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Though not a thorough test (More to come) I am surprised to see CR come out with this type of test so soon.

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/ele...bs-bluray-3d-c


March 12, 2010

3D TV shoot-out: Samsung’s LCD vs. Panasonic’s plasma

3d tv comparison review glasses


As you might know from our previous blogs, we’ve been testing the first new 3D TVs on the market—Samsung’s 46-inch 7000- and 8000-series LCD TVs with LED backlights and 240Hz technology, and Panasonic’s 50-inch VT-20 series 1080p plasma. We bought the Samsung 7000-series set at retail, and purchased the 8000-series model and Panasonic’s plasma as pre-retail samples directly from the company.


For the purposes of our tests, we connected the TVs to each company’s new 3D Blu-ray player, and then switched them to see if the Samsung Blu-ray would work on the Panasonic TV, and vice versa. (They did.) While the Monsters vs. Aliens 3D Blu-ray disc played on both players—as it should per the Blu-ray 3D specification—the 3D demo disc from Panasonic, which includes clips from the Astro Boy movie, plus some sports and nature live sequences, would only play on the Panasonic Blu-ray player.


While we haven’t completed our comprehensive tests on these sets, we have already seen some performance differences between the models, which in the 3D mode are mirroring some of the differences we see when we test LCD and plasma TVs with regular high-definition programs.


So how did the TVs perform? As we’ve reported, when displaying 3D all three sets delivered impressive three-dimensional effects in full 1080p resolution. All were were able to provide a reasonably bright picture, which is advantageous when using 3D shutter glasses, which can make images appear dim.


Overall the Samsung sets provided excellent picture detail, with satisfying colors and contrast. But we did notice some cloudiness on both the 7000-series model—which uses a conventional edge LED backlight—and the 8000-series set—the first set we’ve seen that uses an edge LED backlight with local dimming—which can be distracting when viewing dark scenes. Also, both Samsung sets exhibited a degree of “crosstalk,” or ghosted images, on 3D content, indicating that the images for each eye weren’t being kept completely separate. It wasn’t so noticeable as to be distracting on all scenes, but when visible the image echoes diminished the 3D effect. We also noticed that if you tilted the 3D glasses, such as you would if you were lying down watching the TV, the picture would increasingly get dimmer.


Panasonic says its VT20 sets (as well as the VT25 models that will arrive soon) have new features designed to help boost performance. One is its “infinite black” technology, intended to improve black-level performance. In fact, this TV’s black levels were excellent, the best we’ve seen from a TV since our review of Pioneer’s Kuro models. We also found picture detail to be excellent. Unusual for a plasma set is the inclusion of blur-reduction circuitry, which was extremely effective. Based on our preliminary tests, this TV may have the best anti-blur performance of any plasma we’ve ever tested (although we wonder why it’s a feature that has to be activated).


When viewing 3D content, the TV was absolutely free from crosstalk, with sharp, clean edges on objects in scenes. Also, the set’s virtually unlimited viewing angle with regular high-def programs held true with the 3D content we played, so even those viewing the screen from an angle could see a great picture. Also, there was no change in the picture if the 3D glasses were tilted sideways, unlike the LCD sets.


So what’s our initial reaction to these sets? All the tested sets can produce compelling, realistic three-dimensional images that can duplicate the excitement you’d get in a movie theater. But based on our preliminary tests, we give the Panasonic the edge. In the 3D mode, its lack of crosstalk and great black levels really made three-dimensional images pop. It also didn’t have any issues with backlight cloudiness, and offered a very wide viewing angle. But remember that we haven’t completed our final tests, and haven’t seen enough 3D sets to make any judgments about whether plasma or LCD is inherently a better technology for displaying 3D. But we can’t wait to get more sets into our TV Lab.


—James K. Willcox and Claudio Ciacci
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure why but that is the full story in print. Click on 'Electronics' at the top of their home page and scroll down to 'Electronic Blogs.'
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbug /forum/post/18302779


Try This: http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/

That works.



Good to see that they switched the 3D BD players around and they worked with no issue.


Would have loved to see them run the signal through a 1.3 receiver to see if it passed through.


Strange that the Panny demo disc didn't work on the Sammy player.


No surprise about the outcome.
 

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Quote:
Also, both Samsung sets exhibited a degree of “crosstalk,” or ghosted images, on 3D content, indicating that the images for each eye weren’t being kept completely separate.

I wonder if this is caused by the response time of the LCD tech. The crystals just aren't switching fast enough.
 

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HT Room: Atmos 7.1.4 with 117" 21:9 AT DYI screen & prism; Bedroom: Atmos 5.1.4 with 55" OLED
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbug /forum/post/18302699


We also noticed that if you tilted the 3D glasses, such as you would if you were lying down watching the TV, the picture would increasingly get dimmer.

