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More Passive Problems

Crosstalk also becomes quite horrible on the passive set if you watch it with your glasses at right angles to the screen - as in, when you’re lying down. Add to this some massive colour bleeding problems during horizontal viewing, and passive TVs’ claim that they can be watched while you’re lying down just don’t hold up in any real world scenario.

Not that Samsung’s Active 3D TV can claim another victory in this department. For if you try to watch the 55D8000 lying down, its picture actually completely disappears! But hey - at least simple blackness can’t give you a headache, we guess...

Considering both technologies from a horizontal viewing angle point of view, again there’s bad news for the passive set. For it’s striking how much the 3D effect reduces as you increase your viewing angle. This happens much less noticeably with the active 3D screen.


An oft-quoted advantage of the passive 3D approach is that you supposedly lose less brightness with passive glasses than you do with active shutter glasses. But once again, our head to head experience didn’t bear this out, at least to any significant degree. Samsung’s latest 3D active shutter glasses have a surprisingly small impact on brightness, leaving the 55D8000 and the passive set looking more or less equally bright. This may have something to do with the brightness issues for the passive set caused by its horizontal black line structure.

That said, the passive set’s 3D pictures do look brighter than the active 3D pictures from some other brands, including Sony and Panasonic.

Shifting our focus from ‘micro’ picture issues to a more general overview of both TVs’ 3D viewing experience, once again things don’t come out as well for passive 3D as expected.

For instance, the commonly held idea that passive 3D viewing is more relaxing just isn’t borne out by our direct head to head experience. For now that Samsung has so substantially reduced crosstalk on its active 3D TVs, its pictures are much more comfortable to watch for long periods than they were last year. Also, while we know some people complain of flickering issues with active 3D, we personally didn’t notice any of this during our head to head testing.

With Blu-ray, in fact, we felt that the passive 3D set was actually more tiring to watch, as the lower resolution reduced the sharpness of some of the depth ‘cues’ our eyes picked up on with the active 3D TV.

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