While China isn’t exactly known for creating original products when it comes to their own design, once in awhile we’ll be surprised at the devices they can come up with. Case in point, Oppo’s first ever smartphone, the X903. Running on Android, this phone sure doesn’t fail in the looks department but it is only mediocre when it comes to specs, especially when put up against other high-end devices from other manufacturers. But hey – what were you expecting? The X903 packs a 1GHz processor with 3D graphics accelerator (manufacturer not mentioned), an 8-megapixel camera (supports 720p HD video recording), 3G, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a very interestingly-skinned Android 2.2 operating system. Judging by screenshots of the device, it looks like a cross between iOS and Android, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you feel about it. No word on pricing or release date
Remember Dimenco? A four-man splinter group of former Philips employees, the company has been hard at work refining its glasses-free 3D display tech and today some of the earliest fruit of its labor is going on sale. Nissho Electronics in Japan is beginning sales of a 52-inch LCD panel that can pump out full 1080p of 3D vision without requiring any headgear from the viewer. Initially, this big lenticular display will target businesses, who’ll be among the few to be able to afford the ¥1.7 million ($20,820) asking price. Other specs include a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 8ms response time, 700 nits of brightness, and a 60Hz refresh rate. The 3D on this TV is actually described as a unique “2D + depth” implementation, which can also be used to convert 2D images in real time. Great, now take a zero out of that price, ship it westwards, and watch the sales really take off.
Early reviews of Fuji’s FinePix Real 3D W1? Not so hot. However, a year later the $450 refreshed W3 seems to be doing better, scoring a “Recommended” review over at Photography Blog. The camera’s dual 1/2.3-inch, 10 megapixel CCDs and 3X zoom lenses are carried over from before, but a new design and more user-friendly interface is said to make a huge improvement — even if it’s still too easy to stick a finger over either of the two light portals up front. Build quality is solid and the new 3.5-inch, glasses-free 3D LCD on the back is called “impressive,” far brighter than last year’s parallax barrier. The machine will capture 720p 3D movies and can save both 3D MPO images and 2D JPEGs simultaneously, meaning your holiday snaps are future-proofed even if you haven’t jumped on the 3D bandwagon just yet.
ASUS’ VG236H was quietly announced back at CeBIT, but the 23-inch 3D monitor is just now getting around to making itself known to worldwide retailers. On sale now for a penny under $500 (which includes the complete $180 NVIDIA 3D Vision kit), this 1080p display has also managed to hit the test bench over at Hot Hardware. Critics over there found that it was amongst the nicest looking TN (boo) panels out there, and that the third dimension had no issue popping out on command. In fact, they had little to complain about, noting that it “consistently hit the mark in their testing [while producing] a fantastic image, whether it be 2D, 3D, work or play.” Granted, it’s not like you’ve too many options when it comes to snagging a 3D LCD, but at least we’re hearing this particular one is worth a look (or three).
The HDBaseT cable combines audio and video signals, USB, network and even power into one single cable and is set to replace HDMI when it starts hitting shop shelves later this year.
The cable was designed by the HDBaseT alliance which represents a culmination of efforts from Sony, Samsung, LG and Valens. By combining all of the normal connections found in the home the companies hope to make the new industry standard. Most current generation displays will probably be incompatable due to their lack of an ethernet port which supports the cable. The HDBaseT alliance insists that new cables won’t need to be purchased due to the technology working with current network wiring, ethernet cables and an RJ-45 connector.
In an interview with ThinQ.co.uk a spokesman for the HDBaseT alliance explained that the cable allows “a network of sources – such as digital video recorders (DVR), Blu-ray disc players, game consoles, PCs and mobile devices – to be connected directly to displays in multiple locations”.
Current HDMI 1.4 cables allow sterescopic 3D signals to be sent to a TV as well as normal and high definition content. The HDBaseT is capable of doing the same but also adds the ability to use a 100Mb/sec ethernet connection and up to 100W of charging power.
The chairman of the HDBaseT Alliance, Ariel Sobelman hopes the cable will take over as the next generation TV standard.
