(October 15, 2009) CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced TECnologies) concluded last week in Chiba, Japan. The show’s big highlight, a preview of 3D HDTVs due to launch in 2010. Toshiba and Sharp debuted their respective 3D HDTV prototypes at CEATEC. Like Sony and Panasonic, they too are using the proposed (and expected to be approved) Blu-ray 3D standard for content storage and display. This means there will be no format war! All 3D HDTVs prototypes on display used “Full HD” 1920 x 1080 resolution with frame sequential left-right display using shutter type glasses. Below are the best new HDTV and other products of the show.




With the largest booth at CEATEC, Panasonic lead the 3D revolution with the unveiling of its prototype 50” 3D plasma HDTV. The images were crisp and bright. Panasonic invited members of the world press to a special 3D information panel. During the presentation, Panasonic executives revealed many details about its up coming 3D HDTVs.

Panasonic reconfirmed a 3D launch in 2010, but will still not pin down a specific date. The 50” prototype, demonstrated the viability of this screen size for full 3D display, a move that implies a line of 3D HDTVs in 2010 will be at this popular size and larger.

In addition to 3D capability, next year’s Panasonic plasma HDTVs incorporate new phosphors that produce improved 2D images, with higher brightness and shorter decay times, resulting in better energy efficiency.

Panasonic’s executives said the company plans to create an entire line of 3D imaging products including camcorders, digital still cameras (under its Lumix brand) as well as 3D capable Blu-ray players and HDTVs.

Panasonic’s president Fumio Ohtsubo discussed 3D adaptation, explaining 3D HDTV will follow traditional consumer acceptance patterns, beginning with early adopters, with sales increasing year to year, leading to mass market acceptance.

Panasonic believes plasma will provide the best large screen 3D image, however, it plans to release smaller screen sizes using its own LCD panels in the future, at a time when many consumers make the shift over to 3D capable displays.Panasonic plans to sell its own manufactured 3D shutter glasses for its 3D HDTVs .

Panasonic made another major announcement, by displaying an HDTV prototype using its newly developed “Neo LCD Eco” IPS Alpha panel. The 42” prototype consumes far less energy than its current LCD models, while producing deep inky blacks, as seen in the photo. These new panels will ship within Panasonic’s 2010 model line to be debuted at the 2010 International CES in Las Vegas.

Panasonic will also lower energy consumption on its plasma HDTVs in 2010, a prototype of its next gen 50” displayed, uses one-third the energy as its 2007 model (see photo).

Emphasizing its corporate commitment to greener products, Panasonic announced plans to introduce energy saving LED light bulbs that consume just 7 watts to create the same amount of light as a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. It is also planning to introduce LED lamps that will enable consumers to change the overall color of the light produced, such as reddish warmth for the winter months or a cooling blue tint during the summer. Panasonic did not provide as date for these innovative lamps to hit the stores.



Sharp showed its prototype 60” 3D LCD HDTV (photo) and announced its next gen LCD panel for 3D HDTV called UV²A Technology, which stands for Ultraviolet-induced Multi-domain Vertical Alignment. According to Sharp’s CEATEC press release, UV²A promises a 60% higher contrast ratio, higher optical efficiency with 20% higher aperture ratio meaning more light from the backlight will emerge through the LCD panel, two times the speed of conventional LCD panels (this is a necessity Full HD 3D which requires using shutter glasses). Sharp added these new gen LCDs will increase production efficiency from simplification of the panel structure.

Sharp opened its new 10th generation LCD plant on October 1, 2009 in Sakai City, Osaka, Japan. It is the first factory to produce panels using the UV²A Technology.



Toshiba introduced for the Japanese market its new Cell Regza 55” LCD LED backlit HDTV. Incorporating a 3-terabyte hard drive, the Cell Regza HDTV can record up to eight terrestrial digital channels simultaneously. The Cell part of the Cell Regza name is Toshiba’s Cell Broadband Engine which provides ultra high speed signal processing.The 55” Cell Regza LCD HDTV will ship in Japan this December at a price of about $11,000 US.

Toshiba staged a very impressive demo if its prototype 3D Cell Regza HDTV (photo), with one of the brightest LCD 3D images seen to date. Like the offerings from the other TV companies on the show floor, the 3D Cell Regza HDTV displays “Full HD 3D” using shutter glasses for viewing 3D images. No price or availability was given for Toshiba’s 3D entry into the USS market, however it appears Toshiba is ready to join the 3D fray.



Sony again showed its shutter glass type 3D “Full HD” LCD prototypes, however the big news: its prototype 240 Hz, single lens 3D video camera. The camera uses a huge lens and a beam splitter to capture 3D images. This 240 Hz rate is up to ten times the rate of pro 2D HDTV video and film cameras. The resulting 3D pictures are both novel and distinctive.

The demo employed Sony’s commercial SXRD 4K front projectors and the same type of passive 3D glasses used today in movie theaters around the world. Unlike other 3D demos, the 240 Hz camera produced 3D images with depth extending from the screen and rearward, like one is looking through a window. No content appeared in front of the screen plane. In 3D tech terms, the Sony camera can only capture images with a 0 or positive “Z axis”. In other words, you don’t see any object appearing inches from your face. On the other hand, we were surprised to see this unique camera’s ability to produce viewable pictures, albeit in 2D, without seeing the double images (left and right views superimposed) one normally observes when trying to view 3D content without using the associated 3D glasses. HD Guru will publish more photos of this novel camera prototype in CEATEC photo montage to be posted shortly.

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