap as chips. You can often find them given away with magazines, or you can buy them for a couple of quid at your local cinema. In fact, LG thinks nothing of including four as standard with the 47LD950. It even puts them in nice little storage cases.
There’s another compelling reason to think about the passive 3D approach too, brought about by the aggravating fact that one brand’s active shutter 3D glasses won’t work with another brand’s 3D TV. This means that with current Active 3D technology, if your mates with a Sony 3D TV want to bring their glasses round to yours to watch something in 3D on your Panasonic 3D TV, their glasses won’t work.
With the 47LD950, anyone’s pair of cheap passive glasses will work with the TV. Or you can just get a load of pairs in yourself, and keep them for when you feel like a 3D party.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Sky has been putting LG passive TVs - similar to the 47LD950 - into pubs and clubs so that they can show Sky’s new 3D channel, due to launch fully into homes, too, on October 1st.
Also potentially interesting to the 47LD950’s chances of making a 3D splash is the fact that its passive approach to 3D arguably fits rather nicely with Sky’s 3D broadcast system, which itself employs a side by side approach. Hopefully the TV will produce some particularly good quality with Sky 3D sources.
If you’re paying attention, though, you may have figured out the single biggest flaw with LG’s cunning plan: the 47LD950 will not give you full HD 3D. This is because it has to put both the left and right fields of a 3D image on screen at once, sharing out those valuable pixels, rather than alternately presenting a full HD frame to each eye.