I recently had chance to take a look at the latest Panasonic 3DTV range for 2010 at an event held at a recording studio in London, up close and personal so to speak, well the foreground imagery was at any rate!
Panasonic first showed these particular plasma-based 1080p 3DTVs at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2010) in Las Vegas and from seeing the coverage that came out of that event, it was Panasonic’s 3DTVs that people came away thinking were the best in comparison to all the big manufacturers who were exhibiting their latest products there.
If you’ve been following Zath for any length of time now, you’ll know that we’re big fans of HDTVs, home cinema equipment and more recently 3D cinema and 3DTVs. Therefore, the opportunity to take a look at 3DTV retail products actually aimed at the consumer market was one that I relished, especially since outside of an NVIDIA 3D gaming session at Eurogamer Expo and a 3D theatre experience at the London Eye — beyond that nothing, I’ve not even seen the Avatar 3D film, so this was the first time I was going to see it in action.
Panasonic’s 3DTV Technology
What makes Panasonic’s 3DTV technology better than other systems, I’m sure part of the reason will be that they have been developing their plasma TV technology to ensure that it not only delivers great looking black levels (a very important point for real home cinema fans), but also the screen can refresh enough times per second to provide enough information for two sets of images, one for each eye.
The 3D effect is created by using a pair of powered, active shutter 3D glasses that turn those two sets of images into one image for each eye, I was pleased to find that they are lightweight (weighing just 63g) and that these fitted over my normal glasses with no problem and when I asked the question regarding battery life, was told that the batteries in these would last for around 70 hours between charging. The other piece of vital information to bear in mind is that each pair will cost around £100 and each person viewing in the 3DTV will need a pair — although you can expect to get two pairs with your Panasonic 3DTV / Blu-Ray player.
Panasonic described 3DTV as being the next progressive step up from full 1080p high definition television, just like HDTV moved along from standard definition and colour TV from black and white — I think it’s fair to say that I’m still a little sceptical on this one, at least for certain 3D applications, but I must admit at this point, being a big fan of home cinema and technology in general I’d be happy to be proved wrong on this point. Who knows, developing this kind of 3DTV may eventually lead to true holographic 3D that you wouldn’t need to use glasses for!
That said, having experienced Panasonic’s 3DTV technology system (without previously seeing other systems such as the Sky 3D Football in pubs), I was really impressed by the technology behind their products and can definitely see some great applications for these 3DTVs which would also switch over to being a normal full 1080p HDTV when a non-3D signal is detected. Also, the viewing angle is ideally being positioned directly in front of the TV, however you can still get a good appreciation of the 3D effect from a 45 degree angle which I did try out during the demonstrations.
Overall, I’d say that the Panasonic 3DTV technology is very impressive and is definitely something that will become popular in years to come as television companies such as Sky launch 3DTV channels of content to watch in the home. In recent years 3D technology has really advanced at an impressive rate, some may say that it’s too soon after the introduction of HDTV, especially for those people who have recently bought one.
Although, no doubt there’s still plenty of people out there who as yet upgraded haven’t upgraded to 1080p high definition hardware/content provider, so if that’s the case and as prices come down, I’m sure people will end up buying a 3DTV instead of simply just getting a HDTV, especially as the mainstream gets used to viewing 3D movies in the cinema and 3D sport in the pubs. Panasonic are initially releasing a 50″ 3DTV screen in April 2010 with a 65″ version being released a few months later in 2010. If you want to find more, then be sure to check the Panasonic 3DTV website and you can follow @panasonic3d on Twitter.
What do you think to 3DTV in general and would you be looking to buy a 3DTV when you next replace your existing television? As a technological development, has it come too soon after HDTV? Or are you waiting until you can get a 3DTV without the need for 3D glasses?