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.
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.
Not sure why we’ve been putting this off, but we’ll just come right out and say it: there’s no doubt that this was the year for 3D at CES. We walked the show floor for countless hours and can tell you that just about everyone was showing something related to 3D at their booths. Most of these demos required a bit of a wait to experience them (thanks, hype), and everywhere you went people were talking about 3D. Granted, not all of that talk was positive, but it was talk nonetheless. Whether or not the technology will be seen in history as a success in the market place is obviously still up in the air, and much like a finely crafted episode of Lost, 3D at CES this year was littered with more questions than answers.
Who will be the first, the best?
Someone has to be the first to market, and someone the best — though not necessarily the same company — but based on CES demos and announcements, that someone appears to be Panasonic. This isn’t much of a surprise since Panasonic has been doing lots of 3D demos since CES last year, and it even drove a truck around the country showing it off. But while Panasonic had the best 3D demo this year, it might not be first to market, as DLP fans will tell you they were first (and by years). That said, this new 3D technology isn’t exactly the same as what Mitsubishi and Samsung have been doing, but the new formats will be backwards compatible. Mitsubishi announced a new converter box that will allow the newer sequential 3D to checkerboard 3D that its DLP sets support, and it is assumed this same box will work on Samsung DLPs and plasmas. These aren’t the only front runners, ‘course. In fact Sony, Samsung, LG, Toshiba and Vizio were all talking 3D in press releases and showing live action demos. Like the rest of the HD market, most of the new 3DTVs were LCDs, and although LG did announce new plasmas, none were of the 3D variety like Samsung and Panny. Only Vizio dared to put a price on 3D, and some manufacturers wouldn’t even give model numbers, so it’s hard to tell exactly when this technology is going to come home (and how badly it’ll dent the wallet when it does). Still, we’d be shocked to see ship dates slip beyond 2010, and if we were the betting type, we’d guess that the first wave will land in the summer.
3D Blu-ray players will obviously play an important role as in-home 3D attempts to blossom, and Broadcom was on hand showing off its new chip for these very decks. We’re guessing said chip will find a home in the new players announced by Samsung, Toshiba, Panasonic and Sony, though no one has yet to come clean and make that clarification. Interestingly, the maker of one of our favorite Blu-ray players didn’t announce a 3D version, and while we’re not sure what LG is waiting for (market acceptance, perhaps?), we’d be shocked if we didn’t see one at some point this year.
RealD is a winner, again
Just like in the theater, RealD seemed to have the most traction at home. What’s different is that while the RealD glasses you’ve worn at the theater were less than $1 and of the circular polarized variety, the RealD glasses that Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba are using are active shutter glasses — only JVC is using circular polarized. There were other glasses on display though — Gunnar Optiks was showing some more stylish ones, and XpanD was showing active shutter with Bluetooth instead of IR, which is the same tactic that Vizio is using. XpanD also told us that its IR active shutter glasses would work with other 3DTVs, which makes some sense since the main 3D demo at Panasonic’s booth was using XpanD glasses, not RealDs.
What about content?
Just ask Samsung or Mitsubishi and they’ll tell you that 3DTV is nothing without content. We learned all about the 3D Blu-ray spec and that the PS3 would do 3D before CES, but during the show we were able to dig in deeper and reveal that the Blu-ray spec isn’t what it could be. Even before DirecTV had a chance to make an announcement at CES, someone let slip that the carrier would have 3D programming this year — and it brought a 3D demo (which looked great) to CES. Couple this with announcements from ESPN as well as Sony, IMAX and Discovery, and you’ve got the promise of some compelling 3D content at home very soon. ESPN has promised World Cup Soccer this year and the BCS National Championship game in 2011 with other events scattered in between, but while we expect a few IMAX movies from Sony and Discovery, so far the exact programming picture is still very cloudy. The only thing we do know is that three animated features will be out on Blu-ray starting with either Monsters vs Aliens or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs this summer, and Disney’s A Christmas Carol in December. The one title we don’t know about is Avatar, which we just have to believe will be out on 3D Blu-ray this year. We’re sure there will be even more 3D content to scope out as the bandwagon grows, and we’ve already seen streaming services get the 3D itch.
