Panasonic Viera TC-P65VT50 3D Smart Plasma HDTV Review$3,699.00
3D is not so new anymore. Sure, it's a lot newer than color talkies or wireless remotes, but it's becoming more and more common to the average family's TV purchase, and is certainly sweeping through the world of cinema--be that good or bad.
There are a number of things we look for when we're testing a TV's 3D capabilities. First and most importantly, how is the native 3D? Native, full, or "real" 3D is achieved when a TV receives the proper signal from a connected Blu-ray device via HDMI. This is the most immersive, and unfortunately, most problematic area of 3D performance, because it stresses the back, middle, and foreground 3D effects to their limits, often resulting in distracting crosstalk and greatly diminished color and contrast performance. Second, if the TV has an after the fact 2D-to-3D conversion setting (and most of them do), we subjectively test whether it's convincing or just a tacked on gimmick. Finally, are glasses included? Are they way too expensive for any sane person? Are they comfortable?
Panasonic uses "active shutter" 3D glasses, meaning they must sync via bluetooth to the TV, and must be charged using a USB cable. They retail from $60 to $100, and you don't get any free pairs with the VT50. We think this is a huge oversight on Panasonic's part, especially considering their 3D integration with the P65VT50 is actually rather improved from 2011's showing.
Overall, Panasonic's glasses have gotten more comfortable, but they're still very pricy. Their 3D technology now maintains better color integrity, but at a huge cost to contrast. And the 2D-to-3D conversion is a decent distraction, but simply isn't convincing enough to stay fresh in the long run.