LG puts passive 3D in 120Hz LED LCD TVs

The LG LW5600 series is the company's least-expensive to feature passive 3D compatibility.

David Katzmaier
David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- TVs and streaming
David runs CNET's home entertainment division, where he leads a team that covers TVs, streaming services, streaming devices and home audio. If he doesn't know something about the gear you use to keep yourself entertained at home, it's not worth knowing.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
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LG announced two series of LCD TVs with passive 3D technology, the LW6500 (pictured) and the LW5600. LG

LAS VEGAS--Today LG announced a pair of TV series featuring passive 3D capability, including the 240Hz LW6500 series and the 120Hz LW5600 models described here.

The less-expensive 5600 sets come in two screen sizes, 47- and 55-inches, making them larger than many of the passive 3D models announced by Vizio yesterday, including the XVT3D5 series, which has models as small as 32 inches.

Passive 3D, which is used in most U.S. theaters, is said by proponents to reduce crosstalk (an artifact that appears as a double image) and be more comfortable than active over long viewing sessions. For their part, expect some purveyors of active TVs--nearly all current 3DTVs use active shutter glasses (more info)--to accuse passive models of not achieving "full 1080p to both eyes." That's technically true; passive 3D in these TVs can only resolve 540 lines at one time to each eye.

Another big advantage of passive 3D is cheaper glasses. LG's sets will ship with four pairs of unpowered, circular polarized passive glasses, and while pricing for additional sets of specs was not announced, we expect them to cost less than $10 each (compared with $100 or more per pair of active glasses). The TVs will also be compatible with third-party passive glasses.

While LG's high-end, Nano-backlit, active 3D models, namely the LW7700 and LW9500 series, will likely achieve THX certification for 3D, the company's passive sets will not.

Nor will they get the full-array local-dimming backlight found on both the Nano LGs and many of the passive 3D Vizios. Both series of LG passive 3D LCDs will use edge-lit LED backlights with local dimming, similar to the LE5500 series we reviewed last year. Hopefully the company has improved the dimming performance.

Both series of LG passive 3D TVs will have the company's full Smart TV interactive suite, including the funky Magic Wand remote and included USB Wi-Fi dongle. See our write-up of the LW7700 for more details on LG's Smart TV feature.

Pricing and availability were not announced.

LG Infinia LW5600 series features:

  • Edge-lit local dimming LED backlight
  • Passive 3D compatible
  • 4 pairs of 3D glasses included
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Magic Wand remote
  • Smart TV with NetCast and web browser
  • Wi-Fi USB dongle included

LG Infinia LW5600 series models:

  • LG 47LW5600: 47-inch
  • LG 55LW5600: 55-inch