“HDBaseT technology is poised to become the unrivaled next-generation home networking transport”
Aside from sitting around inventing names for new technologies – Quattron, Aquos, Quincy ME (probably) – Sharp boffins have devised something for their 3D TV technology that’s unique as far as Pocket-lint is concerned.
The new tech is actually in the glasses themselves, which match the manufacturer’s new Aquos Quattron 60-inch 3D TV, and allows them to downconvert 3D pictures back to 2D. Brilliant.
Before you go “eh?”, the explanation Sharp gave us makes complete sense: If you’re sat in a room with the whole family, and they’ve put on a 3D Blu-ray copy of, say, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but you either a) are suffering with a headache, or b) are one of the 10 per cent of the population with a sight problem that renders 3D unwatchable, you can still watch the same movie, but with the 3D downconverted to 2D. Same film, different experience.
The only other alternatives are to leave the room or watch a screen (without glasses) that looks fuzzy and disjointed.
The mode can be switched off and on with the press of a button, so should you experience eye strain, or other symptoms that can appear during poorly rendered 3D content, you can just flick onto 2D until the problems subside.
The image above is unmistakeable: 3D gaming on an Xbox 360 with the help of an LG 3D television. From the looks of the Korean press release, LG and Microsoft have entered into a memorandum of understanding to jointly market LG’s new 3D telvisions along side 3D-capable Xbox 360 games in South Korea, then later expand the partnership throughout the Asia Pacific region. If we’re reading this correctly then it appears set to begin by bundling Xbox 360 3D games with LG 55/47LX9500 LED televisions sometime at the end of June. In other words, we’re not seeing anything specific claiming new Xbox 360 hardware, just like we’ve seen on the PS3.
At a recent London shindig to promote its3D television sets, Samsung revealed that the active shutter glasses used to view its glorious, mighty , breathtaking 3D content are based on the same technology as Panasonic’s, only they’re reversed. That is to say, using your Sammy 3D specs to view Panasonic’s 3DTVs won’t work — unless you flip them upside down. You read that right, the two companies have opted for different implementations of the same technology, resulting in the farcical outcome that glasses will be interchangeable between their sets only if you’re happy to wear them upside down. How that’s gonna help the 3D takeup effort, we don’t know, but Samsung R&D chief Simon Lee does see a light at the end of this dim, poorly focused tunnel, stating that manufacturers are likely to agree a common active shutter glasses standard “as early as next year.” You might wanna look XpanD’s way if you want universal compatibility before then, or away in disgust if you’re already tired of all the absurdity surrounding 3D.
Still monkeying around with that Finepix Real 3D W1 camera, somewhat confused about what exactly you bought it for? Take heart, bandwagon jumper — the bridge you’ve been searching for has just been constructed. Fujifilm has recently introduced a new card reader / HD player for use with its year-old 3D point-and-shoot, and judging by the topic of conversation at this year’s CES, it sure seems like the timing is far better this go ’round. Put simply, the HDP-L1 (¥4,000; $43) accepts both 2D and 3D content stored on SD / SDHC cards from your W1, and the HDMI output pipes that content directly onto your shiny new 3D HDTV for at-home enjoyment. We’re told that it’ll also work with that antediluvian 2D content as well, but let’s be honest — you didn’t buy a 3D camera just to shoot in 2D, now did you?
Just like everybody else in the display business, LG is trying to figure out exactly how they’re going to position themselves to benefit from the upcoming 3D Explosion! Since almost-sorta-not really pulling out of a deal with Sky TV to supply British pubs with 3D televisions, the company has announced that it will be offering its first 3DTV sets that uses polarization technology (as opposed to that active shutter stuff like NVIDIA’s 3D Vision) to consumers. Presumably cheaper than its active shutter counterparts, the LD950 supports HDMI version 1.4, 1080p HD, external storage via USB 2.0 (with DivX HD, MP3, and JPEG support), and comes bundled with four pairs of polarized glasses. There’s no word on a price or release date, but if it makes you feel better we can reveal that two new active 3D displays, the LX9900 (47-inch and 55-inch) and LX6900 (42-inch), featuring 1080p, Freeview HD, Netcast widgets (YouTube, Skype, Accu Weather, Picasa), and wireless AV link, will be available in May for a price yet to be determined.