Panasonic and Samsung have already started selling their 3D TVs for around $2500. More are on the way from LG, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba. Consumer Reports' first test results are in and they turned up definite differences in performance.
Among the tests--the Panasonic 50-inch plasma and 46-inch LCDs from Samsung, including the soon-to-be-released Samsung 8000 series.
Jim Willcox of Consumer Reports says, "Both the Samsung and Panasonic 3D sets do an impressive job at delivering compelling three-dimensional images, but our testers are starting to see some differences."
With the Panasonic, when you put the glasses on you get crisp, clean images. But with the Samsung, even with glasses you still see ghosting around some of the images.
Of course both TVs also serve as conventional 2D sets and testers found some performance differences there, too.
Willcox says, "With the Samsung the black levels weren't quite as deep and we did see some cloudiness in areas that should be black."
The Samsung TVs come with a feature that converts 2D images to 3D, but the effect wasn't as compelling as true 3D.
At this point, testers say the Panasonic comes out on top, but stay tuned. Consumer Reports will be testing more 3D TVs as they go on sale.
The first 3D TVs cost $300-$400 more than similarly featured conventional TVs.
Consumer Reports says for most people, it probably makes sense to hold off for now.
But if you just have to have one, be aware you'll also have to spring for a 3D Blu-Ray player, which runs around $400, and extra glasses, which cost about $150 each.