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Get the real picture on all the 3D-TV hype

March 1, 2010 12:37:48 AM PST
With the blockbuster 3-D movie "Avatar" and manufacturers planning to sell 3-D TVs, you might be wondering if you have to buy a new TV, but Eyewitness News teamed up with Consumer Reports to give you the real picture on all the 3-D hype.The success of the computer-generated breakthrough three-dimensional images in "Avatar" had plenty of people talking, and 3-D was the big buzz at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Panasonic, one of several manufacturers designing 3-D TVs, is even taking its prototypes on tour across the country.

While new 3-D TVs are not for sale just yet, Consumer Reports says the prototypes look promising.

"Many of the 3-D demos that we've seen represent a clear step forward from the previous generations that we've tested," said Jim Wilcox, Consumer Reports senior editor for electronics . "They seem to deliver very good three-dimensional depth and resolution, especially with animated content."

But at Consumer Reports labs, the verdict is still out until testers can get the new 3-D TVS in-house.

"We'll be evaluating the quality of the 3-D, and then we'll also be seeing how well these TVs perform as conventional TVs. Three-D is really a new feature on the TVs. We won't be watching everything in 3-D," Willcox said.

As for the cost, it's expected there will be a 20 to 25 percent premium for these 3-D TVs.

"Remember, you're also going to have to pay for glasses. Some manufacturers may bundle a pair or two with the TV, but additional glasses are probably going to cost anywhere from $60 to $200," Willcox said.

Consumer Reports' take? You've got plenty of time before you need to think about buying a 3-D TV.