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Hands-on with Samsung's 3D TV lineup


Samsung 3D TV  Hands-on

Hot on the heels of Samsung revealing some of its extensive lineup of 3D TVs will be available as early as next month, we were given a chance to take a look at them first hand at Samsung's European Forum in Vienna.

Samsung will be releasing 3D on all three of its TV lineups, that is plasma, LED (backlit), and LCD (CCFL backlit) and all will use the same sequential-frame 3D technology that Panasonic's screens use. This has the TV display alternate images for the left and right eyes at 120Hz then a set of glasses alternately blocks the image for each eye at 60Hz. The result is each eye receives 60 images a second, which your brain then interprets as a constant stream of 3D pictures. It's quite an effective system but it does have its drawbacks like expensive glasses and, well, the need to wear glasses at all. For the time being, it is the only viable solution for use on TVs in the home, though.

Presumably due to their imminent availability, Samsung was only showing off the entry level LED backlit models in its 3D demos. However, considering plasma's generally accepted ability to better handle fast motion and high framerates, we would've thought that the better tech to show 3D off. Indeed, where the quality of the picture and 3D experience on Panasonic's plasma models that we looked at last week was not in doubt (only the size of the screeen and overall impression of 3D left us wanting more), the screen's Samsung showed us were more inherently flawed.

Backlight bleed was clearly visible - the grey patches you see in the black areas of the TVs below is backlight bleed, not a part of the picture - while on-screen motion resulted in the picture becoming really choppy. This latter point is an inherent problem with 3D content in general but it did seem more pronounced on these sets.

However, while Samsung was showing off its full lineup of 3D capable TVs, which consists of the C9000, C8000, and C7000 LED TVs, the 7 series of plasmas and 7 series of LCD TVs, only the C7000 series was showing 3D content so there's stlil hope for the other sets. In particular it will be interesting to see how well the super thin C9000 series hold up as they look absolutely stunning otherwise.

Another plus point is the glasses were infinitely more comfortable than Panasonic's, they fit easily over glasses. and they conform to an open standard so there's potential for them to work with other TVs. All the new TVs also have the ability to just plug in a USB hard drive or flash memory stick and turn the TV into a PVR, which is really exciting. Also, Samsung has expanded its online content including a collaboration with LoveFilm to stream movies direct to your TV (there's no word on pricing yet).

All told though, we're still generally of the opinion that 3D doesn't work on normal size TVs in the home. The picture is too small and anything but absolute darkness surrounding the TV is doubly distracting for 3D content. Some of us do still hold out hope for 3D in the home - especially for projectors - but we're steadily getting the impression it's not going to be a satisfactory mainstream option for a good while yet.


February 23, 2010, 4:21 pm

will 3d tv's refresh rates be changed to 100/50hz for pal regions?


February 24, 2010, 3:23 am

@monkeylove: It'll only display the 120Hz for 3D stuff so any other content should still display fine. I don't believe they'll be slowing it down for PAL regions. TV doesn't really need to be displayed that quickly anyway, it's mostly for games.

Anyhoo, clearly big businesses will continue to "force" 3D TVs on us for the next couple of years whether we like it or not. In related news (although many don't seem to have noticed): Disney are pushing to have Tim Burton's Alice released to DVD/BD within 12 weeks rather than 17, thus annoying cinemas. It's not "better for everyone" like they ascertain; they just want to be able to tell everyone that 3D in your home is "here" and "now" and get as much content out there to help shift the TVs... It's a conspiracy I tell you!

Hey... what's with the men in white coats? What are you- ? No... noooooooooooooo...

peter sturgeon

February 24, 2010, 7:54 pm

not so long ago i read an article towards dementia via a university stude and they proved that normally we only use one side of the brain for whatever purpose needed ie either left or right hemisphere, but following their studys towards dementia they an eye exercise which uses the whole brain ie both hemispheres. via looking to the left and right for no more than twenty seconds (due to eye strain) improved the memory dramatically .which i now use towards crossword puzzles etc and it works very well; so more to the point will the use of 3d glasses automatically use the same technique ? thus leading to serious eye strain problems or help improve the whole memory via the different age groups etc ?

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