Samsung’s 3D Glasses, Much Cheaper Soon

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We’ve come a long way from the days of $200 3D glasses.

Starting April 24, Samsung will give away two pairs of active shutter glasses with all its 3D LED and Plasma TVs. On May 1, the company will drop the suggested retail price of its 3D glasses to $50, and they’ll probably sell for less in stores. Each pair of 3D glasses previously sold for a list price of $129.

Glasses have been a major hurdle for the adoption of 3D TVs. When the first 3D TVs arrived in the United States last year, early adopters could spend $800 equipping a family of four with glasses. Add the price premium of the television itself, and it’s obvious why 3D TV was one of last year’s biggest tech letdowns.

Competition is now pushing down the price of glasses. As CNET points out, LG and Vizio have launched 3D TVs with passive polarized glasses — the cheaper kind used in movie theaters — and additional pairs can cost as little as $5 each. With a lower barrier to entry, TV makers can only hope that more consumers take the plunge, and that the content will follow.