One of the chief complaints about 3D in it's early days was the price. Expensive sets, expensive glasses. Few cared to adopt such an expensive tech only a few short years after they just upgraded to HDTV. Thankfully, a few pioneers in the 3DTV market have shattered the sub-$1000 barrier. We have gathered the best of the bunch here for you to see.
Sony debuted a PlayStation 3DTV which features a 24 inch screen at E3. This TV has cheaper than usual active shutter glasses, coming in at $70 per pair instead of the usual $100+. It also has the advantage of sending a separate screen to each pair of glasses for 2 player full screen split screen gaming on supported titles. While this is a nice advantage over most 3DTVs, it still has a small screen and uses the expensive (and darker than passive) LCD shutter glasses.
Thankfully, there are other options available for those who do not want to settle for a PlayStation 3DTV. Vizio has released a 32 inch passive 3DTV that is currently sold at less than $500. It uses the same passive 3D glasses you get at a movie theater, which can be bought for about a dollar a piece. You can literally keep boxes of these things around so everyone who comes into your house can enjoy 3D, and if a pair gets broken it's no big deal. It also packs some decent specs as well, such as 1080p, and a 200,000:1 contrast ratio. It also runs Vizio internet apps as well, and has built in Wifi. This 32 inch model currently sells for $448 on Amazon.com and comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses. This is cheaper than you probably paid for that HDTV when you upgraded... Not a bad deal at all!
If the 32 inch model isn't big enough for you, you can pick up it's 42 inch big brother for $648 (Amazon.com), which features all of the above in addition to a 120hz refresh rate.
There is also another 42 inch model, the VIZIO XVT3D424SV 42-Inch Full HD 3D Edge Lit Razor LED with Smart Dimming LCD HDTV 480 Hz SPS with VIZIO Internet Apps. It sells new for under $800, and packs in way more features than the ones above.
Then the last model from Vizio, a 47 inch version of the above TVs, the VIZIO XVT3D474SV 47-Inch Full HD 3D Full Array TruLED with Smart Dimming LCD HDTV 480 Hz SPS with VIZIO Internet Apps.
If you prefer active 3D glasses, LG also has a set that sells for under $700, the LG 42PW350 42-Inch 720p Active 3D Plasma HDTV. While not as heavily featured as the above sets, it does boast an ultra slim frame and a 10,000,000:1 contrast ratio (Plasma based).
It's 50 inch big brother sells for under $900.
LG has a 47 inch 1080p 240hz ultra slim LED set for under $900 as well. It uses active shutter glasses however, so they'll cost you a bit more than a passive set will. For that size, however, it's a good deal if you're willing to deal with the expense of active shutter glasses.
The Samsung PN43D490 43-Inch 720p 600Hz 3D Plasma HDTV also sells at under $600. It features 600mhz subfield image processing, but also uses active 3D glasses.
As you can see, there are plenty of cheap alternatives to get 3D other than the PlayStation 3D monitor. While none of these offer split screen gaming at full screen like the PlayStation display does, they all have larger (sometimes much larger) screens in addition to features like a higher contrast ratio, wifi, and more.
If you just shop around a little, suddenly the cost of entry for 3D doesn't seem quite as intimidating.
With 3DTV finally hitting the sub-$1,000 mark, will it be enough to convince you to make the jump into 3D? Let us know by commenting below!