The cost of 3DTV

March 10, 2010 4:55:40 PM PST
If you only recently made the leap into HDTV, guess what. Your new set may be obsolete soon. Something bigger and better is coming your way -- 3D television. The sets are in the stores right now, but before you head down to buy one, keep in mind the systems are not cheap and they require a lot of extras that will add to the cost of 3D.

One set was saw on display at Best Buy costs about $3,000. Even in 2D mode, the set impresses Davi Son.

"I have an LED, but this is 2 or 3 times better," he said. "See what I mean? Very clear. We can see the detail."

The display model shipped without the 3D glasses you'll need to watch 3D programs, but Consumer Reports got a good look at some of the sets recently.

"Many of the 3D demos that we've seen represent a clear step forward from the previous generations that we've tested," said Jim Willcox with Consumer Reports. "They seem to deliver very good three dimensional depth and resolution, especially with animated content."

3D sets can be switched from normal mode to 3D so you will not have to wear the funny glasses all the time. But when in 3D mode, viewers must have the glasses or the set looks blurry.

Most sets will only have one or two glasses included at the time of sale. Those with bigger families will have to pay extra for each pair of glasses, as much as $150 per pair. A Samsung we saw can up convert regular programming to 3D, but it's not as clear as content shot in 3D.

To get the best 3D picture from a 3D movie, you'll have to buy a 3D Blu Ray player and also new HDMI cables. All that can add up to another $500 and that's too much for some.

"Too much," said consume Linette Courtney. "The technology will get better and more advanced in a couple of years and it will be another couple thousand dollars. It is just not worth it."

Right now, there is not a lot of 3D programming, but ESPN, Discovery Channel and Direct TV are planning to broadcast 3D content soon, and there are 3D Blu Ray movies coming soon.


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