As an owner of Panasonic 3D-capable Plasma HDTV I was not very happy with the design of the default Panasonic TY-EW3D10U shutter glasses that are coming with the TV, but that did not prevent me from getting a VT20E 3D HDTV, because it is still one of the best HDTVs for 3D content at the moment (and the very similar models from the same VT series for different regions with slight variations). So when I’ve got the universal Monster Vision Max 3D glasses (powered by BitCauldron technology) for testing I’ve started to compare them with the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D shutter glasses, although meanwhile Panasonic also introduced the slightly improved Panasonic TY-EW3D2 (SU/MU/LU) glasses.
Comparing the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses (bottom / left) with the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D glasses (top / right) you can see some of the major differences, like for example the difference in design and size. The Monster Vision shutter glasses have a bigger lenses, especially in terms of height to cover wider area, they seem more like traditional glasses and do not let that much external light like the standard Panasonic 3D glasses. And although the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D glasses seem with a more futuristic design, they are not very well thought in terms of design and functionality, not blocking some of the external light that yo may have and resulting in visible flicker as well as not very convenient nose-pieces for longer use. Also, the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses are universal (can be used on different 3D HDTVs), they use RF (radio) instead or IR (infrared light) for communication and they do come with a built-in rechargeable battery that can be charged through USB. And as you can see from the photos above the Panasonic glasses have a slight yellowish tint on their lenses whereas the Monster Vision lenses are a bit more bluish/greenish.
Due to the fact that the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses use radio instead of infrared technology for communicating you need to connect a special infrared to radio transmitter that is a part of the with the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses kit. This transmitter is powered over USB, so you can easily connect it to one of the two free USB ports at the back of the VT20E 3D HDTV for example or use an additional USD power adapter, but that may require you to turn it on/off manually. When you have the transmitter connected to a USB port of the TV whenever you turn on the TV set the adapter also turns on and when you turn off the TV the adapter also powers off.
In order to be able to sync the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses with the infrared signal coming from the HDTV you will also need to connect the additional infrared adapter to the transmitter kit and place it somewhere in front of the TV’s infrared emitter so that you can get a good signal. Aside from the infrared adapter for capturing infrared signals and converting them into radio frequency that can be understood by the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses, you also have an option to use a standard VESA mini-din 3-pin stereo connector if your 3D TV has such. For example Sony’s Bravia 3D-capable TV sets that do require an external IR emitter do have a similar connector at the back of the TV, but not exactly the same, meaning that you will not be able to directly use the cable with them, so you will need Sony’s IR emitter for these models and again the IR adapter for the Monster glasses. But thanks to the presence of the standard VESA mini-din 3-pin stereo connector you will also be able to use the glasses together with professional graphic adapters that do support stereo 3D and have the right output on the back of the card. Such are usually the higher-end Nvidia Quadro and ATI/AMD FireGL professional series of video cards that are used together with the OpenGL Quad-Buffer mode by some professionals. Unfortunately the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses are not currently compatible with 3D Vision if some of you may wonder about that, although that would offer a nice alternative to the already a bit old as technology and performance 3D Vision shutter glasses.
But how do the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses compare to the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D shutter glasses in terms of performance? In terms of comfort they are most certainly better designed, although they felt a bit loose on my head as compared to the tighter Panasonic glasses, but that could be due to the fact that I have an earlier sample and not the final product for testing. The Monster Vision glasses are performing better in blocking external light, especially if coming from the sides as compared to the standard Panasonic glasses. Due to the yellowish tint of the Panasonic’s lenses I thought that the little crosstalk visible on the Panasonic plasma display seemed yellow because of that, but after trying the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses I can confirm that this is not the case, as with them also the crosstalk is still absolutely the same.
After comparing for a while I could not find any difference between the levels of crosstalk on the 3D HDTV with both pairs of glasses and this simply means that the level of crosstalk on the Panasonic’s plasma 3D HDTVs is probably not related to the glasses and cannot be further decreased with improvements in the shutter glasses. And besides the same level of crosstalk, although quite minimal and quite hard to notice in normal use, the visual quality is the same as I could not find any significant visible difference between the two pairs of glasses. The only thing I could notice visually was a very slight difference in color saturation, but normal people probably won’t be able to notice any difference at all. This slight difference can be caused by either the difference in the tint of the lenses or due to the fact that the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses are a bit brighter as compared to the standard Panasonic glasses. That difference in the level of the light blocked by the shutter glasses is hardly visible at all, however it can be measured to about 10-15% in favor of the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses with the help of a lux meter.
And now a bit about the prices of the different types of shutter glasses:
- The Monster Vision Max 3D universal kit will be available for $229.95 USD.
- The Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses only will be available for $159.95 USD.
- The Panasonic TY-EW3D10U standard shutter glasses are available for $96.17 USD.
- The new Panasonic TY-EW3D2 (SU/MU/LU) glasses are available for $149 USD.
The Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses are not yet on sale, so currently you can only pre-order them, but they should soon be available and as you can see their prices are not much different as compared to non-universal brand specific 3D glasses with similar features (rechargeable battery). The only difference is that you will need to get one full kit that includes the RF transmitter and then you can get only additional pairs of glasses. And the only thing that is kind of missing from the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses, the thing that can make them truly universal and not just universal for use with 3D HDTVs is if a user controlled learning mode is added. This way you will be able to make the glasses work with all of your 3D-capable equipment, so that you will not have to have multiple different pairs of 3D glasses for your computer, laptop, television set etc. Meanwhile next in line is a comparison between the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses and Samsung and especially Sony’s glasses which I still consider to be one of the best among all currently available shutter glasses…