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Vizio intros 65in 3-D TV with passive glasses

While virtually all 3-D TV set manufacturers have introduced home sets that depend on glasses that use expensive active-shutter technology, Vizio is launching a new 65in model that uses the same passive technology found in movie theaters.

In a surprise to the 3-D market, Vizio discretely introduced the XVT3D650SV model on its website with no announcement. The new passive set features a 65in edge-lit LCD, a 120Hz refresh rate and built-in WiFi for Vizio Internet applications.

Vizio calls the technology Theater 3D and specifically differentiates it from full-HD 3-D on the spec sheet. This indicates the model will perhaps not offer full-3-D resolution like that offered by sets with active-shutter glasses.

Gary Merson, editor of the website, said the Vizio model using passive glasses is the first such 3-D flat panel to simultaneously display both the right- and left-eye images.

“To make it 3-D, a special polarizing filter is mounted to the display. The filter alternates the polarization line by line with clockwise orientation for one eye (odd-numbered lines one, three, five, etc.) and counter-clockwise for the other (even-numbered lines two, four, six, etc.),” he wrote. “The passive glasses also use a clockwise polarization for one eye and counter-clockwise for the other, resulting in only the odd-numbered horizontal lines of the display seen by one eye and the even-numbered lines seen by the other.”

According to Merson, other set makers haven’t incorporated passive techniques for their 3-D TVs “because the special alternating polarization filter is expensive and raises the cost of the display considerably (when compared against ones that require active glasses),” he said. “Also, this technique (when used with flat-panel displays) cuts the resolution in half. All passive displays to date have a resolution of 1920 x 540 per eye. Close up you can see the 540 lines visible to each eye. Offering passive 3-D in a 65in HDTV may allow viewing from a distance great enough to appear to reduce the visible scan line structure.”

An advantage of the set, which could work in venues like sports bars, is that people could bring their own cheap glasses for group viewing.