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Hands on with the LG FPR TV – 3D with no flicker

Film Patterned Retarder glasses are cheaper, lighter and don't require batteries

From a first glance the new FPR glasses are certainly impressive. As they use passive technology, they don’t require any batteries or circuitry inside them, making them much smaller than shutter glasses. The FPR glasses are so small that they look more like a pair of sunglasses than 3D glasses.

LG FPR glasses weight

As they don’t need any circuitry inside, it means that LG has been able to make two versions of the glasses: one set is a standard version, the other clips over existing glasses. Trying out both we found them to be a lot more comfortable than the regular 3D glasses supplied with other TVs.

LG FPR glasses

LG claims that FPR has no flicker, and we have to agree. Trying out a standard LG active shutter TV side-by-side with the FPR model under bright fluorescent lighting we noticed the difference immediately. With the shutter glasses moving our hand in front of our eyes we saw significant flicker; with the FPR glasses the same movement was smooth and flicker free.

FPR TVs are also brighter. The facts are that LG presented are that the shutter TV drops from 450nit to 60nit in 3D; the FPR TV goes from 450nit to 170nit. The difference in actual viewing isn’t quite as dramatic with the perceived brightness of the FPR panel only being slightly brighter than on the shutter set. However, with passive glasses there’s no synchronisation as the shutters spring to life, make the experience of putting the glasses on considerably smoother.

LG FPR 3D TV brightness

Another problem with LCD 3D TVs is crosstalk, where one eye sees the ghostly outline of the other eye’s image. With FPR LG has fixed this problem, too. The demonstration we saw showed still images to highlight the problem, but we’ll be interested to see how it pans out in a moving image when we can get a review sample.

Overall, we were impressed by what we saw. The lighter, flicker-free glasses certainly make watching 3D a more pleasurable experience, plus the glasses are a lot cheaper, too. LG estimates that the glasses will cost around $20 (around £13) each when launched, and TVs will ship with four pairs. No pricing information for the televisions has been announced yet.

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