3D TV is the name of the game

By Robert Briel

September 4, 2009 06.12 UK

IFA 2009 – BERLIN. Visitors to this year’s consumer electronics show, which opens today (Friday, September 2), can see live 3D TV demos at the stands of Panasonic, Sony and Philips.

Philips is showing a 3D version of its super widescreen 21:9 cinema television set, requiring the use of special passive glasses.
Sony has even announced it will bring LCD sets to the market, which require the use of so-called active ’shutter glasses’. The company also plans to integrate 3D into its PlayStations and Vaio notebooks.

At the Panasonic stand, viewers can see a 3D trailer of the upcoming Avatar movie, which will hit theatres during the Christmas season. The Japanese manufacturer is showing 3D sets using its plasma display technology and also requires the use of glasses.

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) said it will issue specifications for 3D before the end of the year to make it an integral part of the BD standard.
In spite of the product announcements by both Panasonic and Sony, a 3D standard is still a long way off, with three systems vying for the honour.

According to Andrea Ragnetti, CEO Philips Consumer Lifestyle, the best changes are for a system not requiring glasses. But it is too early for 3D, he said. “The technology is not yet stable enough.”

“3D has been the engineer’s dream for years,” he said, but Philips will wait to see “what the consumer wants”.

The three systems under development at the moment are one requiring passive glasses, one requiring active ’shutter’ glasses and the one without glasses. Philips has been demoing the latter for a number of years.