LG introduced the Nano Full LED Cinema 3-D HDTV, which is the first passive 3-D TV that’s THX-certified. Until now, only active 3-D TVs (which require battery-operated glasses) were able to earn the THX distinction, so this is quite an accomplishment for passive-3-D technology (which uses glasses that don’t need batteries), according to David Birch-Jones, who is an electronics expert and contributor to Consumers Digest. Birch-Jones viewed the product at Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo, which was held Sept. 7–10 in Indianapolis. THX certification is a benchmark of picture quality for 2-D and 3-D HDTVs, and it’s well-regarded by technophiles, but is THX certification important for the average consumer who is considering the purchase of a 3-D-enabled TV?
For a TV to receive THX certification, THX tests it for multiple factors, including color accuracy, gray scale and picture uniformity. The standards are more rigorous for 3-D-enabled TVs, because they cover 400 elements in addition to a 2-D 200-point-inspection. Birch-Jones says this level of testing is particularly important in 3-D mode, because it can determine whether the right and left sides of the TV screen are producing images properly and can detect image glitches quickly.
“With 3-D, we are basically in the terrible-twos stage, so there is a learning curve,” Birch-Jones says. “What THX does is look for boo-boos.”
Aside from picture quality, THX certification also verifies that a TV will render colors with movie-studio accuracy and remove unnecessary color vividness. “In THX mode, people are rendered correctly, and if the colors are supposed to be bright, then they are bright, but if they are not, then they are not,” he says.
Though Birch-Jones believes that many consumers are familiar with the THX-brand, he mentions that, for now, a TV with THX’s stamp of approval might be a differentiator that appeals only to those who are more tech-savvy.
“Most [consumers] are not going to have a clue as to if a THX-certified set would be the one to go with,” he says.
At this point, a THX-certified passive 3-D TV is a nice feature for the technophile who wants to watch Avatar the same way that James Cameron viewed it in post-production, but this isn’t must-have technology for the average consumer.
– K. Fanuko