New TV – 3D games, here I come!

I needed a smallish TV for my bedroom, but when I saw a good deal on a Vizio 42″ 3D TV at Costco, I had to buy it. I didn’t think I really NEEDED a 3D TV, but it had all the other features I wanted, so I got it.

I hooked a PS3 and Xbox 360 into it and then fed the TV’s optical audio output into a Pioneer AV Receiver. That was my first mistake. The TV’s audio support is lousy and it doesn’t just pass through audio signals it can’t decode. Instead, it forces the source to 2 channel stereo PCM or Dolby Digital 5.1. This means all the fancy Blu-Ray sound outputs are useless. I couldn’t even convince the PS3 to use Dolby 5.1, but the XBox did so. Though my receiver is a couple years old, I hooked the PS3 HDMI port straight into it to get the best sound and it passed through the 3D HDMI signal to the TV, so a win all around. Shame on Vizio for messing with the audio, though.

I haven’t watched any 3D movies, but I tried Uncharted 3 and Killzone 3 in 3D and I’m not going back to 2D games if 3D is available. The Vizio TV is passive 3D, which means it uses polarized glasses and half the resolution is used for each eye, but the quality is still quite good and the 3D adds a lot, at least to those 2 games.

I had resisted 3D because of cost and because I figured it wouldn’t be very effective, but in this case, passive 3D is comfortable and works very well. I’m now sold on 3D for gaming. I’ll post after I watch a 3D movie on it to let you know my impressions. But if you are thinking of a new TV and have a PS3, get a 3D TV!

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