August 7th, 2011

Life Is Good

Coyoty buys an LG 3D TV

Saturday I bought a 47-inch LG Cinema 3D TV at Best Buy because LG was bundling it with a 3D Blu-Ray player for $1099.  I'd seen the TV at Best Buy before, and this seemed like a very good deal.

Besides the price, an advantage of this TV over other brands is it doesn't require expensive powered glasses to view.  It uses the same method and glasses as the movie theatres, and although the four pairs of glasses that come with the bundle are better designed to use with it, you can reuse glasses from the theatres or buy additional glasses for as little as five dollars.

So far, I'm very impressed with it.  The picture is much better than my old Panasonic CRT HDTV, which is now a stand for the TiVo.  Though the screen size is a lot bigger than the 30-inch CRT's, the picture is a lot sharper and the colors and blacks are much deeper.  I'd been holding off on buying a flat screen because until the LEDs, no flat screen could match the quality of the CRT screen.

The LG also simulates 3D from 2D video, but I don't see much difference, except to cut the resolution in half.  (3D imaging works by showing each eye half the resolution at differently angled viewpoints.)  The quality of the regular picture really makes the simulation unnecessary, because it already looks three-dimensional in many cases without the glasses.

As good as the unmodified picture is, it still doesn't give a true 3D effect, which the 3D signals do on cable and 3D Blu-Ray.  3D viewing takes a little training, because at first the eyes have trouble integrating the two images, but I soon got the hang of it.  It's similar to trying to use red-blue 3D glasses for the first time.  I spent the evening yesterday trying out Comcast's 3D channels, and the 3D videos on YouTube through TiVo.  I don't think many YouTube people have mastered the 3D processing yet.  I haven't set up the Blu-Ray player yet because I don't have any 3D discs yet.  I tried finding Megamind 3D, but apparently it's only available bundled with Samsung's 3D package.  Most other 3D videos are available on cable, so I'm not buying any until I see what cable has.

There are only two things that really disappoint me.  One is there's no Picture-in-Picture.  I can watch only one source at a time, and I can't watch TV on one source while going through TiVo's program guide on another.  Maybe I can get a little TV to simulate the PIP.  The other problem is that HDMI is required for the 3D signal, and my aging cable box only uses component video for HD, so I have to replace it to see any of the On Demand 3D programming.

I suppose now I'm going to have to clean up the apartment because people are going to find excuses to visit me.