Technologizer posts about 3D TV

Over at TIME.com, I reviewed Sony’s Personal 3D Viewer, which lets you strap two tiny OLED screens to your head for 3D movie watching and game playing. It’s an unusual gizmo, and at $800, it isn’t cheap. But I liked the 3D effect way more than almost anything else I’ve seen.

Posted by Harry at 8:34 am

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I don’t mean to suggest that I know more about the movie business than Jeffrey Katzenberg. But I’m relieved to see that the gut instinct I had all along seems to be fact: 3D movies were, are, and always will be a fad.

I wonder how long it’ll take until Hollywood and consumer-electronics companies conclude that the magic of 3D isn’t that magical at home, either?

Posted by Harry at 6:16 pm

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The Curse of 3D TV, Continued

By  |  Posted at 1:11 am on Saturday, September 3, 2011

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[At Panasonic's booth, IFA attendees use glasses to view 3D images of the women performing right there in front of them.]

Last year, I attended the IFA consumer-electronics megaconference in Berlin. The exhibitions of the big manufacturers were utterly dominated by 3D TVs. All that blurry 3D hurt my eyeballs, put me in a bad mood, and prompted this rant.

This year, I’m back in Berlin for IFA. There’s still scads of 3D, but it’s not quite as omnipresent as last year. Whether companies are losing interest or simply recalibrating their expectations to something more in line with consumers’ level of interest in this stuff, I’m not sure.
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Samsung and LG Bicker Over Lie-Down 3D, Miss the Point

By  |  Posted at 2:33 pm on Friday, March 11, 2011

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The Wall Street Journal brings us an amusing story about the battle between LG and Samsung over 3D TV standards. Although the heart of the debate — whether active shutter systems are superior to polarized displays, or vice versa — is perfectly legitimate, the two companies are busy having a silly argument about whether you can watch 3D TV while lying down.

LG started it. A company advertisement in Korean reads, “Finally, you will have a comfortable way to watch 3-D.” But Samsung says this isn’t possible without inducing dizziness and nausea. LG says lying sideways merely diminishes the 3D effect. The Journal steps in and says the 3D effect nearly disappears when viewing a polarized display horizontally, but with active shutter glasses the picture goes completely black.

Missing from the debate is one key point: Why would you want to watch 3D TV lying down in the first place?

I understand that, for a lot of people, lying down in front of the tube is the natural way of things. But 3D TV isn’t natural. It tricks your brain and creates a 3D illusion that’s best-viewed in short sittings — say, the length of a movie. Put another way, 3D TV is an event. It’s meant for action movies and sports, not sitcoms and the nightly news. If you’re lying down to watch Avatar’s alien beasts pop out of the screen, you’re doing it wrong.



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Sony to Fight Off 3D Skepticism

By  |  Posted at 7:07 am on Friday, January 7, 2011

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The skeptics are wrong about 3D technology, said Sony CEO Howard Stringer, as he unveiled a far-reaching Sony roadmap for 3D “without or without glasses” across TVs, PlayStations, Blu-ray players, displays, movies, camcorders, and more.

Consumers will start to really buy into 3D technology whenever their favorite TV shows start showing up in 3D, he predicted, during a CES press conference.

Stringer contended that if anyone can convert the 3D naysayers, it’s Sony, with the company’s huge presence in the entertainment, hardware, and software industries.

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Xpand’s New 3D Glasses: Universal and Tweakable

By  |  Posted at 7:46 am on Wednesday, January 5, 2011

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Most of the glasses people use to watch 3D are one-size-fits-all models–and I’m not just talking about the size of the frames. They work the same way for everybody, and behave the same way no matter what sort of content you’re watching. It’s a little as if everybody who wore standard eyeglasses had to wear the same prescription.

Here at CES, 3D technology company Xpand is trying to change that, with a series of 3D eyewear it’s calling Youniversal. Like earlier Xpand models, the new ones are designed to be universal–you can adjust them to work with any TV that uses active-shutter 3D. But they’re also available in multiple sizes, and work with an app available for iPhone and Android that lets you tweak their performance for factors such as whether you’re also wearing prescription glasses, the lighting environment, and whether you’re aiming for a subtle 3D effect or want stuff to fly off the screen and smack you in the face.

I haven’t tried these new goggles yet, so I can’t vouch for whether they do indeed enhance 3D–but given that I’m virtually never happy with the experience I get from off-the-shelf 3D glasses, I’m intrigued with the idea. Xpand says they’ll be available in April, and that it hasn’t set pricing yet–but these are in addition to its current $129 model, and will offer better 3D at a higher pricetag.



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CES 2011: Toshiba’s Glasses-Free 3D

By  |  Posted at 10:56 pm on Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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When it comes to 3D, I’m pretty much a worst-case scenario. I bristle at the fact that I’m expected to wear ill-fitting glasses over my regular glasses. I’ve sampled multiple 3D technologies and found all of them wanting. It all seems like a lot of expense and effort for very little benefit.

