(September 21, 2010) Universal City, Ca.- At the 3rd Annual 3D Entertainment Summit, a two day conference of key 3D industry players that ended last week, Josh Greer President and Co-founder of 3D technology company RealD revealed potentially game-changing information about his company’s new 3D home display technology.
During the “The Future Drivers in the 3D Ecosystem” panel Greer announced that ReadD technology licensees will be able to offer the first “Full HD” passive 3D HDTVs in 2011, allowing the use of inexpensive, lightweight glasses (like the one you’re provided when visiting a 3D movie theater).
Current consumer 3D TVs require battery powered active shutter 3D glasses that retail from $130-$200 each. All 2010 model 3D TVs must have a built-in or add-on infra red emitter to sync the TV to the shutter-type active glasses.
The RealD system uses patented ZScreen technology, an electro-optical system built into the front of a flat panel that very rapidly changes the light from clockwise circular polarization to counterclockwise and back again.
The RealD circular polarized passive glasses act like shutters, permitting the left image to go to the left eye by making the right eye black out, during which time the right eye shows the right eye view while blacking out the left eye. Images are displayed sequentially on the flat panel, just like the current 3D TVs.
The major advantages of passive 3D eyewear are: very light weight, no battery to recharge or replace and low cost (from less than one dollar apiece). Eliminating the need for an infra-red sync emitter within or attached to the TV has a major benefit: no longer will the 3D effect be lost if the beam is blocked by someone walking in front of the set or if a viewer turns his or her head away from the emitter.
Eyeglass maker Luxottica will offer its Oakley brand of 3D compatible passive glasses in uncorrected or with prescriptions later this year.
To date, the only passive large screen flat panels available in the US are expensive (>$6000) 46″ commercial monitors from JVC and Hyundai and these systems are only capable of one-half HD resolution at 1920 x 540 (versus 1920 x1080 for Full HD)
In other remarks Greer said he expects that active shutter 3D TVs will continue to be sold alongside the new 3D “passive glasses” sets for the next 4-5 years.
Passive “Full HD” using the RealD technology transfers the bulk of the cost of the 3D feature from the active glasses to the TV. No word yet on the cost premium for these new TVs or which of the RealD licensed TV makers (Sony, JVC, Samsung, Toshiba and Panasonic) will be the first to offer this new class of 3D flat panel HDTVs.
We expect the US introduction at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Jan. with availability next spring.
Upcoming 3D Titles
Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and Warner announced new 3D Blu-ray titles during the 3D Entertainment Summit. They include Monster House (Sept. 21) and My Bloody Valentine (Oct. 5 as a Best Buy exclusive).
Arriving Nov 16 from Warner Home Video are Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Clash of the Titans, The Polar Express, IMAX Deep Sea 3D, IMAX Under the Sea 3D and IMAX Space Station 3D. On the same date Sony will release Open Season and A Christmas Carol.
Edited By Michael Fremer
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