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Sony and Panasonic Lead the Charge for 3D Home Theater

Written on Sep 3, 2009 by Brian and filed under Knowledge Base, Panasonic, Sony

This year’s home theater tech shows have been quite the bed of activity around 3D technology for home theaters. By now most of us have seen a 3D movie in the theaters, though they’ve largely been geared toward kids. But if Sony, Panasonic and others have their way, you won’t have to go to the theater to get the immersive 3D experience we all enjoy. To get the message out that 3D is 2010′s big thing, Panasonic and Sony have kicked the PR engine into full gear to get the word out.

The good news is that 3D is the first game-changing technology to come to home theater since the advent of the flat panel TV. The bad news is that you’ll have to replace your TV and DVD player and you’ll need to stock up on 3D glasses. Oh, and there’s the other little issue that content creators haven’t exactly figured out how to deliver 3D content yet. But don’t let that discourage you or slow the full court press that is coming to promote 3D.

Sony – 3D in 2010 or Bust

Today at the IFA show in Berlin, Sony formally committed to “lead the way in delivering new 3D viewing experiences by bringing 3D to the home in 2010.” Sony pumped their 3D compatible Bravia LCD TVs which “incorporate frame sequential display and active-shutter glass systems together with Sony’s proprietary high frame rate technology to enable the reproduction of full High Definition high-quality 3D images.”

3D requires more than just a compatible TV though – Sony also announced that it will develop 3D compatibility into other devices like it’s computers, Blu-ray players and of course the PlayStation 3. Their vision then is to not only get into 3D movies, but games as well, which potentially revolutionizes that industry as well.

Sony has even created a video to help consumers get excited about the prospect of 3D in their home theater setups.

Panasonic Launches 3D Road Show

Not to be outdone by Sony, Panasonic today launched a 3D road show. They’ll be taking three custom-built, expandable tractor trailers around the country to give the public their first demo of Panasonic’s 3D systems. Each rig will be outfitted with a complete 3D system and room for 25-35 people per demonstration. Look for the trucks at special events, sporting events, electronics retailers and the like. The tour will run through March 2010 and Panasonic hopes to demo the technology for at least 500,000 people.

“Panasonic’s Full HD 3D represents the next stage of audio-visual technologies for the home beyond High Definition,” said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, Panasonic Corporation of North America’s Chief Technology Officer. “Full HD 3D enables virtually the same quality and immersive experience as in 3D theaters. We also hope through our 3D TV truck tour to assure consumers that Panasonic is working diligently with fellow consumer electronics leaders and Hollywood to create a single open Full HD 3D TV standard.”

Not to be outdone by Sony, Panasonic also has a video extolling the virtues of 3D home theater.

The Reality of 3D Home Theater

There’s little doubt 3D is going to happen. It’s not just a Sony and Panasonic thing, dozens of companies are trying to figure out the standards for content delivery and creative ways to make this technology interesting for consumers. At the end of the day though, adoption will come down to economics. Will these companies be able to produce the technology cost effectively enough to get consumers to upgrade right away or will consumers wait a for a few iterations before they commit? And there are serious questions about the content as well. As in, who will release 3D content and how will it be distributed.

The one thing that’s not in doubt is that consumers love the idea of 3D home theater and the immersive experience it delivers. If Sony gets this into the PlayStation, there’s a shot 3D revolutionizes gaming too. The next year will certainly be interesting as these home theater companies one-up each other with 3D theater announcements.


One Response to “Sony and Panasonic Lead the Charge for 3D Home Theater”

  1. Also, I couldn’t see people wanting to go home and put on a pair of glasses to watch TV with. Yes, it works in a theater but at home?? I doubt it. They should be working on a way to watch 3D without glasses. Now that might sell. Oh well, it’ll be interesting to see where this all goes.

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