But I am sort of intrigued by 3D that doesn’t require glasses. And at a pre-CES party tonight here in Las Vegas, Toshiba was showing a l56-inch flat-screen TV and a laptop which do 3D, no funny goggles required. The two devices use lenticular displays, just like the little picture of Pinocchio I owned when I was three. (Lenticular video screens are also nothing new, though all the ones I’ve seen until now have been blurry and unappealing.)

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Good news for folks who aren’t completely jaded with 3D TV: Sony’s Playstation 3 is a 3D Blu-ray movie player as of today’s firmware update. Now, if only you could find some movies that aren’t exclusively tied to new television purchases.

Posted by Jared at 7:18 am

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Toshiba Gets Into The 3D HDTV Fray

By  |  Posted at 10:12 pm on Monday, September 20, 2010

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Although I don’t understand why 3D HDTVs have become all the rage lately — I have yet to be impressed by one — it’s not preventing everyone from jumping into the fray. Toshiba is the latest, releasing two models as part of its Cinema Series line.

Now 3D aside, the picture quality from these televisions are top notch from what I saw. They include Toshiba’s ClearFrame technology which prevents some of the loss of clarity in fast moving pictures that plague your everyday LCD set, and 1080p resolution. The set also includes built in Wi-Fi, and features Yahoo Connected TV technology.

Two sizes are available, a 46 and 55 inch model, which would retail for $2,599 and $3,299 respectively. The company also includes a lower end version without 3D in the same sizes, at prices of $2,299 and $2,799. The glasses would be sold separately which run about $170 a piece.

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The Curse of 3D TV

Television makers think three dimensions are the next big thing after HD. God, I hope not.

By  |  Posted at 5:10 pm on Friday, September 3, 2010

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(At Panasonic’s IFA booth: People using 3D glasses and monitors to watch the live women in front of their faces.)

If you determine the big story here at the IFA tech show here in Berlin based on raw square footage in the booths, there’s no question what it is: 3D TV is everywhere.

The massive booths of consumer-electronics giants such as Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, and Toshiba are dominated by 3D. There’s 3D that requires pricey active-shutter glasses. There’s 3D that uses cheaper passive specs. (There’s even 3D from the Fraunhofer Institute that doesn’t need glasses.) There are 3D games and 3D Blu-Ray players and 3D soccer broadcasts and 3D LCD sets and 3D plasmas and 3D projectors and giant walls made out of 3D screens.

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Want Avatar on 3D Blu-ray? First, You’ll Need a Panasonic TV

By  |  Posted at 8:58 am on Friday, September 3, 2010

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Nine months after Avatar’s theatrical release, it’s still regarded as the pinnacle of 3D entertainment. So it’s too bad that only buyers of Panasonic 3D televisions will get the movie when it’s released on 3D Blu-ray in December.

For an undisclosed period of time, Avatar will be bundled with Panasonic’s 3D televisions, and won’t be sold through any other means, Twice reports. Panasonic wants to make the movie available to people who have already purchased a Panasonic 3D TV, but is still working out the details. Avatar could be bundled with Panasonic 3D Blu-ray players and home theaters as well, but the company  wouldn’t confirm whether this is going to happen.

Avatar isn’t the first 3-D movie to be given exclusively to a single television brand — Samsung bundles Monsters vs. Aliens, and Panasonic has offered Coraline and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. TV makers lock down these deals to convey the idea that 3D content actually exists, and Hollywood studios like the deals because they provide a guaranteed return on the 3D investment.

But as CNet points out, Avatar will likely be the first live-action 3-D Blu-ray movie available in the United States. It’s a big deal, and locking it down to one TV maker is a short-sighted move by Panasonic and 20th Century Fox, one that puts their own interests ahead of 3D’s greater well-being. The exclusive Avatar deal might boost Panasonic’s sales this holiday season, but when prospective buyers learn that almost every other 3D Blu-ray disc is also tied down to specific televisions, at the expense of having lots of movies on store shelves, they might sour on the idea of 3D TV altogether.



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Samsung is Really Serious About 3D TV

By  |  Posted at 9:48 am on Friday, August 13, 2010

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With the vast bulk of the still very emerging 3D TV market in its veritable hands, Samsung plans to place 3D TVs in more people’s living rooms by bringing out more entertainment content and less costly equipment. At an event this week in New York City, the consumer electronics maker did just that.

Many who got the mysteriously worded invitation expected to see the rollout of Samsung’s rumored tablet. Samsung instead presented the world’s first portable Blu-ray player with 3D output, a gadget that looks a lot like a netbook except for the DVD slot on the right-hand side.

Samsung also rolled out three new plasma 3D TVs–including a 50-inch entry in the Plasma C490 Series, the first 3DTV from Samsung in the $1,100 bracket–along with an LED 3D TV, a far pricier 65-inch model in the LED C8000 Series which goes for around $6,000.

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