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Question: I'm looking at getting the XpanD universal 3D glasses at www.xpandcinema.com, or the Oakley 3D glasses at www.oakley.com. They cost about the same; the XpanD costs $129 and the Oakely goes for $120. Which is better? (question edited for clarity)
-submitted by Peter
Answer: I have to be completely honest with you Peter, I'm sure glad you came to us before deciding between the two. To tell you the truth, I can't tell you which set of glasses is the better buy. Fortunately for you, I can tell you why you would want to choose one over the other. You see, only one of them is really going to suit your needs.
First of all, it's important to point out that not all 3D systems work the same. These days, modern 3D systems usually fall within two major types, Active Shutter and Passive Polarized. Active Shutter systems use glasses with LCD panels that block an eye in rapid succession. The other type of 3D system, called passive, uses polarized lenses to filter out images for a specific eye. The important thing to note is that active shutter glasses won't work on passive 3D systems and vice versa.
As far as the products you're looking at goes, the XpanD glasses (the X103s I assume) are of the active shutter type, but designed to work with many brands of active shutter based televisions and specially equipped movie theaters. The Oakley's (GASCAN) are actually passive glasses designed to work with RealD systems, most commonly found in movie theaters today, but should also work with a some of the new passive 3DTVs coming to homes this year.
What makes it confusing is the price. Typically, passive 3D glasses are way cheaper than the active shutter variety. However, Oakley and a few others make premium 3D specs for those seeking the very best image possible, and those who wouldn't be caught dead in the ugly specs the theater hands out.
In other words, I can't tell you which is better because I don't know which kind of display you want to use them on. If these two are your only choices, follow this logic - If you want them to work in most 3D theaters and some of the new passive 3DTVs coming this year, pick the Oakley's. If you want them to work on a wide variety of active shutter 3DTVs (like Panasonic's, Samsung's, and Sony's), pick the XpanD's.
If you want them to work perfectly with an existing television, consider picking up the manufacturer's glasses for your display.
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