With such as aggressive stance against the active shutter 3D system, it came as no surprise when LG’s much-touted flagship flat screen TV was fitted with the brand’s Cinema 3D tech.
The IFA announcement sees LG producing only plasma-flavoured active shutter 3DTVs, principally because the cost of tweaking them to work with Cinema 3D is too high.
We’ve spotted these LW980T Series Nano Full LED screens - in prototype, "coming soon" form - before, but in those days their future was cast as active shutter 3D TVs. Now firmly at the head of LG’s new focus on the passive tech that forms the basis of Cinema 3D, this two-strong Series is fitted with Full LED Nano panels, which means a depth of just 27.5mm. The bezel on both is minute, too, at just 16.5mm.
Until now Cinema 3D tech has been sold on convenience and the tech’s cheap glasses (the LW980T ships with a ridiculous seven pairs in the box), but this is the first time it’s been marketed as a premium technology.
First impressions of the LW980T Series, which was on show in its 47-inch and 55-inch, were a mixed bag. The 55-inch displays visible vertical lines, especially on logos, that only reduce if you stand a fair way back. Colours are vivid, contrast and black detailing is excellent; there are 240 and 288 separate LED clusters in the 47-inch and 55-inch, respectively, meaning micro pixel control leading to more accurate local dimming than has so far been seen in the market.
Although we witnessed some very clean 3D shots on this 400Hz monster, with excellent and well-defined depth, there were exceptions. A sequence where a man empties a bag of basketballs in the viewer’s general direction ends up with too many different elements, with the screen not helping us distinguish between them. Other 3D shots seemed soft, with some blur and double imaging.
Then comes the "blink" moment that’s 3D in a nutshell; a pitcher aims straight between our eyes, and the LW980T performed well, though it’s the 47-inch that proved our favourite overall - maybe smaller is better for Cinema 3D screens.
The viewing angle on both screens is good, thanks in part to their use of IPS (in-place switching) panels, while both have identical design; a rectangular stand with a glass column supporting the TV (and almost magnifying the cables behind - weird).
Boasting built-in Wi-Fi, the LW980T Series screens also manage 2D to 3D conversion, host LG’s Smart TV hub, feature four HDMI inputs and two USB ports - but it was one off-piste feature that really got us excited.
It’s called "dual play", and it’s a stunningly good idea for split-screen games; it‘s possible to sit next to another gamer and both play the same (normally) split-screen game, on the same LW980T telly, but using 3D glasses to see only their own side of the screen. This split-screen-to-full screen conversion is done not by reinventing some new panel tech, but instead by having two pairs of glasses, and swapping their lenses around so one pair has two left eye lenses, and the other has two right-eye lenses. Easy - and brilliant. Dual screen glasses will be available in the near future, though it’s probably easier just to make your own - both these TVs come with seven pairs of 3D glasses.
Without being able to see exactly where your opponent is hiding, you’ll never cheat at Call of Duty again. Both LW980T Nano Full LED 3D TVs are available in the UK later this month for £1799 and £2499 respectively.