Prepare for a wave of 3-D TVs

Tagged: 3-D TV, Entertainment, Technology
Source: washingtonpost - Read the full article
Posted: 4 years 29 weeks ago

LAS VEGAS Finished catching your breath after the digital TV transition? Good -- the electronics industry has another upgrade in store for you. At the Consumer Electronics Show here, numerous vendors showed off new flat-panel televisions that can display three-dimensional video.

CES, the annual gathering organized by the Arlington-based Consumer Electronics Association, tends to focus on one new technology each year. Some become immensely popular purchases, but some leave few traces in the market (for example, Tablet PCs). It's unclear which fate awaits 3-D TVs, this year's "it" gadget.

From one perspective, their advent makes a fair amount of sense. The box-office success of James Cameron's "Avatar" provides more than sufficient evidence of 3-D's appeal. And in demonstrations on the show floor, that extra dimension gave some programming real pop; for example, falling confetti seemed to float in front of the screen in a clip from the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, and when a skier carving a turn left a rooster trail of snow behind him, you could be forgiven for wanting to duck. Other views didn't look all that different; when seen from the cheap seats, the action on a football field doesn't have that much depth to it, even in the real world.

Appreciating these effects does require special glasses (more on those in a bit) to avoid seeing an irritatingly fuzzy doubled image of what's on the screen. But although this eyewear is bulkier than the plastic glasses you'd don to watch "Avatar," it's not uncomfortable.

From another view, however, marketers charged with selling 3-D sets to the public have a difficult job in store. Although 3-D movies will be available on Blu-ray discs (thanks to the industry settling on a standard for 3-D discs in December), Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications and ESPN plan to launch new 3-D channels, and DirecTV plans to carry three 3-D programming by June, most stuff on TV will continue to be confined to two dimensions for years. (Samsung and Toshiba plan to sell sets that can convert 2-D video to 3-D automatically, but a demonstration of this at Samsung's exhibit looked disappointing; some scenes had no sense of extra depth, while fast-moving figures sometimes appeared in duplicate.)

And there's no ignoring the cost of new 3-D TVs. They require substantially more processing power, plus battery-powered "active" glasses that must be linked wirelessly to the TV to stay in sync. Manufacturers here won't give out price estimates, but it seems likely that the first round of sets will cost $3,000 and up. Don't forget to budget for a new Blu-ray player too, although Sony's PlayStation 3 game console will gain 3-D Blu-ray and game support with a firmware upgrade.

Even a $4,000 price for a new 3-D set would fall well below the five-digit costs of the first flat-panel TVs, which have long since been succeeded by today's commodity-priced LCD and plasma screens. But the buyers of those cheaper flat-panel sets aren't all going to step onto the upgrade treadmill so soon. Some will -- the city outside the convention center should provide sufficient evidence of people's willingness to part with their money for an out-of-the-ordinary experience -- but they may not constitute more than a niche audience for many CES conventions to come.

 

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3dGameMan
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Cool, what make and model 57" TV do you own? That must have been a pricey TV in 2008. I have a Toshiba Regza 52" 1080p 120Hz Flat-Panel LCD HDTV now, but considering something even larger later on this year.

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GraysonPeddie
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$1,600. It's a DLP. I remember ESPN HD been sponsored by DLP, but for now, my lamp's lifespan is about to run out during 2010. But I don't know who's been sponsored by Mitsubishi during 2008... I think it's Music HD since I used to have Comcast HD but couldn't afford it anymore and I went with my antenna. My DLP's got a 6-color wheel (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow). I must say that DLP does tend to make up for lack of 3D experience, but that's okay as I've learned that 6-color wheel gives me a better picture than a 3-color wheel, probably due to color accuracy but I'm not a videophile-ist (don't know the correct spelling).

LCD and Plasma is way more expensive than DLP, if you can forgive the depth of the DLP TV.

When I bought myself into the world of DLP, I thought it used to provide deepest blacks than LCD, but nah... However, it did took me back to the days of 40" floorstanding SDTV that my mom bought around 2000 but the picture quality degraded overtime and some of the buttons broke. It's a GE but not sure of what model my mom's TV is.

The reason why DLP took me back to the days of projection TVs is because of the light shining directly at my eyes when at close and you raise/lower yourself up/down. It gives me that nice effect that the LCD and plasma lacked.

DLP TVs out there are quite limited on where you can find in the market these days.

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GraysonPeddie
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I agree. I already have a 57" as of Jan 2008.

Plus, as a visually impaired, unless my left eye is not blind, I can't see 3D, but just double images or tinted colors when it comes to 3D classes.

I cannot believe all the hype about 3D TV because it made me feel I've been left out when it comes to 3D experience.

HTPC: AMD Athlon X2 4050e CPU with 780G ATX motherboard running Windows 8 DP (4GB) and Ubuntu; Server: AMD AII X2 240e CPU with 880G-based ATX motherboard running Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS (8GB)

2 pairs of Insignia NS-B2111s (front/rear), Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker, and 12" Velodyne Sub

Just ordered HP Pavilion dv7-6165us from QVC. Will have it by next Friday.

3dGameMan
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This and the new LED TVs, will drive down the cost of regular LCDs and Plasmas. I suspect many will be getting a new 50+ TV this year.. LOL