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.
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.
During CES 2010. RealD managed to slide its 3D glasses in with most of the new televisions coming our way this year, but XpanD is continuing its promise to work with any IR-enabled set from any manufacturer (Samsung has already stated its glasses will only work with its TVs, Panasonic couldn’t confirm cross compatibility with other brands when we asked) with the X103 series. XpanD is claiming compatibility with “virtually any monitor capable of displaying 3D content”. Even with plans for 12 different colors and sizes for kids or adults it’s more likely you’ll end up in a caption contest than a look book rocking these, but as long as they get the job done they seem like a natural go to for additional pairs when they launch in June. The main problem? Pricing isn’t final but Chief Strategy Officer Ami Dror told PC Mag he expects them to run $125 – $150 — even if the local cinema uses active shutter technology, that’s a lot of 3D flicks before you recoup the cost and makes it nearly out of the question to grab a few spares for friends to watch.
Sony and Panasonic are both hellbent on convincing us their forthcoming super-duper 3D television sets are the future, but before we all start selling off the children and re-mortgaging our homes, how about a little taster of what it might be like? Channel 4, the British answer to a question nobody ever asked, is about to offer up a selection of 3D programming this month, which it dubs as a return to “good old fashioned fun.” The menu includes a documentary about the Queen’s coronation (in other words, ancient history), a magic show, and even a couple of goodies like Flesh for Frankenstein and Friday the 13th, Part III. If we find can remember to get down to the local Sainsbury’s and grab ourselves a free pair of those rad-looking three-dee glasses, you might even be treated to our eyes-on impressions. Watch this three-dimensional space!
While the market for High-Definition TV (HDTV) has hit the mainstream, the industry has already started speculating about the commercialization of Ultra-High Definition (UHD). Market research firm, In-Stat http://www.in-stat.com, believes there will be a lengthy time period before the UHD market reaches a critical mass of 5% household penetration. However, as the initial market debuts over the next five to ten years, there will be ample opportunities for technology companies, manufacturers, service providers and media companies to experiment with business models and strategies to make UHD a strong business in the long term.
“UHD formats provide between four and sixteen times the resolution of Blu-ray or 1080p high definition as well as 22.2 multichannel three-dimensional sound,” says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. “This is a vast improvement over the currently available end user viewing experience in the home.”
As originally proposed, UHD comes in two levels of resolution: 7680 x 4320 pixels (i.e., 8K resolution), and 3840 x 2160 (i.e., 4K resolution).
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
- The rising popularity of high resolution digital cinema will expose consumers to high resolution content. Then, early UHDTVs will be made available to provide a digital cinema high resolution viewing experience in the home. Ultimately, broadcasters will start offering UHD content to an addressable market of UHDTVs, between 2017 and 2022.
- In-Stat expects the total installed base of UHDTVs Europe to approach 5% household penetration until 2021, and increase to over 28.2% penetration by 2025.
- In Asia-Pacific, Japan will be among the early adopter countries.