Yesterday LG announced the PX950 series of plasma TVs will be the first 3D TV on the market with THX's new 3D display certification.
The series will be available this month in LG's traditional two plasma sizes--50 and 60 inches--for $1,999 and $2,999, respectively. That's a premium cost of at least $200-to-$300 more than the company's non-3D equivalent plasma TVs, the well-reviewed PK950 series.
Like the PK950 and many of LG's higher-end plasma and LCD TVs, the PX950 is also has 2D THX certification, meaning it passed a series of what THX describes as rigorous tests for image quality and signal processing.
According to THX, the certification for 3D is the first of its kind and incorporates hundreds of new tests and thousands of data points. "A THX 3D Certified TV must be capable of delivering consistent stereoscopic images with accurate color and clean processing," said Rick Dean, a senior vice president at THX, in a news release.
In person, the PX950 demo LG showed us consisted of selections from the "Under the Sea" IMAX Blu-ray, which will be included in LG's current bundle along with two pairs of glasses. The 3D effect looked good and had minimal crosstalk--a prominent artifact common to all 3D TVs we've tested that appears as ghostly doubled images around onscreen objects. Of course, we're anxious to test it side-by-side in our lab to get a better idea of how it compares with other 3D TVs.
We spoke to THX's Image Technology Director, Kevin Wines, who said testing for crosstalk is a major component of THX's 3D certification. He also cited off-angle 3D performance, the capability to maintain sync between the glasses and the TV, and color and brightness (light output) criteria as other components. As with THX's 2D spec, the company does not make the exact criteria it requires 3D TVs to meet publicly available.
The measurements for THX's tests are taken through each lens of the active shutter glasses required for 3D viewing. Wines says the glasses' performance has a major impact on the prevalence of crosstalk. He also expressed skepticism that a standard for 3D eyewear would be agreed-upon soon--allowing LG glasses to work with Samsung 3D TVs, for example.
Unlike Panasonic's competing flagship 3D plasma series, the TC-PVT25, LG's PX950 will not include any glasses. The required LG spectacles, model LG-AS100, are available as part of the bundle or individually for $179 per pair (although currently Amazon has them for less than $90).
LG's released its 3D-compatible LED-based LCD, the LX9500 series, in June, which was too early to achieve the THX 3D certification. According to THX, its process calls for different criteria for LCD- and plasma-based TVs, as well as projectors.
Unlike the LX9500 LCD, the PX950 plasma also includes a 2D-to-3D conversion system, a feature also found on most competitors' 3D models. In our testing of those models, we've found the converted 3D image unimpressive in general. When we asked Wines whether the conversion system was also tested as part of THX's 3D process, he quickly answered with a definite "no."
Aside from 3D, the specifications of the PX950 series are basically the same as those of the PK950 plasma. According to LG, we'll receive a PX950 review sample in the next couple of weeks.
LG PX950 series features:
- 3D compatible (glasses not included)
- THX certification (both 2D and 3D)
- TruBlack filter
- Netcast Interactive feature suite with Netflix, Vudu, Skype, Napster, YouTube, DivX, AccuWeather, and Yahoo Widgets
- DLNA compatible for music, photos, and video
- Optional "Wireless Media Hub" interface
- Optional Wi-Fi connection
- Single-layer design
LG PX950 series models:
- LG 60PX750: 60-inch, $2,999, available September
- LG 50PX750: 50-inch, $1,999, available September