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3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

Posted January 08, 2010 5:00 AM by frankd20

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2010 seems to have many themes, and one of the biggest one is 3D TV. It seems like just about every company that has anything to do with video is showing off a 3D-something. I had a good idea that 3D was going to be a big thing before going into CES; to be honest, I wasn't blown away by any of the 3D I saw, but it was cool nonetheless.

I saw two different kinds of 3D technology in use. The first one I saw uses glasses, and of this there are two main kinds of glasses: active and passive. The second kind doesn't use glasses. If you want to watch 3D, that means that you need to somehow send one picture to the left eye, and one to the right. This means for every picture you now need two, which means some sort of trade off. This trade off is in the form of either lower resolution, or lower frame rate. To compensate either, you need to double the resolution or double the frame rate.

I only saw a couple of sets that did not require glasses, the most notable by Samsung. The 3D TV without glasses uses a special lens called a lenticular lens, which works sort of like venetian blinds. When you look straight on at this lens, the slight angle between your eyes can be used to direct video to one eye or the other. To do this, it means the even lines would be for one eye, while the odd lines would be for the other; this results in noticeably lower resolution. Another thing is that you need to stand in the right place to see the effect. The TV I saw had 8 angles where the effect would work. I found that the 3D effect worked, but made me dizzy, and made me really dizzy if I was not standing in the correct position.

The active glasses method requires special glasses that either has wires connected to them, or has a battery and is worked by remote. The glasses method cuts your frame rate in half, so to compensate, TV makers have upped the refresh rate. The idea with the active glasses is that the glasses effectively have shutters in them, such that they alternate between left and right eye. At the same time, the screen alternates between the left and right eye. The main advantage to this method is that it requires the least amount of specialized TV hardware.

The passive glasses work with polarization; some use clockwise and counterclockwise circular polarization, while others use horizontal and vertical polarization. In this case, the image has been polarized so that each eye gets the correct image. With circular polarization, you can tilt your head at any angle; with the horizontal/vertical, you have to keep your head straight or the 3D effect goes away. The disadvantage to this is that it requires the TV to be built with the ability to polarize the images.

Now the bad news: it seems like no matter what the method, you are going to need a TV that has been designed to work with 3D. I went into CES excited to see how 3D was going to be in all our living rooms. After seeing what is available, I don't know how quickly that will happen, or how satisfied the general consumer will be with current solutions.

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#1

Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/08/2010 2:15 PM

Many thanks for sharing your 3-D TV report with us, frankd20. Fascinating technology.

In my humble opinion (which could be 100% wrong ) - I see sports programming - whether it be the NFL Network in North America or the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa - driving global early-adopter consumer purchases for this technology.

Also, have you spotted Gareth Mitchell or the team from BBC Click at the show yet? They've been there in past years, so wondering if you've seen their booth.

Looking forward to your next report!

Sincerely,

- Larry

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#4
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Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/08/2010 11:04 PM

I agree sports could be really cool in 3D..

Having watched a couple of movies in the new 3d (Christmas Carol & Avatar), I would add that the effects are extremely effective with text, and would therefore expect that advertisers would be demanding the technology from 3d artists when they purchase their advertising graphics... just for grabbing viewer attention in that ever-increasing viewer overload...

Chris

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#2

Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/08/2010 3:16 PM

3D technology is pretty awesome and definitely the future but I get the feeling that at this point everyone is just trying to rush something to market to capitalize on the "early adopter" phase when they can charge an arm and a leg for the devices.

There are so many different competing technologies and methods as you described, who really knows which one has the most potential?

The 3D that requires glasses looks better (for now) but that might not always be the case, and I'm sure consumers would rather not have to put special glasses on to watch TV.

I see this whole 3D push that is going on as a way for the electronics companies to make you go out and buy completely new equipment right after they got everyone to upgrade to 1080p TVs.

Get back to me in 3-5 years once the 3D methods have matured and prices have come down to earth.

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#3

Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/08/2010 7:05 PM

Thanks for the info, Frankd20. I noticed that there has been a lot of talk about 3D TV, so I was curious. I'm not sure I'd want to watch TV with any type of extra glasses on, but who knows what they'll be like when/if they reach a price acceptable to most consumers.

But, as a side note: I went to see the movie Avatar in 3D last weekend and by the end, I had a roaring headache. This wouldn't be acceptable for me with TV, because I watch way too much of it.

Hope you enjoy the rest of CES!

