3D-TV: Coming Right At Us
Samsung and Mitsubishi are leading the charge as manu­facturers roll out three-dimensional television. And it could be a boon for the DLP market.
Samsung and Mitsubishi have recently demoed 3D technology on their DLP TVs.
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October 19, 2007 by Rebecca Day

Imagine watching an NFL football game on field level with a 240-pound linebacker rushing your way. Or, follow Rudolph, Santa and the whole brigade as they fly through the night on Christmas Eve. Or try ogling a sea turtle as it swims by from just a few feet away.

Ok, cool enough, but now put on a pair of goggles and experience it all in 3D. All of a sudden the fourth wall between TV and you has disappeared. You want to race the other way to avoid a punishing tackle, your stomach drops a bit as the sleigh takes a dip around a skyscraper, and you’re close enough to pet the giant sea turtle that’s eying you for lunch. You’d swear you’re anywhere but in front of your TV.

Yep, 3D TV is coming to a store near you, and it could mark the renaissance of the DLP TV, which has been largely overshadowed by the flat-panel craze.
Samsung and Mitsubishi have recently demoed 3D technology on their DLP TVs. Mitsubishi says its 833 series of Diamond DLPs are 3D-ready and future-proofed.

Samsung is already there. Fourteen of the company’s 17 models in 2007 are 3D-ready.  Samsung is selling a $199 3D starter pack that includes two pairs of wireless 3D glasses, a wireless 3D transmitter and software from TriDef that turns any two-dimensional DVD into 3D, presents photos and video content in 3D, displays Google Earth content in 3D and enables you to play a PC game in 3D.

The catch? You have to run the software through a Media Center PC and connect the PC to the TV. Samsung recommends the following minimum hardware specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (or compatible AMD) processor, 2 GB DDR2 memory, an NVIDIA GeForce 7950 or equivalent graphics card, and a DVD drive. You supply the DVI-to-HDMI connector.

For its part, Mitsubishi, which showed an impressive 6-minute demo of 3D technology at the recent CEDIA Expo in Denver, is evaluating various technologies to introduce 3D into the home. Those include 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc players, game consoles and broadcasts.

The gamer is the prime target of DLP today, according to a spokesperson for Texas Instruments, which invented DLP in 1987. Many PC games are 3D by design today but limited by two-dimensional monitors. 3D will deliver a new immersive experience for the gamer on a big-screen DLP.

According to Dan Schinasi, senior marketing manager of HDTV product planning at Samsung, DLP is conducive to 3D playback because it is easy to implement at a low cost to TV makers. In addition, TI’s DLP 3-D HDTV technology supplies a 60Hz-frame-rate signal to each eye, which reduces the flicker that’s plagued other 3D display systems in the past.

The technology works by generating independent views for the left and right eyes. A synchronization signal is created for each view and transmitted wirelessly to the viewer’s glasses which process the signal and control the shutter.

So what’s to watch? PC games, photos and videos including “Ghosts of the Abyss,” “Night of the Living Dead” and “A Better Mousetrap” (Amazon.com is a good source for content). Many movies are being shot in 3D and it’s just a matter of time before they’re released as 3D DVDs.

Now if they can only figure out how to ditch the glasses.

For more information about 3D technology and gaming, check out this article on CEPro.com.

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