In late 2010, Vizio quietly released the 65-inch XVT3D650SV ($3,700), the first mainstream TV equipped with so-called "passive" 3D technology for the U.S. market. Earlier this week our review sample arrived, so in advance of the full review I'd like to present some initial impressions.
This is the first time we've had a chance to really sit down and watch a passive 3D TV, so of course our first order of business was to set it up in the lab next the other 65-inch 3D TV we had on hand: the 2010 Editors' Choice-winning Panasonic TC-P65VT25 ($4,300). Like nearly all other TV makers, Panasonic has embraced "active" technology for its 3D TVs, and for 2011, it didn't announce any passive 3D TVs.
For this initial look, I chose not to include comparisons with other TVs, for the simple reason that the Panasonic is the best comparison model to the Vizio I have available. It's the only 65-incher in our lab at the moment, its 3D performance is excellent, and its overall picture quality was the best of 2010. The Vizio, as the only shipping passive TV, is by default the "best" of its kind available.
I'm also not going to get into the technical differences between active and passive 3D, except to remind new readers that active requires expensive liquid crystal shutter glasses (at least $100 per pair in Panasonic's case; the VT25 ships with one pair free) that are relatively heavy and bulky; passive calls for cheap circular polarized glasses (Vizio's TV ships with four pairs) that feel like light sunglasses. Most U.S. theaters use passive technology, and in fact many theater 3D glasses will work with the Vizio.
So, seriously, which one is better?… Read more