Samsung disses LG’s cheaper 3D option

LG announced this week that it has begun shipping new 3D TVs, using the same kind of technology used in movie theaters, as a way to appeal to more budget-conscious consumers. But Samsung says that’s a step in the wrong direction.

Samsung pioneered the market of 3D TVs for the home market last year with a format known as stereoscopic 3D. In addition to expensive TVs with special 3D transmitters built-in, viewers must wear special “active shutter” 3D glasses that themselves have special technology incorporated into them. These glasses cost upwards of $200 per pair.

Customers were scared away because 3D TV seemed like a really expensive option, so other companies have stepped forward with other, more consumer-friendly options. Enter LG. Its new line of 3D TVs use “passive” 3D glasses, which are considerably cheaper. They’re the same kind of glasses that viewers use at movie theaters – the recyclable kind that are included in the price of a $15 admission ticket. LG hopes consumers won’t see a difference between its option and that of Samsung, so it will definitively win the price war and shutter Samsung out of the competition.

Samsung isn’t taking this threat lying down, though. The company’s TV head Yoon Boo-keun has clarified why LG is wrong.

“LG Electronics is saying that its [cheap 3D TV technology] is the next technology in the 3D world, but that isn’t right since it was developed in the 1930s,” said Boo-keun. “The film-based technology would give some advantages in cost, but that’s all.”

Stereoscopic 3D is expensive for a reason. It’s designed specifically for up-close, in-home use and provides an extremely crisp and eye-popping 3D effect that leaps over anything you’ve ever seen in a movie theater.

LG’s TVs “won’t realize full HD images as it has technological limitations, limiting its use to small-sized digital devices,” added Boo-keun.

Samsung is thinking of redefining its 3D strategy after sales of its TV sets were far below expectations in 2010. The company plans to start strengthening relationships with content partners to make its 3D products more desirable in the months ahead.