LG Display FPR Polarized 3D

LG Display, a subsidiary of LG that manufactures LCD panels for its parent company as well as Toshiba and Vizio, held its own press conference today to introduce its Film-Pattern Retarder (FPR) technology, which allows the use of passive-polarized glasses with 3D TVs. Among the benefits of this approach are much less-expensive glasses that are lighter in weight and require no electronics, higher brightness and refresh rate, and no crosstalk. Of course, the main disadvantage is that each eye sees only half the available vertical resolution—540 lines instead of 1080, though the company reps argued that the brain fuses each eye's image into a "full HD" image.

The demo included several side-by-side comparisons with active-shutter glasses. For example, as seen on the right in the photo above, you can lie on your side and still watch 3D with FPR glasses, which use circular polarization, whereas shutter glasses completely darken at 90 degrees as seen on the left.

Another demo tried to illustrate how shutter glasses produce flicker while FPR glasses are flicker-free; from what I saw, this was extremely subtle. More pronounced was the comparison of crosstalk in several still images, which was obvious with shutter glasses and absent with FPR. Finally, a comparison of brightness revealed that passive 3D is indeed brighter than shutter glasses, though surprisingly, Tom Norton thought the shutter glasses display was actually brighter. We both agreed that the passive display looked more washed out and less punchy, and I thought the passive image was a bit softer in all cases, which would be worse on a larger screen.