This appears to confirm my suspicion that 3D LCD TVs use the inherent linear polarisation of the light from the panel, and forgo the outer polarisation-filter layer on the shutter glasses (to improve brightness). This would mean that shutter glasses for LCD screens won't work on 3D plasmas or DLPs, even if the signalling would be standardized (DLP link, etc.).


Can someone confirm if Samsung shutter glasses open and close (i.e. flicker) for objects around the TV, or only for images on the screen? (Still need to maintain line of sight to the TV, for the IR control signal)
 

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Hi, all. Just as an FYI, we (Consumer Reports) now have a new video showing some of the performance issues with the sets as described in my blog, and all our 3D content is aggregated in one place, all in front of the paywall so you can read it for free. I don't have enoigh posts to provide the link here, but just go to the Consumer Reports Online home page and click on the slide show on 3D at the top of the page. Hope you find it interesting. We worked very hard to be out ahead of the curve on this topic, and I believe we were the first to have complete 3D setups (TVs, Blu-ray players and glasses) from both manufacturers so we could test them head-to-head. Best regards, Jim Willcox.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeNY28 /forum/post/18328097


Hi, all. Just as an FYI, we (Consumer Reports) now have a new video showing some of the performance issues with the sets as described in my blog, and all our 3D content is aggregated in one place, all in front of the paywall so you can read it for free. I don't have enoigh posts to provide the link here, but just go to the Consumer Reports Online home page and click on the slide show on 3D at the top of the page. Hope you find it interesting. We worked very hard to be out ahead of the curve on this topic, and I believe we were the first to have complete 3D setups (TVs, Blu-ray players and glasses) from both manufacturers so we could test them head-to-head. Best regards, Jim Willcox.

Hi Jake and welcome to AVS



Thanks for the heads up.


Here is the link:

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/3d-tv/
 

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I've read reports that the Panasonic's black level deteriorates over time - in other words you start out with a great black level and a year year later the black level stinks! This makes me very cautious about the Panasonic 3D T.V.s, although plasma does seem to have some nice advantages over LCD. I wish they'd commented on Samsung's 2D to 3D conversion - if it actually works well (big "if") then it opens the door to 3D right now regardless of the lack of current 3D content.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja Vu /forum/post/18328292


I've read reports that the Panasonic's black level deteriorates over time - in other words you start out with a great black level and a year year later the black level stinks! This makes me very cautious about the Panasonic 3D T.V.s.

Wasn't that with some of the 2009 models?
 

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Jake,

Very good flick. A couple of questions:

1. Are the Samsung and Panasonic glases interchagable? I suspect no based on your video.

2. With the Samsung were you able to vary the ghosting at all by using Motion Flow or Backlighting level adjustments?
 

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The glasses are not interchangeable. We're wondering if the different methods of polarization make them incompatible, but XpanD just announced "universal" 3D glasses they say will work with any 3D TV. We'll have to see. We're still finalizing the reviews, but the adjustments we made so far don't alter the crosstalk. Our guess is that there's some leakage in left- and right-eye information. My understanding is that frame-quadruping 240Hz works in standard mode, but in 3D it actually changes to 120Hz with black-frame insertion to achieve a 240Hz effect. Will have to check this out. But that's why we're eager to get the Samsung plasma in the labs--to see if plasma is inherently a better technology for 3D.
 

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What I tried to state, perhaps ineffectively, is that in 240Hz mode with standard program the TV does real frame quadrupling (not 120Hz with a scanning backlight). But I was told that in 3D mode it shifts to the use of black-frame insertion, so it's still technically 240Hz, but not frame interpolated. The TV doesn't use a scanning backlight. By the way, the 8000-series set is the first instance I've seen of an edge LED backlight with local dimming--it's funny, when the Blu-ray player kicks into th screensaver mode and the Samsung logo floats up from the bottom of the screen, you can see the backlight turn off an on as it hits the different zones. Hope this helps.
 

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Last post for the day for me: Re Panasonic black levels--it's been reported that with some models, black levels decline over time because the TV automatically pumps the brightness, I assume to compensate for loss of brightness over time. This, of course, can crush black levels. But we haven't personally experienced this in the sets we own; most of the TVs we review are sold to CR staff at auction, so we don't keep them for years in our labs. But we're keeping tabs on what readers say.
 

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Jake - when you come back tomorrow



Is it possible that some of the ghosting/crosstalk from the Samsungs is created by the response time issue of LCD tech?


Thank you for taking the time to answer questions.
 
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