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Vizio's passive 3D TV falls short in 2D

The well-equipped Vizio XVT3D650SV is the first mainstream passive 3D TV and provides an intriguing alternative to active 3D, but poor 2D picture quality hurts its appeal.

Vizio's XVT3D650SV is the first passive 3D TV to hit the mainstream market. Sarah Tew/CNET

The 65-inch Vizio XVT3D650SV ($3,699 list) is the first TV in the U.S. to ship with "passive" 3D capability. Unlike the other mainstream 3D TVs of 2010, which use "active" glasses that cost around $100 each, this big Vizio comes with four pair of cheap polarized glasses, the same kind used by most 3D theaters. We've already taken an in-depth look at how the XVT3D650SV's 3D compares with an active 3D model, so we'll keep it brief here: while the Vizio has its advantages, we still liked the picture quality of active better.

Our main problem with this big Vizio, however, lies in its reproduction of 2D content, especially its propensity for smearing in fast motion--something we didn't expect from a 120Hz TV. Add to that a few other issues that separate it from Vizio's excellent, albeit 2D-only, XVT553SV, as well as a hefty price tag, and you have a package that loses some of its luster. Unless you must have the first, and biggest, passive 3D TV on the block, it's worth waiting for other 2011 examples, like LG's passive 65-inch 65LW6500.

Read the full review of the Vizio XVT3D650SV.