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LG Study: 80% Of Consumers Pick Passive 3D


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

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

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

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.