Hi guys.. Long time reader, first time poster...
I have an older 50" Samsung 1080i DLP that I was looking to upgrade this year. I had wanted a 3D TV, but the Active shutter are too much of a hassle with the expensive glasses, charging, flicker, ghosting, and syncing issues (on some models). I also have twin 10 year old girls, who would break the AS glasses in about 5 seconds. I have been closely following the technology and I was excited in January when I started hearing about the passive 3D technology (FPR) coming out from LG, Toshiba, and Vizio. For me it would be the only choice, its simple and eliminates the hassle and expense of the shutter glasses. I had been reading some of the feedback here and I was concerned about some of the trade offs, like the lines, and the reduced resolution.
I went to Best Buy over the weekend and saw LG LW5600 model and the same fish demo many folks have talked about. For me it looked very good, but the lines were evident up close, especially when there was small text on the screen. I also found that a top vertical angle really stunk, and was unwatchable at more than about 30 degrees. They had the test TV in BB at waist level and glasses attached to coils so you could only step back about 4 or 5 feet. Looking down at the TV at about a 30 degree angle it looked terrible, there was ghosting and it was very blurry. When I got on my knees and I was eye level with the TV, everything was as it should be. The 3D effect was on par with the 3D active shutter systems I have seen, it may actually be a bit better and brighter. I didn't notice any ghosting at that level, no flicker, and it was very clear and smooth with good depth. The resolution is reduced somewhat, but it was not as evident as I thought it would be. But the lines from that close distance (4 feet) were evident, especially with text on the screen, which may be a deal breaker for me. My DLP is only 5 or 6 feet away from my couch in my basement setup. I actually like it that way for watching movies and playing games, but I fear at that distance the lines may be too distracting for me. As for 2D, it seemed flawless and the lines were gone. They only seem to appear with the glasses on, which makes sense. The screen has a polarized filter for every alternate line for the left or right eye, and those are the lines you see while wearing the glasses.
I hear there has been some development around an Active Patterned Retarder (Aka Active Shutter Retarder) solution, that will be full resolution, eliminating the lines. Each polarized line on the screen will be able to actively switch between the L/R eye polarization using a second LCD panel, in sync with the image on the screen. However the last I heard, Samsung was developing this with RealD, but for professional applications only. They are not planning on a system for the home market until 2013 (if they ever do). The early buzz is it will be very expensive due to the extra LCD layer. I honestly don't know if I can wait 2+ years for a 3D TV, my DLP is around 6 years old, and I have had issues in the past with the Light Engine. Luckily it was under warranty the first 2 times it went bad (the only time a 5 year warranty ever paid off for me), but that warranty expired last year. I hate to buy something now, knowing that a better solution is already in the works, but I may have to anyway. I may go for the better model LG 55LW6500 when it goes below 2K, or investigate some of the other brand's versions of passive 3D.
I swear there must be a conspiracy against Passive 3D to some degree, in BB they had the demo TV at the worst angle, with glasses tethered so close you could not possibly see the TV in at the best angle and distance. The Salesman of course was trying to talk me into a new Active shutter system with Bluetooth, even though the Passive was the one on sale with a free 3D bluray player. The other manufacturers like Samsung have been badmouthing the current system, and continuing to push Active Shutter, while they have been quietly developing what may be a superior technology, but sitting on it.
Sorry for the long post but I was excited to join the discussion, and I will continue to watch the AVS threads as more info and feedback comes out relating to 3DTV and other AV gadgets.