And video games?
Besides movies and sports, games may be the biggest beneficiary of 3D displays. The video game edition of Avatar is already available (and 3D-enabled) on both Sony and Microsoft’s boxes, so the PS3 version we played is just like what’s available at home right now. While the extra dimension couldn’t raise a very average adventure game to the heights of an Assassin’s Creed II, the effect did its job of bringing us further into the world and making it seem even more realistic. While a demo run of Gran Turismo 5 was slightly less impressive (varying greatly depending on camera angle), making things blow up in our faces playing Super Stardust HD clearly showed there will be compelling reasons to upgrade with the technology in the right game maker’s hands. On the PC side, NVIDIA has been pushing 3D capabilities for quite some time, and while most of our demos consisted of Blu-ray 3D showings from Cyberlink and WinDVD, we got enough gaming in to figure out that shutter glasses will soon be as common as headsets, precision mice and customized keyboards on the desks of shooter fans — if WoW ever goes 3D, there could be serious problems.
The new “upconverting?”
Even with major content providers on board, native 3D content will be scarce for some time, just like the rollout of HDTV. That’s a gap several manufacturers are looking to fill by providing technology for converting 2D to 3D. If that sounds a lot like the scaling buzz applied to DVDs and other standard-definition video, that’s because it is, as shown by Toshiba’s decision to expand its Resolution+ branding to Cell TV hardware that upscales and can convert from 2D to 3D in realtime. It showed off a demo that did an effective job separating different planes on simulated home video footage to make it 3D. Unfortunately, that didn’t make watching someone else’s vacation tapes any less boring, and popping elements out like cardboard cutouts seemed like the cheap gimmickry we were hoping to avoid. Samsung had the most effective conversion demo, plugging a standard Xbox 360 into one of its new displays and letting us play Gears of War 2 converted to 3D. While there wasn’t any extra detail to be found, it showed a subtle amount of additional depth that brought us even further into the game, especially when launching mortar shells at far off opponents. Sony announced plans to convert significant amounts of Jimi Hendrix footage to 3D for an upcoming Blu-ray release and even demoed some concert video in its CES theater — in this case the added depth did help the “you are there” feeling of a concert experience, but it still couldn’t compare with anything created natively for the new format.
While we’re sure someone will attempt to be the “Fox Widescreen” of 3D with converted footage on their broadcasts — JVC was showing off a rack mounted unit aimed at broadcasters for just this purpose — it will probably suffer the same fate and eventually go away altogether. The good news? Nothing we saw conjured up memories of the Cowboys Stadium 2D-to-3D disaster, and in some cases it could even be a very useful feature while we wait for content to catch up with displays. But just like DVD upscaling, even if it’s a high priced feature now, it will likely spread out across all displays in the future if customers enjoy it. We’ll be keeping a careful eye to see who has the best processing technology in real world situations later this year.
The glasses-free option
Ah yes, the nirvana of glasses-free 3D. While it was on display at more than one location this year, there’s still a number of factors keeping it from coming into play in our home viewing. Consistent on all three displays was a focus on CGI animations, not any kind of live video or other TV-style content. Though advances in standard HDTVs have increased the resolution behind the lenticular film that enables this technology, most of the progress displayed by Intel and Magnetic3D was on their ability to process and render images so they’ll pop out even when viewed from multiple angles. That’s useful for their intended use in POS advertisements, slot machines and the like — and it will surely impress digital signage nuts in the crowd — but it still suffers lost resolution and requires extra processing power for each viewing angle. With most viewers unwilling to assume a Sheldon Cooper-esque couch position, it’s unlikely any content or displays based around this will be breaking into the consumer space anytime soon.
