Active 3D Vs Passive 3D

August 1, 2019

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Bottom line: Which one is better?

Bottom line: Passive 3D is better

In this review of Passive 3D Vs Active 3D, Passive 3D is better because the glasses are cheaper and there is less cross talk. It is also more comfortable for the eye.

Active 3D Vs Passive 3D: CROSSTALK

Active shutter 3D; always present but some TVs have less than others

Passive 3D; a lot less common than on 3D TVs

3D crosstalk appears as two superposed images making part of the picture look blurred. This can be made practical by removing 3D glasses while in a theatre. The complete picture has crosstalk. In the active 3D, if the glasses are not perfectly in sync, one eye can see part of the image meant for the other eye. However, newer passive 3D TVs are free of crosstalk due to modern polarization techniques.

Bottom line: Passive 3D is better as it has a decent crosstalk

Active 3D Vs Passive 3D: RESOLUTION

In this review, Active Vs Passive 3D has the following comparisons;

Active shutter 3D has full vertical resolution of the content used while passive 3D vertical resolution is halved because it splits between the right and the left eye.

Active 3D TV doesn’t alter the resolution of the content because it alternates between two pictures for each eye. Passive on the other hand splits the vertical resolution between two separate frames meaning it is halved. In real sense it is not halved completely to assume that it is a big difference but some of the image parts are shared amongst the two eyes which are then interpreted superbly with your brain. This however can look completely different when you sit further than recommended position.

Bottom line: Active 3D is better

Active 3D Vs Passive 3D: BRIGHTNESS

Active shutter 3D glasses block half of the light whereas Passive 3D has half of its lines black for every eye.

The brightness of the screen is usually noticed when the glasses are put on as it tends to be reduced. With both active and passive, you experience half of the light to the eye. Active 3D TV has the glass lenses black half of the time while Passive 3D TV, only one line is black.

Bottom line: Active shutter 3D and Passive 3D are the same in terms of brightness.

Active 3D Vs Passive 3D: MOTION

Frames of active shutter 3d are shown one after the other whereas frames for each eye are shown simultaneously with the passive 3D. This is practical when you are following a moving object from one left to right, the motion is continuous.

Bottom line: Passive 3D is better

Active 3D Vs Passive 3D: COMFORT

Active 3D TV has a flickering effect as the shutters block half the frames while passive 3D glasses don’t block any light hence doesn’t have flickering effect. A flickering screen will cause you a headache within 30 minutes; this is because of the TVs that use 3D shutters. It is advisable to choose a TV with a passive 3D system.

Bottom line: Passive 3D is better

Active 3D Vs Passive 3D: GLASSES

Active 3D glasses require batteries and syncing with the TV, has shutters that block the eye opposite to the image on the TV and is expensive. Passive 3D on the other hand has glasses that don’t require batteries; both left and right lenses have opposite circular polarization and are affordable.

Bottom line: Passive 3D is better


When we compare Active 3D vs Passive 3D, Passive 3D is better as it offers a better 3D experience, has less crosstalk, doesn’t have inherent flickering and has a better motion perception of depth.