Samsung And LG 55-Inch 3D TVs - A Comparison Review

Published: 21st March 2012
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When LG announced its Infinia 55LW6500 55-Inch Cinema 3D HDTV and included four pairs of passive 3D glasses, one had to figure that this new large-screen high-definition television was going to be just another one of the large crowd of passive-eyeglass 3D receivers that would never compete with the likes of Samsung UN55D8000 55-Inch 1080p, but it does.

The LG Infinia 55LW6500 55-Inch Cinema, for example, is just as sophisticated as the Samsung UN55D8000, but there are some major differences in how they get to the same place.

Indeed, the LG Infinia is probably the more sophisticated of the two receivers because it solves problems without the need for active shutter glasses, which, until you study the technology behind the LG Infinia, seems better. However, once you look at the LG infinia, you realize that it is quite a receiver that really can use passive-eyeglasses.

Let's look at the science of depth perception and 3D first. Normally, your left eye and your right eye perceive the same image from slightly different vantage points. It may only be a difference of five degrees per eye, but when you look at an image and close one of your eyes, you see it slightly differently than when you close your other eye and see the same image.

The brain - nature's greatest computer - does the summing and subtracting so that you have depth perception of 3D. In other words, your brain and the way your eyes perceive a scene - at slightly different angles - gives you depth.

In today's top smart eyeglass receivers, such as the Samsung, you are provided with two pairs of shuttered eyeglasses. Each eyepiece shutter is supposed to totally shutdown for a specific period of time - at 240 Hz each eye actually receives four images for each eye and the shutter is supposed to close for two of the image periods that the shutter is open for the other eye. And, when the first eye is finished, the second shutter opens and presents you with its image while the first is shut down.

Some people claim this encourages crosstalk as you are supposed to be able to the first image even while the second is displaying. Frankly, we've never seen that and then some claim they see flicker on their peripheral vision. Again it's something we've never experienced.

However with the LG Infinia you may never have to think about active shutter technology again. The Infinia uses an active technology but rather than placing it in the glasses which also must synchronize with the Samsung, using Bluetooth technology, the LG uses the screen in place of the eyeglasses.

Using thin film technology, the LG fakes your eyes into thinking they are actually seeing 3D images by using two thin film pages set between the glass at the front of the picture tube in the Infinia and the outer glass. To give the feeling and impression of 3D, thin film images - one for each eye that is changed at the same resolution rate as active glasses - 240 Hz - is slipped onto the screen. It is keyed to the colors on one side of the passive eyeglasses so that you only see one image. The next image is changed the same way, and is keyed to the other color so, again, you only see one image. This eliminates crosstalk, ghosting and other problems associated with both active and passive eyeglasses. It is a most interesting use of technology, one that should be used by others and will likely be because you don't have to invest in expensive active glasses and batteries that also need a sync signal. All you need is the passive glasses, which have been perfected over the last couple of years and you're ready to go.

Feature for feature, the Samsung and LG are on a par. Both are network-centric, in that they are capable of recognizing and using WiFi 802.11 b/g/n hotspots, as well as hardwired networking. Each also has HDMI ports so they can not only hook up HDMI-capable devices such as blu-ray players and high-definition audio players, but they can also function as the center of a a home theater system as they can sync up to Dolby surround sound.

About the biggest difference you will find in the LG versus the Samsung is that while the Samsung uses a keyboard-style device for system control, the LG uses a simple Smart tuner. Actually an infrared controller, the Smart system is easy to use with the LG. For example, when it first comes on, the LG has a row of icons at the bottom that allow you to access and control various features. Plus, the screen presents you with Wizards with which you can change settings easily by simply pressing the home key to access the feature you want and then then Enter key to make the change. You press Home again and you're done. Like the Samsung, there is a wide range of apps available for the LG and it is easy to find them and change the task bar at the bottom of the screen.

The LG screen also adjusts the brightness to the brightness of the room, another nice feature. On the whole, each system is equally capable the only difference, really, is in how you make the changes.

More info: LG-Versus-Samsung-TV

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