3D TV Is Now Mainstream


Tony Gunnarsson

Helen Davis Jayalath

January 31, 2012

In 2011, 3D technology was at the forefront of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but this year, overall, 3D was much less visible. Those 3D announcements that were made tended to focus on new models of existing 3D products rather than new developments in the evolution of the technology. However, the roll-call of manufacturers announcing new 3D models does not suggest the CE sector is losing interest in the technology:

  • Sony will launch two new BD3D players – the BDP-S590 and the BDP-S790 – the latter model also being Sony’s first BD player capable of upscaling HD content to 4K resolution
  • Samsung showed its new compact BD3D player, the BD-ES6000, one of the smaller players on the market
  • Two of Toshiba’s four new BD players for 2012 will be BD3D capable;
  • Panasonic showcased four BD3D players alongside two new 2D-only BD players;
  • While many companies brought new 3D screens to CES, Sharp and LG were responsible for the largest: Sharp’s 80-inch 3D LED-TV and LG’s 84-inch 4k upscaling 3D TV, billed as the world’s largest 3D screen.

Sharp also demo’ed an updated version of its existing 3D home theatre projector and a new smart mobile phone with 3D screen (the Galapagos 003SH) while LG showed off its latest home theatre 3D system including a BD3D player and high-end audio system, which the company claimed was capable of delivering not just 3D video but also ‘3D sound’.

There were, however, few announcements regarding new 3D content, with Sony the only studio to announce new 3D films, and only four of them, all sequels, namely Men In Black 3 and the forthcoming titles in the Spider-Man, Ghost Rider and Underworld franchises. Meanwhile, Panasonic was revealed as NBC Universal’s 3D broadcasting partner for the London 2012 Olympics.

In other software-related news, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is to release of Bond 50, a mammoth 50 disc Blu-ray boxset containing all the films in the British spy franchise to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film.

Based on this year’s International CES, 3D is no longer the headliner technology that it was a year ago. This does not mean that the industry has given up on 3D, but rather that 3D is now, as predicted, a standard feature of high-end home entertainment products. Both Samsung and LG separately said that over half of their respective 3D screen models in 2012 support 3D, while Panasonic claimed that for new models announced in 2012, 93 per cent of plasma displays, 40 per cent of LCD TVs and four out of six new Blu-ray players are 3D capable. On the content side, an increasing number of new blockbusters movies are now filmed in 3D, screened in 3D theatres and will be released on BD3D for home video audience. Now it is up to the marketing teams to try to convince consumers that the technology is worth investing in.



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