After seeing it at CES, there was little doubt. The 50-inch Panasonic TC-P50VT20 wouldn't just be among the first 3DTVs on the market, it would be among the best. The first two reviews are in, and they are glowing.
Just a little background - the TC-P50VT20 runs $US2500 and comes with one pair of active shutter glasses. (Additional pairs cost $US150.) You can get it bundled with a 3D Blu-ray player for an extra $US250.
In 2D mode, it's a solid TV (which should be expected since Panasonic's plasmas are traditionally quite excellent... if controversial). In 3D mode? Because of a lack of current 3D content, keep in mind that the impressions here are based upon a demo disc only. But here's what was said:
... we found that the P50VT20 produced smooth, clean motion that looked as good in 3D as it did in 2D. Because of the lack of 3D source material at the moment, we were not able to run our full suite of motion tests, but we did not see any significant difference between 2D and 3D, so it looks like the new 3D feature does not adversely affect the smooth motion that this display produces. That's not a surprise, as the 3D Blu-ray standard allows the display to show a full 60 frames a second to each eye, so the eyes get to see 60 frames a second if you are watching 2D or 3D video.
As much as I tried to see the issues witnessed with the Sony FHD3D TV (the only production 3D models publicly demoed in 3D link) I did not see them. They simply are not present. These include crosstalk seen as ghost images, motion artifacts best described as a motion breakup, sort of like a strobe effect and flickering....The mode memory choices such as "Custom" have offsets built-in to compensate for the brightness reduction of the 3D glasses and any other image picture parameter shifts. They proved quite effective, although until Panasonic or someone else makes 3D test signals available on Blu-ray, there is no way to calibrate the user controls in the 3D mode.
Overall, I find the 3D image outstanding with considerably more brightness and pop than the motion picture theatre 3D movie experience.
Those are pretty positive words, though we're guessing professional TV reviewers are the most excited cohort for 3D. But for those of you in the market for a new TV - are you considering the 3D PLUNGE??
(And if you still can't answer that question, I recommend my piece on what it feels like to watch 3DTV.)