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Panasonic looks to be early winner in 3D sales, image quality

It's only been a week or so since 3D HDTVs and Blu-ray players went on sale in the U.S.

It's only been a week or so since 3D HDTVs and Blu-ray players went on sale in the U.S. at Best Buy, but it appears that Panasonic could have jumped out to a quick lead in the race to dominate 3D. The company has announced that it sold out its initial order of 3D sets, and while that quantity was unspecified and is probably a minimal amount given the lack of content to view and the high price tag, it's also true that Samsung hasn't made a similar announcement about its 3D televisions. Presumably, if it had something to crow about, it would have made that public as well, but perhaps the company is just playing things close to the vest.

According to Consumer Reports, however, Samsung shouldn't crow about its TVs' performance compared to Panasonic 3D sets. The publication reviewed a Panasonic 3D plasma and two Samsung 3D LCDs, and found that not only did the Panasonic provide superior 3D imaging (the Samsungs' suffered from a bit of double-imaging), but its 3D glasses also worked better at more extreme viewing angles. Not surprisingly, the plasma also provided better black levels than the Samsung LCDs, a common finding already in 2D HDTV performance. HDGuru.com had previously looked at the Panasonic TC-P50VT20 and found it to be "an excellent HDTV."

The question now is if Panasonic can keep the positive momentum going as Sony readies its first 3D HDTV offerings for sale in April.