We tried a pair of Sony glasses with a Samsung TV, and the result actually looked decently three-dimensional. The problem, though, is that the Sony glasses require a Sony 3D transmitter--which you can't plug into a Samsung TV. So the only way that mixing brands would work for you is if you had a setup like ours, with a Samsung TV sitting next to a Sony TV.
TV makers naturally have a reason for this incompatibility. A Samsung representative points out that Samsung TVs are precalibrated to accommodate Samsung glasses, and might require significant calibration for non-Samsung glasses.
Save on Shutters
At $150 a pop, shutter glasses can quickly make 3D TV a pricey affair, adding up to about $600 for a four-person family. Some 3D TV makers have noted this, and are bundling glasses (usually only one or two pairs, though) with their 3D TVs.
Companies also offer 3D "starter kits," which usually include two pairs of glasses, a transmitter (if the transmitter is not built in to the TV), and a 3D Blu-ray disc or two. Most of these kits cost between $350 and $500, and feature otherwise unattainable 3D Blu-ray movies: Samsung's kit ($500) includes Shrek, Shrek 2, and Shrek 3D; Sony's kit ($400) includes Alice in Wonderland; and Panasonic's kit ($350) includes Ice Age 3D and Coraline. None of those films are yet available to purchase alone (though some of them will be released in December).
If all of this seems like a lot to spend on glasses that will work with only one company's TVs, never fear: Xpand has just released the first "universal" shutter glasses. The Xpand Universal X103 3D glasses are currently selling for $129 on Amazon, and support Mitsubishi, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba TVs.
Calibrate Your Television