By all indications, 2010 is set to be a flagship year for 3D. There should be plenty of new displays, set-top boxes, glasses and content. Many will be striving to be the first to market, while others will be happy to sit on the sidelines and watch it all develop. We see many parallels between 3D and the development of HD and that combined with the fact that we find the technology very compelling, should make it clear to you that there’s going to be more 3D coverage than you could want here on Engadget HD. So regardless of how this turns out, we want to be here to watch it flourish or perish. Now, of course we aren’t going to rename the site or anything like that — some of you might think we did. Now this doesn’t mean we’re going to let up hitting the HD news, no not at all. We’re confident we are up to the challenge of covering both very comprehensively.
LG Display Unveils World’s Thinnest LCD TV Panel Measuring 2.6mm
Breaking the 3mm barrier in large LCD TV panels
A leading innovator of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) technology, announced today that it has developed the world’s thinnest LCD TV panel measuring 2.6mm.
The development of extremely slim LCD panel was possible by applying the company’s accumulated “slimming” technologies including the use of an ultra-slim, edge-lit LED backlight system and proprietary optical film technology.
The 42-inch panel weighs less than 4 kilograms – making it ideal for wall mounted TVs. Moreover, the new product offers 120Hz refresh rate technology with full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution for clear and sharp image.
In May, LG Display broke the record by unveiling 42- and 47 inch LCD TV panels measuring 5.9mm – the world’s thinnest panels at the time. By nearly halving its record in just seven months, the company maintains its position as the technology leader in ultra-slim LCD panels.
Dr. In Jae Chung, LG Display’s CTO and Executive Vice President noted, “With the development of the world’s thinnest LED LCD TV panel that is only 2.6mm thick, LG Display has once again demonstrated its technical prowess to satisfy customer demand for high resolution and slim design products. We will continue to spur R&D activities in order to provide our customers and the market with the differentiated products that they desire.”
LG Display will showcase the product and its newest cutting-edge display technologies in a private room at the Bellagio Hotel during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2010 in Las Vegas.
It’s not every day we get to cite an official US Department of Justice news release, so it’s with a certain glee that we can announce the US taxpayer was last week enriched by another $220 million courtesy of the not-so-fine folks who swindled him out of that money in the first place. Joining the ignominious ranks of LG, Sharp, Hitachi and Chungwa Picture Tube, Taiwanese manufacturer Chi Mei is refunding the US state for the pecuniary impact of its collusive practices, which were primarily related to keeping prices artificially high and profits proportionately inflated. US companies directly affected by these ignoble activities include HP, Dell and Apple, but don’t you worry, AT&T has already started the inter-corporation scuffle, with Nokia piling on for good measure. Man, it almost seems like crime doesn’t pay
It was always hard to comprehend Kodak as a display technology company while maintaining a zero presence in the TV or monitor industry, and now, after developing the first OLED material way back in the 70s and plenty of beautiful displays since, Kodak is getting out of the OLED game. They’re selling to LG, who first inked a deal with Kodak back in March for using Kodak technology, just started selling a 15-inch OLED in November, and hopes to have a 30-inch display out by 2012. Kodak calls its IP portfolio for OLED “fundamental,” so even if this doesn’t speed up LG’s time to market, it might give it some significant cost advantages in the long run. Speaking of patents, Kodak and LG have also entered into a “broad” cross-license agreement to dip into each other’s patent portfolios, and the two companies could last be seen skipping merrily, hand-in-hand into the sunset.
LG Display Co., Ltd, a leading innovator of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) technology, announced the world’s first commercial launch of 3D LCD panel boasting full HD resolution.
The new product is a 23-inch 3D monitor LCD panel for use with shutter glasses that delivers full HD resolution. It offers picture quality that is almost twice as crisp as HD 3D displays currently available in the market.
The panel adopts the company’s proprietary technologies such as “high performance 3D exclusive controller” capable of processing more than twice as much image data as other HD 3D LCDs and “copper bus line” to improve on the resolution and picture quality. In addition, the panel is able to reproduce both 2D and 3D images, meaning that users can switch back and forth from 2D and 3D modes.
Although full HD 3D images have been developed for contents such as video games, movies and animations, 3D display products with full HD resolution were unavailable in the market. The commercial launch of LG Display’s full HD 3D LCD panel is expected to help to boost development of high resolution 3D contents while allowing users to view true-to-life 3D images.
