LG: Consumers Prefer Passive 3D Over Active



LG Electronics released findings from a recent consumer study that showed 80 percent of consumers prefer the 3DTV experience wearing passive glasses over more established, and more expensive, active-shutter 3DTV glasses.

LG launched an ad campaign with an in-your-face tagline based on the study — “Hey/Sony & Samsung/better stick to 2D” — the day after the report was released.

The ads broke last Thursday in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and on its Times Square billboard, but no details were released about the size of the budget in the U.S. or other media buys. The tactic is called “noise marketing” in Korea, and Korea JoongAng Daily added in a report last Thursday that since the beginning of the year, LG and Samsung have been engaged in a war of words about 3D in their home country.

The study was conducted for LG by market research firm Morpace last May, measuring an LG Cinema 3D HD LCD TV head-to-head against active-shutterglasses based LCD TVs from Sony and Samsung.

Spokesmen for Sony did not return requests for comment, but Samsung visual display marketing senior VP John Revie, told TWICE, “We still believe active [shutter technology] is the best solution for consumers, as it’s the only 3D in-home solution to provide FullHD, and with our particular execution, you have wider viewing angles than passive, at 178 degrees both horizontally and vertically.”

In addition, Samsung cited NPD Group sell-through numbers showing Samsung with more than 60 percent market share year to date for total 3DTV sales over the last 12 weeks and with more than 50 percent market share year to date.

“Consumers all over the country are voting with their dollars, and they’re voting for active and they’re voting for Samsung,” said Revie, adding that according to NPD sellthrough numbers from last month, more than 90 percent of industry 3DTV sales were active-shutter models.

The brands and models were selected by LG for the study. No plasma sets or other passive-glasses TV brands were measured.

LG said the study was designed to measure “consumer preferences between 3D technology which uses active-flicker [LG’s term for active-shutter] glasses that sync with an emitter on the TV and passive technology that uses polarized glasses similar to those used in movie theaters.”

LG continues to market 3D plasma TVs using activeshutter glasses, but decided after International CES to drop plans to introduce a range of active-shutter-based 3D LCD TVs to focus exclusively on its new Film Patterned Retarded passive-glasses technology.

LG said the survey “measured real-time feedback from consumers and shows that LG’s Cinema 3D passive technology is preferred by consumers across all measured categories, including overall 3D experience, 3D picture quality, 3D effect and 3D glasses.”

More than three-quarters of the respondents preferred LG Cinema 3D for the immersive 3D experience (78 percent), 3D effect (77 percent), overall picture quality (77 percent) and 3D glasses (78 percent), the Morpace study said.

In the live controlled test, respondents saw a total of four 3DTVs that displayed the same content and were asked to rate their experience with each.

The TVs, questionnaire and glasses were all meticulously de-branded to ensure that brand perceptions had no impact on consumer preference.

Full survey results and methodology are available at



The study was conducted in May and included an LG TV model 47LW5600 and model AG-F200 passive glasses, Samsung TV model UN46D6420 with model SSG- 3100GB glasses, and Sony TV model KDL-46EX723 with model TDGBR100/B glasses.

LG Electronics manufactures most of the passive-glasses- based 3D LCD panels used by both itself and competitive brands. It opted to omit other passive 3DTV brands because the study was designed to gauge passive vs. active-shutter based technologies, said Jay Vandenbree, LG Electronics USA home entertainment sales and marketing senior VP.

“Consumers now are more educated than they’ve ever been. They have a lot more to say about the kinds of purchases they make than ever before, and we know that on a level playing field our product sells very well, and if our retailers put our product next to the competitors’ products, no doubt they will make the same kinds of choices,” Vandenbree told TWICE.

Asked if he advocates retailers placing passive and active-shutter TVs side by side on retail floors vs. separating them by technology class, he said: “I don’t think it’s a technology conversation at all. I think it’s a 3D conversation, and it’s about consumer preference.”

LG said in its system, individual left- and right-eye images are combined in viewers’ brains to produce 3D pictures appearing to have FullHD 1080p resolution, although critics claim the technology halves the resolution to each eye. In contrast, some proponents of active-shutter TV technology said their systems present full 1080p images.


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