Englewood Cliffs, N.J. - 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.
The study was conducted for LG by market research firm Morpace last May, measuring an LG Cinema 3D HD LCD TV against active-shutter-glasses 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 that, "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 sell-through numbers showing Samsung with over 60 percent market share year-to-date for total 3DTV sales over the last 12 weeks and with over 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 Group sell-through numbers from last month over 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 active-shutter 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 Pattern 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."
"We developed LG Cinema 3D to solve the problems consumers were experiencing with active 3D and to provide the best 3D experience in the home," stated Wayne Park, LG Electronics USA CEO. "With its outstanding picture quality, affordability, and easy-to-use and share glasses, it's no surprise that LG Cinema 3D technology is preferred by four out of five of consumers over Sony and Samsung's active 3D."
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 a 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."
In the announcement, LG referenced Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) market research calling for total annual sales of 10.5 million 3D-capable TV units, accounting for 40 percent of overall TV sales volume, by 2014. It also cited IHS iSuppli research estimates calling for more than half of global 3D shipments to be of the passive-glasses 3D variety by 2015.
"Consumers had very strong reactions to the two types of 3D HDTV technology available on the market," stated Duncan Lawrence, Morspace president. "Our research shows the overwhelming preference for passive technology and LG Cinema 3D in every category measured, and our data suggests that LG's technology has the potential to become the leading 3D format."
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.
"I'm not concerned at all about the technology argument," Vandenbree said. "Our panels are 1080p panels, and that is a good viewing experience. That does not concern me at all."
The benefit of passive-glasses technology, LG said, is that it gives viewers a great 3D effect without the flicker of active-shutter glasses while minimizing cross-talk.
Kirk Baetens, Morpace retail division VP, told TWICE that in questioning respondents, those with children preferred passive-glasses systems primarily due to the low cost of the glasses, which children are inclined to break.
In rebuttal, Samsung's Revie pointed out that Samsung is currently bundling two pairs of active-shutter glasses with its TVs at no additional cost, and recently marked down the price on a pair of its 3D glasses to $49.
"So, you can take that part of the equation and put it aside," Revie said, "because when you buy the TV, you get two pairs for free."
Samsung, he said, also recently conducted a blind test focus group last May with "expert [ISF-certified] calibrators" and found that active shutter was preferred for 3D resolution and 3D depth 5-to-1.