Samsung introduces yet another 3D TV format

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Oh boy. After already battling with active shutter glasses, 3D TVs that need external sensors, and this idea of 3D that doesn't require glasses, Samsung is introducing an entirely new concept.

The South Korea-based consumer electronics group, which is currently the market leader in 3D TV sales, has apparently heard all the whining everyone has done over the cost of those active shutter 3D glasses.

The vast majority of 3D TVs on the market right now require users to buy special battery-powered glasses, which are expensive but produce really optimal visual effects. Nevertheless, consumers have balked at the $150 - $200 price tag for each pair. If you have a family of five, that can add up quickly.

Samsung has partnered with RealD to make in-home 3D an easier experience. RealD is the company that provides 3D technology to almost all major movie production companies and theaters to make the experience as seamless as possible for dozens of people at a time.

Apparently, Samsung's new slate of 3D TVs will have all the fancy "active shutter" technology built into the TV itself. That means the glasses don't need really expensive tech, and would drive down their cost dramatically.

Other companies are looking into 3D TVs with cheap 3D glasses, but they're sacrificing the picture quality. At least on paper, it sounds like Samsung's option wouldn't have to make such a sacrifice. But the up-front cost of the TV might be higher.

The news comes out of CES, where 3D is expected to, yet again, be a big topic. But this year it's all about changing and improving the mangled system that was set up in 2010. 3D TV sales were sluggish and fell behind almost every major analyst prediction. This year we're seeing cheaper 3D options, new formats, and the emergence of "glasses-free 3D" technology. How all this will affect the consumer marketplace remains to be seen.