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Price Gap Between 3DTV and 2D HDTV Narrows... to $10

By Chris Boylan

Even if you're not specifically looking for a 3DTV, it might actually make sense to buy one if you're in the market for a new television.  Why?  Because the 3D feature is one that you can use or not use, as you see fit, but the performance of a 3D-capable HDTV is generally better than its 2D-only counterpart.  In order to create an active 3D image, the TV has to run twice as fast as a regular TV, displaying images at at least 120 Hz (120 times per second) instead of 60 Hz.  For an LED or LCD set, this means a higher panel refresh rate.  For a plasma TV, this means faster switching phosphors.  It turns out that these faster switching phosphors or faster imaging panels, designed for 3D, also improve the quality of 2D viewing thanks to enhanced motion resolution and reduced image smear.

When 3DTV models first came out, there was a pretty big price jump from a 2D model to a comparable 3D model.  But that gap has narrowed.  How much?  $10.  That's right.  If you look at the pricing of Panasonic's 42-inch S30 series 2D 1080p plasma (model TC-P42S30), the list price is $699.95.  Its 3D counterpart is the TC-P42ST30 ("T" is for Three-D).  That model lists for $1099.95.  At this point you may be thinking, "this guy doesn't do math very well" and you'd be right. BUT if you look at the actual street price, in this case the price to buy either set today directly from Panasonic during their "You Pay What We Pay" Black Friday sale, you'll see something very interesting:

At the present time, on Panasonic's own web site, the 3D version of their entry-level 1080p plasma is only $10 more than the non-3D capable version.

The 2D version (TC-P42S30) is selling for $524.96 while the 3D version (TC-P42ST30) is selling for $534.96 - just $10 more.  So even if you're not that excited about 3D and you don't want to go out and buy new native 3D content and glasses, we'd still recommend getting the 3D model.  There should be a slight boost in performance but also you're hedging your bets in case 3D at home become more popular (and the glasses and software become more affordable).

Links to the models discussed above (



Panasonic's TC-P42ST30 features full HD 1080p resolution, VIERA Connect internet streaming and apps, as well as 3D capabilities.

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