On a recent trip to the U.S., Parallax Film Productions editor Brian Mann bought Vizio’s E3D420VX 42” Class Theater 3D LCD HDTV.

Here’s his take on the viewing experience:

The buy

I bought Vizio’s 3D TV for approx. $650.00 US at Costco in Bellingham, WA. 42 inch TVs seem to be a sweet spot right now – you can get really big deals. The Vizio was the best deal – even compared to non-3D capable TVs that were the same size.

Native versus converted

I’ve watched Blu-ray native 3D DVDs, including Tron and (Robert Zemeckis’) A Christmas Carol. I’ve also watched a 3D conversion – Green Hornet. You can tell the difference on this TV, but it doesn’t ruin the experience. With converted 3D you don’t get that “pop up book” look, but it still does feel like you have layers rather than the full depth.

Passive versus active

A lot of people are being snooty about the passive 3D experience. With a huge TV you might feel the difference or see jaggy edges. But with this 42 inch, the quality loss is not huge when you’re sitting 5 or 6 feet away. It’s great quality for the price. You can also use the same kind of glasses you use in the theatre (RealD technology) – which makes everything brighter and clearer – and avoid those big, bulky expensive active shutters.

The last word

Finding a 3D TV at this price means it’s no longer a luxury feature. It’s now making its way into mid-range TVs. It also means you’re not paying a premium for 3D capability … you’re just getting it with your TV. With this Vizio, you get a great 2D picture for the price, and the 3D’s an added bonus.