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Best substitite for Panasonic 3D glasses
on August 27, 2011
REVIEW OF PANASONIC 3D COMPATIBLE GLASSES
I've been doing a thorough comparison of all Panasonic compatible glasses since the Panasonic ones are ridiculously expensive at $130+ per pair. Panasonic knows they have competition and their prices are starting to drop. It looks like the 2011 3rd generation glasses will come in at around a competitive $70. These were due to be released August 1, 2011, so they are already late. Panasonic also announced a recent deal with Xpand partnered with Sony and Samsung to release universal glasses that will continue to make the 3D glasses prices drop.
Here are the testing criteria:
COMFORT - This is probably the most important factor to consider since you don't want temple or nose pain after wearing glasses for a 2 hour movie. I have a large head so what I feel as tight or uncomfortable, the kids and wife don't mind as much.
COLOR ACCURACY - Look through any pair of 3D glasses at a bright natural light source like a window. There's no way to not have some darkness introduced. If you think about it, your eyes are only seeing 1/2 the light they normally would when the lenses are switching back and forth.
REFLECTION - Face away from a bright natural light source while wearing the glasses and look at the light source reflected from the inside of the glasses. None of the glasses I tested were dramatically different from each other or had any sort of noticeable anti-relective coating. This is probably not an issue since most movies are watched in dark rooms, but when watching TV during the day, it can really be irritating.
Here's the summary of my findings to hopefully save you some homework and shipping back and forth. The rating is based on comfort and quality, NOT price.
Panasonic TY-EW3D2MU 3D Active Shutter Eyewear for Panasonic 3D HDTVs - Medium
(Excellent) Panasonic 2nd Gen ($130 and dropping) - I can't deny that these are the most comfortable and light-weight glasses, but they come at the most expensive price point. Introduction of the 3rd generation at $70 should be interesting if they are similar quality.
Xpand Universal X103 3D Glasses Compatible with Active 3D TV's, Black
(Very good) Xpand ($75) - These are fairly comfortable even with my big head. The color and glass quality is identical to the Panasonic and the XPAND have a bigger glass area. They come with a cloth bag versus the hard cases from all the other glasses I tested. The version I had are batteries-only which is a bit of a drawback, but not a deal killer. And speaking of deals--Xpand just made a deal with Panasonic, Sony, and Samsung to produce universal glasses. This alone should tell you that Xpand is the generic to go with.
SainSonic 3D Rechargeable Infrared Active Shutter Glasses For Panasonic 3D HDTVs
(Good) SainSonic ($60 and dropping) - Second only to Panasonic in comfort. Unfortunately, these glasses add a yellow hue to everything. I was going to keep these until I did the color test. Very obvious color distortion. On the reflection test, they were slight better with less reflection, but this also had the yellow hue, so it may just be the darker yellow coating making a darker reflection.
(Good) Blick ($99) - Largest glasses area, but I really don't see the advantage to this if you can see the whole screen with another brand. Their website (glassesunlimited.com) screams of TV-commercial which should be a warning sign. I found their glasses moderately comfortable even with the hard plastic. The color and glass quality on par with Panasonic, but not worth keeping at the $99 price. They are also the only brand to use a micro-USB connection for recharging (which is only slightly inconvenient in the sense that it's different from any other glasses you may have). I'm taking them up on their boisterous 90-day refund policy. We'll see how much of a hassle and shipping cost loss it will be. So far I've only had an automated answering machine which says they aren't available. I may be stuck with these.
Hope this helps you a little with your choice of compatible Panasonic 3D glasses!