LG Can Market “Passive” Cinema 3D TVs As Full HD, ASA Rules

Jonathan Sutton

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – the independent regulator of media advertising in the United Kingdom – has this week ruled that LG Electronics can market its Cinema 3D TVs as “Full HD”, but only if the Korean manufacturer states clearly in its advertisements that the effect is achieved via passive 3D system. The adjudication came about following complaints made by cross-town rival Samsung and a technology journalist.

LG Cinema 3D
LG can market “passive” Cinema 3D TVs as full HD, ASA rules

LG and Samsung Electronics have been embroiled in a bitter 3DTV format war ever since the former unveiled its FPR (film-type patterned retarder) passive 3D LCD technology which has proved popular among consumers primarily due to the affordability, comfort and convenience (no battery, charging nor synchronisation required) of the polarized 3D glasses. Meanwhile, Samsung has on numerous occasions championed the superior resolution delivered by its active-shutter extra-dimensional HDTV displays in 3D mode.

It’s hardly surprising then that Samsung submitted a complaint to the ASA to challenge the use of the terminologies “Full HD 3D Picture” and “Full HD 1080p” in LG’s promotional material for its passive 3D televisions (which is marketed under the moniker “Cinema 3D” in the UK).

In its defence, LG argued that even though its FPR passive 3D technology only delivers 540 lines of resolution to each eye, the simultaneous delivery of both odd and even lines within a single frame of image means that all 1080 lines of information will be perceived by the viewer’s brain. The company also provided third-party verification from an independent test lab, which supports LG’s claim that its Cinema 3D TVs are indeed “Full HD”.

After examining the evidence put forth by both parties, the ASA actually agreed with LG (for the most parts), judging that it was accurate to describe the Cinema 3D models as “Full HD” and “1080p”, as long as consumers are made fully aware that these 3DTVs use passive 3D technology. All LG Cinema 3D ads in its current form are to be pulled, with the phrase “passive 3D” to be made prominent in future marketing material.

Source: ASA