With a majority of 3D-enabled Blu-ray players, Sky 3D TV Channels, 3D Console Games and even YouTube 3D, it makes sense to get yourself a 3D-enabled TV, if you’re shopping around for something new to upgrade your current set-up. There are two main systems in use for viewing 3D on TV, namely Active and Passive. So it can be confusing sometimes to decide which system will work for you and your budget. In this review we will be looking at the entry-level Bush 32 Inch 3D HD Ready LED TV from Argos and point out the key features that make this product a must-have for any film-buff, gamer and TV show aficionado looking to have a great budget 3D system.
What’s in the Box?
The Bush DLED32911HD3D 3D LED HD TV is a passive 3D system, which includes a generous eight pairs of glasses. The passive system works by projecting a stereoscopic picture where two images are projected and superimposed onto the same screen, while being viewed through a pair of polarizing filters in the left and right eye of the glasses. *Note: this won’t convert regular 2D images into 3D.
Around the back, you’ll find two HDMI ports, along with a single SCART and Composite video input. There’s also a headphone jack, coaxial audio output, antenna and PC connection, which is great for connecting a media-based PC for surfing the net or accessing your music library. You also have a CAM slot and USB port to the side, for playing media files.
The remote control supplied comes with batteries and is intuitively easy to use and quick to respond. For standard audio you get a decent bass stereo sound which is supported by a rigid structure for the TV casing, resulting in a reduction of resonant noise which plagues a majority of other low cost sets – you don’t want those pesky resonant noise pings to ruin your movie watching experience.
Setting up the System
The important thing to remember when buying a TV is that the picture settings are never set for the optimal viewing experience. The default settings of most TVs are optimised for shop conditions and not for viewing content at home. But don’t worry, because there are plenty of helpful guides online for setting up your brand of TV to view movies exactly the way the director intended. You can have a look at the AVForums Picture Perfect site, which will walk you though the step-by-step process. I’ve included the setting used in my review below. To test the TV I’ve added the following peripherals: I’ve attached an Xbox 360 to the component line, a Sky 3D-enabled box to the HDMI-1 port, a 3D Blu-ray player to the HDMI-2 port and a PC to the D-Sub port. I tested the 2D and 3D capability of the Bush TV with all of these attached devices.
Picture Quality – 2D
Once I’d optimised the picture settings, the quality of the images improved drastically, when watching the HD channels on Sky. The LED backlighting provides an even balance in brightness, while also consuming less power, than its LCD or Plasma counterparts. The Xbox 360 gaming experience was fluid with no sign of stuttering images to be seen. However the PC input resolution could not match the Full HD, so the best you could view would be the equivalent of 720p HD resolution, when watching a YouTube clip in full screen mode.
Picture Quality – 3D
The Bush TV uses a side-by-side 3D approach to its process. So if you want to watch a 3D TV show on Sky 3D you need to go through the Quick Menu, on the remote and select the ‘Side-by-side’ option in the 3D menu. This merges the two images into one stereoscopic image which the passive glasses filter for each eye. Just remember that you’ll have to switch this off, when changing over to regular 2D channels. An important note to all you Sky customers out there – you’ll need to call up Sky’s customer services to make sure you have the correct packages, and will also need to register your interest to view its 3D channel, otherwise you will not be able to use this feature. *Argos have actually included a helpful note on this very topic, inside the user guide.
The Sky 3D content worked well when watching nature documentaries, where more light was being projected, but suffered a little with wide contrasting light as you would see in a musical concert with flashing lights and strobes. I found it worked even better when you didn’t have too much stray light hitting the screen, so watching a 3D movie at night worked incredibly well. The best performance, however, came from the 3D Blu-ray, which projected a higher resolution image than the SD images on Sky 3D. The higher resolution made for a smoother 3D experience and showed the full potential of the Bush TV. I also ran a short test with the 3D capability of the PC input from youtube, but was not impressed with the performance, due to the low resolution of the video – so I wouldn’t recommend using 3D in that environment. With regards to 3D gaming, I was once again impressed with the output I was getting and got matched results with the earlier Blu-ray test performance. Which leads me to believe that this Bush TV is great for a 2D/3D Blu-ray and Gaming enthusiast looking at buying a value for money TV.
Overall, the design of the casing is little on the large size, but as a compensation for that it prevents unwanted noise resonance, which is a fair trade-off. The inclusion of eight pairs of glasses is a great incentive to any movie night host, who can invite a large group of friends over, for both 2D and 3D movies.
If you’re looking for more features, such as 3D conversion, which we know isn’t for the vast majority of new TV purchasers, then there are other alternatives available, but if you’re a 3D gamer on a budget, I don’t think you’d find a better deal. For more 3D TVs from Argos, check out their selection online.