Proprietary glasses, paltry content, hidden costs, vomiting in the den—there are plenty of reasons not to buy a 3-D TV. But hey, if your idea of quality entertainment is watching piranhas get shredded by an outboard motor, you might as well make it immersive.
1. Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25
Don’t let the humdrum design fool you. Panasonic’s 50-inch plasma flagship shames most HDTVs. It nailed our processing tests with some of the inkiest blacks and best color accuracy we’ve seen in any dimension. HD was crisp and vivid, but watching a green sea turtle gulp down a crowned jellyfish in glorious, flicker-free 3-D was stunning.
2. LG Infinia 47LX9500
With an edge-to-edge glass panel framed by a nearly invisible bezel, this 47-incher is simply elegant. LG squeezed 216 local-dimming LED panels into the 1.3-inch-thick frame, giving it a torch-bright picture and admirable black levels. But while it aced our SD and HD benchmarks, it merely passed 3-D. We found occasional cross talk—images meant for the right and left eyes are reversed. For four grand, we expect perfection.
get-gadget Wealth of picture-control options, including two THX modes. Intuitive menus make setup a snap. Largely solid 3-D performance, with bright picture and minimal ghosting. Sleek Wii-like remote.
TIRED $180 for each pair of active-shutter glasses! More like active-shudder glasses. Occasional backlight bright spots.
3. Sony Bravia KDL-55NX810
This edge-lit LED delivered splendid HD with plenty of pop, but 3-D performance was merely meh. High-contrast scenes in Coraline had an annoying pulsing effect that left us rubbing our temples. While it was the only set to offer 2-D to 3-D conversion, the effect was yawn-inducing. Worst of all, because the NX810 is merely 3-D-ready, you’ll still need to fork over two more Benjamins for the shutter-timing emitter and glasses.
get-gadget Integrated Wi-Fi. Reasonably comfy glasses. Built-in sensor adjusts backlight to match room lighting. Connected: awesome variety of Internet video.
TIRED Forgot its emitter at the factory. 3-D content was overly dark. Cross talk resulted in double images—and minor nausea.
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