3D is ready for prime time

“3D is not a gimmick. 3D is ready for prime-time.” So said Hollywood director James Cameron, speaking in a taped interview at a Panasonic-sponsored event at the giant Las Vegas CES show on Jan 7. Panasonic was highlighting its new range of 3D-ready home theatre TVs.

Star of the show was Panasonic’s massive (and 485 lbs in weight) 103” 3D (3D-FHD) model. This is the first time the set has been seen outside Japan. The model comes with a Blu-ray player ready to deliver 3D images to users wearing special glasses.

“This goes well beyond conventional 3D and Panasonic is fully committed to making it a reality, and soon,” said Bob Perry, EVP at Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co.

“You will no longer just be watching a movie, you'll be experiencing the realism of Hollywood film,” added Panasonic chairman Yoshi Yamada, who stressed Panasonic’s commitment to home 3D HDTV. He also called for the creation of a single standard to encourage the development of more 3D HD content. Mr Yamada said Panasonic’s target for adoption of a standard was the end of 2009, “so that we can start our 3D product business in 2010.” He said a 3D Blu-ray authoring system was currently in development that would enable Hollywood studios to create titles by next year, and that Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory planned to complete a 3D Authoring Center by Feb. 1.

Panasonic also showed off its new ultra-thin panel technologies for its Viera brand. They are ultra-efficient in terms of power consumption - for both its Plasma and LCD versions. Panasonic’s 2009-model NeoPDP and NeoLCD units are claimed to consume just one third of the power of 2007 models.

Fox Sports laid on a special treat for some CES delegates (January 8) in the shape of Thursday's college football championship game between Oklahoma and Florida in 3D. The telecast was also beamed into cinemas around the country.