3D telly: LG vs Philips

[intro]We were hoping to get an update on how 3D TV is coming along at CES, and LG and Philips didn't disappoint. Here's our thoughts on the differe

We were hoping to get an update on how 3D TV is coming along at CES, and LG and Philips didn't disappoint, with demos on show at both their stands.

The concept for both prototypes is the same – a TV that can show 3D images without the need for gorky goggles – but their approach is completely different.

The picture on LG's '3D monitor' is slightly better developed with more depth, but needs the content to be specifically encoded to work. This means the company is looking more at commercial uses like advertising before us consumers – you may see frighteningly lifelike Big Macs jumping out of high street displays from the second half of this year.

The main thing that's holding the tech back is that you also need to be standing front on and about ten feet back to get in the sweet spot, otherwise it just looks like a bad 2D display. Still, once you're there, the effect is decidedly freaky – it really does work.

Philips' sweet spot is only a few feet from the screen, and its approach is slightly more promising for us consumers – it has 2D-to-3D conversion software that allows it make normal images jump out of the screen. As you'd expect, it doesn't work quite as well as the content made specifically for the LG LCD, but the real-time conversion of high-def footage means it may attract more attention from shopping centres and museums who want to pioneer the tech.

The Dutch company added that it hopes to use 3D in home cinema and gaming, possibly with its amBX gaming effects, later this year. So, the technology is coming along nicely but, as the Grolsch man would say – this 3D telly, it's not quite ready yet.