Posts tagged 3DTV
After a year of hearing about 3DTVs nonstop we finally got some of the main contenders in house to examine, although we’ll start by pointing out that this isn’t so much of a “3DTV” roundup, since a more apt description of these displays is 3D-capable HDTVs. That’s an important distinction to make, since nothing about the 2D performance of these TVs suffers because of their ability to do 3D, and in many cases they cost the exact same price as their comparable 2D-only models from last year. With that said Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Mitsubishi and LG’s finest have had their moment and on the next page we’ve done our best to compare them in a way that makes sense for the average HDTV buyer who might also want to take in a 3D event or movie from time to time. Right now, there’s barely enough 3D content to support more than a couple of hours viewing per week, much less support a full viewing conversion to all-glasses, all the time — but more about that later. Check out our full impressions after the break.
In case you hadn’t noticed, there was some trouble brewing in the NVIDIA camp. After ages of reigning atop the land of stereoscopic 3D playback on the PC, NVIDIA is finally being confronted with a real, bona fide standard for 3D, with zero GPUs capable of meeting it. The current NVIDIA 3D Vision-compatible cards pump out the necessary pixels over DisplayPort or dual DVI plugs, while the official spec for 3D TVs is an HDMI 1.4 plug that accepts data from both frames at once. We were in doubt there for a moment, but it turns out NVIDIA’s cards upgrade to 1.4 just fine, and all 3D Vision customers will be getting this as a free upgrade later this spring. NVIDIA will also be offering this 3DTV Play software in a standalone version for $40 to folks who don’t want to bother with NVIDIA’s 3D Vision stuff at all (with HDMI 1.4 you can just use the stereoscopic glasses that come with your fancy new 3D TV, no need for NVIDIA’s setup). NVIDIA is naturally hitting all the high points of the 1.4 spec, with 1080p24, 720p60 (the official gaming spec), and 720p50. The cards will also support 3D Blu-ray. So, just about time to splurge big on that home theater PC? We don’t know… is it just us, or does that guy and his couch look a little lonely?
Kicking off an expected repeat flood of 3DTV info over the next few days (Samsung and Panasonic both have events scheduled over the next couple of days) Sony has revealed pricing and shipping information for its new televisions and related accessories in Japan. The new sets share that sweet/ominous monolithic style of the already available NX800 series (also announced today in Japan, along with fellow 2D-only HX700 LCD and DVR-packing BX30H televisions,) with the edge-lit LED LX900 bringing the entire 3D package. With IR emitter built in and two pairs of RealD active shutter glasses, all you’ll need to add is a source to the 60-, 51-, 46- and 40-inch models, ranging in price from ¥580,000 ($6,444) to ¥290,000 ($3,222.) Even if the TDG-BR100 / TDG-BR50 3D glasses (also available as an accessory for ¥12,000 ($133) or so) aren’t on your face this WiFi-connected abyss of entertainment will look back into you, using face tracking to detect if someone is sitting too close and warn them to move back, as well as dimming and eventually turning off the screen if you leave the room or simply looked away from the TV for an extended period.
Firsthand impressions outside the CES crucible are flowing in following the worldwide launch of Samsung’s new LCD 3DTVs. UK publications have gotten up close with production versions of the new HDTVs, TechRadar observed the Monsters vs. Aliens Blu-ray disc packed in with the new displays over there plus the 2D-to-3D conversion feature, reporting the latter worked better on sports footage of ice skaters but caused “disconcerting” effect on news broadcasts. A video preview from Which? (embedded after the break) gives a good look at the new remote and managed to clear up one of the early worries about new display by confirming the 3D effect continued to work even from a wide viewing angle. For those who have already pressed the buy button, taking advantage of that effect will of course require 3D glasses. While Samsung’s already promised multiple models a lone battery powered pair for adults has appeared for preorder on Vanns for $150, which despite the relatively reasonable cost of the displays could make group viewings very expensive for the early adopter. While that may not be out of the price range for some, we’ll keep an eye out for pricing info from the competition — and looking for cheaper 3rd party alternatives. Check out their impressions and decide for yourself how much a 3D World Cup experience is worth.