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#5

Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/09/2010 8:14 AM

I'm still waiting for when the black stripes on the edge of my newly purchased and now obsolete HDTV will go away (the first blew up 2 days after the warranty period expired....now THAT'S engineering!...I suggest turning off the internal tv clock). So, the question I ask is when, in this lifetime, will the broadcasters actually have enough 3d material to broadcast. Conversely, there actually isn't that much HD being broadcast even though the broadcast claims to be in hd.

Funky 3d or holo techno aside I'm holding out for the dielectric liquid filled engram immersion pod with feeding tubes attached.

Thanks for the info Frank!

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#6

Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/10/2010 12:55 PM

In the history of television many innovations gained acceptance as applied to pornography. VCRs allowed viewers to buy or rent a porno tape, and watch it at home, for instance. Pay per view is another example. I knew of people who got satellite systems specifically so as to be able to watch porno.

(You no longer have many X rated movie theaters around now, as I remember most towns and cities had some around dedicated to showing those sorts of films.)

I imagine that 3D TV would be attractive to some employed for that genre of entertainment.

I will hazard a bet that whatever system that the porno producers chose to make their productions for, will be most likely to find more general acceptance.

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#7
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Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/10/2010 1:42 PM

It's hard not to agree....

that industry has umm enlarged significantly with the internet...

I'm sure 3d will be more significant for the porn industry than electro-stimulating virtual reality suits were...

the question is... how many people will buy 3d technology to watch porn?

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Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/10/2010 3:14 PM

I am slightly confused since apparently the technology does not require specially made DVDs? -At least no mention of that as an issue.

If that is not an issue, and the 3D systems compare in price to initial prices for similar innovations we may extrapolate and arrive at an estimate.

To tell the truth I would be very surprised if 3D TV systems were to become predominate across the board. Historically they have not been more than novelties.

From my understanding of human nature, and how we react to art on the wall, on the page, on the stage, or in the theater, I really do not expect 3D TV to be grandly desirable.

In fact I'd say that since much of what television really is, is simply visual radio, those systems that allow one to turn off the 3D will do better than those that are exclusively designed to give that experience.

For instance, would you really want to watch the news or some talk show or a commercial for cat food in 3D?

Now, Porno, yeah, I might go for that!

Throw in the occasional war movie, figures on past percentages of porno sales and tech, that allowed such movies to move out of the theaters, and into the home, and you are getting close to being able to predict what market share on Earth, might be captured.

Outerspace is a different story due to issues of sensory depravation known to create hallucinatory events should it be too quiet, etcetera.

P.S.

I watched a thing about Stateville Prison on TV last night where prisoners were put into Solitary Confinement and pretty much the practice is known to produce mental illness. I believe that while it is true some people are simply hardwired never to be quite right, for society in general it is unwise to make them worse.

Might be an interesting experiment to segregate some of these sorts, put them in their cell, with a 3D TV system and see if they improve?

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#9
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Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/10/2010 3:22 PM

I didn't see the program on Statesville.. but there was a show the other night on the Fifth Estate about a young girl who went to juvenile detention for a month, and ended up a year there, and then transferred to prison.. and several years there..end 95% of her time was in isolation... really a horrific and tragic story..

things must change... I don't think incarceration, isolation, tasers, cocoons, etc..have any effect but to force insanity.. and it affects the guards sanity too.

follow procedures or lose your job...

anyway.. .don't get me started.

chris

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#10
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Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/11/2010 5:35 PM

I haven't heard about 3D DVDs but 3D blu-ray players were all over at the show. Also HDMI is being upgraded (1.4) to support 3D. I am sure you must need 3D content, so you must need 3D disks just that very few are out at this time.

The bottom line is, if you want 3D, you need a 3D capable TV, a 3D capable blu-ray player, and some 3D content. In addition you will likely need some special glasses which for most systems are active so they won't be cheap.

On a very large screen like in the theater, the 3D looks great because everything is so large and comes out of the screen very far. With your home set even the 60" ones although it will be 3D its not the same. I just don't think your average consumer will see the benefit.

I went to the show excited about the 3D, thinking when can I get this in my living room, and now I think I will wait.

All in all I think if you want your home entrainment system to be on the cutting edge of 3D, your bank account is going to become 1D in a hurry.

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#11
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Re: 3D TV at CES 2010 (Day 1)

01/11/2010 6:33 PM

Thanks for clearing my question up with the info that the Disc, and the 3D System are distinct.

What we looking at here? Sounds like you could drop 5 to ten grand, and not have all that much content to play.

I remember the Laser Disc, overtaken by the DVD.

I even forget now what blu-ray overtook.

How do you find my other judgements?

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