Mr. Davis Lee, LG Display’s Vice President and head of IT marketing department, noted “LG Display has made a major breakthrough in the display industry race to deliver the depth and dynamic nature of 3D images. LG Display will continue with efforts to keep pace with the fast growing 3D market with leading 3D technology and products in order to create new value for customers.”
The 3D display market is expected to grow at rapid pace as the industry players are shifting their focus from two- dimensional to three-dimensional technologies. The Korea Communications Commission recently announced plans to start a trial service for the world’s first full HD 3D terrestrial broadcasting from the second half of 2010. A launch of trial services for 3D satellite broadcasts had been also announced earlier in Japan and the UK
LG have announced a new home cinema system, and if you’re a fan of globular satellite speakers and have an iPod then this might be worth a look. The LG HB954SP Blu-ray HCS packs a Full HD 1080p video and 5.1 surround sound audio system into a compact, blue-tinged box, with 1,000W of audio tuned by ear-wizard Mr Mark Levinson.
A slide-out dock at the front takes your iPod or iPhone, and allows for control from the HB954SP’s own remote, while the system can also upscale standard definition DVDs to 1080p. An ethernet connection hooks the LG up to the internet, for streaming YouTube content and accessing BD Live content, plus there are two HDMI inputs and a USB port.
The company obviously knows that a big audience for home cinema systems are families short on space, since they’ve preloaded seven different audio tweaking profiles including one which shuts off the subwoofer; as LG say, then you won’t wake any sleeping children. LG haven’t announced pricing for the new system, but it’ll apparently land at retailers in November 2009.
LG rolls out the red carpet to bring Hollywood home
The HB954SP Blu-ray home cinema system brings the best high definition picture, sound and online content into your living room
Berkshire, 8 October 2008 LG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, has launched its new Blu-ray home cinema system (HCS) – the HB954SP. With Full HD 1080p playback, 1000W of power and 5.1 channel output, the player is neatly packaged in a stylish design with five oval satellite speakers.
With Blu-ray technology and full HD (1080p) up-scaling, the quality of the image and sound have never been clearer, enabling you to enjoy every detail on the screen from your Blu-ray movies, as well as improving the quality of your existing DVD collection. Having specially tuned the system, Mr Mark Levinson, the international authority of high-end audio, ensures that the sound quality is nothing short of perfection – guaranteed to enhance the cinematic experience.
Enhancing its reputation of manufacturing cutting-edge technology, LG’s latest system is packed with amazing features to access additional video and audio content. With one click access to YouTube, the world’s favourite contents sharing site is available at your fingertips, giving access to more than 2.5 billion videos online from the comfort of your living room. The addition of BD Live means you also have access to extra content and downloadable features from filmmakers’ websites. The HB954SP is also able to dock and charge your iPhone or iPod, allowing you to play your music collection through the home cinema system.
Sarah Thompson, marketing executive for digital media at LG Electronics, says, “LG brings the explosiveness and realism of the Hollywood blockbusters into your living room with our latest home cinema system. It is a testament to our endeavour to push the boundaries and create home entertainment solutions to suit everyone’s needs, whilst incorporating the best quality image, sound, and online capabilities”
Designed for ease-of-use, the inclusion of the LG Sound Gallery offers seven simple options to enhance the sound being played to help you create the perfect ambiance in your home, complimenting any mood, so you can activate night mode to turn off the bass so you do not wake sleeping children. With 2 HDMI inputs, this also allows you to hook up other devices such as a game console, DVD recorder or HD satellite box offering great connectivity,
This system will be available from November 2009 from major retailers and independents.
· 1000W audio system, specially tuned by Mr Mark Levinson
· Playback Blu-ray discs in Full HD
· Stream YouTube videos
· iDock – connect your iPod or iPhone and control it all from the remote control
· 2 HDMI inputs
· Full HD 1080p upscaling of standard DVDs
· LG Sound Gallery
· BD Live – download extra movie content via the internet
· Touch sensitive controls
· USB playback
· Optical input