3D Tech

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Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jun 29, 2016  |  3 comments
I’m standing atop the Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona. I look up, and Gaudí’s organically ornate spires reach up toward the sky and sun above me. I look down, and the streets radiate out like spokes on a wheel. Suddenly, I want tapas.


Rob Sabin  |  Jul 08, 2011  |  1 comments
If you're shopping for an HDTV this weekend, you might find yourself battle-scarred by a war you didn't even know was happening. Anyone considering a set with 3D compatibility—which now comes along for the ride in most better flat panels —will be forced to choose between one that comes with either active-shutter or passive 3D technology. The key proponents of active-shutter 3D are Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony. Leading the charge for the more recently introduced passive technology are Toshiba, Vizio, and LG (which developed the passive home 3D system being used by the others). Although both types will play back the same 3D Blu-ray Discs and broadcasts, the glasses and the resulting 3D image are different. Here are some facts to help you sort things out.
Thomas J. Norton  |  May 18, 2011  |  0 comments
Another Road to 3D

Up to the present, all 3D HDTVs have used active shutter glasses, and most still do. The two separate 3D images—one for each eye and each of them full 1920-by-1080 resolution—flash on the screen in sequence. Active shutter glasses are triggered by an IR signal generated by the 3DTV (or a separate transmitter attached to it). To isolate the 3D images to their respective eyes, the glasses alternately open and close each eyepiece. The alternating is rapid enough that even though the two pictures are displaced in time, the brain fuses them together and sees them as a single 3D image.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 19, 2011  |  0 comments
As far as I have understood up to now, a passive-3D LCD flat panel displays 3D Blu-ray images in the following manner—the odd-numbered lines of left-eye information are displayed in the odd-numbered lines on the screen, and the even-numbered lines of right-eye information are displayed in the screen's even-numbered lines. As a result, the TV simply discards the undisplayed lines and each eye sees a resolution of only 1920x540 pixels. However, the image on such TVs that I've seen looks sharper than this would seem to indicate, though I do normally see thin, black horizontal lines, especially if I'm too close to the screen. The explanation I've heard most often is that the brain fuses the two images into one 1920x1080 3D image, but LG tells a somewhat different story.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 21, 2010  |  0 comments
The first thing you’ll need to bring 3D home is a 3DTV. While they’re outwardly similar to any HDTV and fully capable of 2D playback, 3DTVs can decode and display 3D from one of several standard 3D formats. In general, 3D sets also offer separate setup menus for 2D and 3D material, plus additional 3D controls that can help you get the best out of 3D sources.

Some of these sets, like LCD models from Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba, and some new Panasonic plasmas, include special processing that converts 2D sources into a semblance of 3D. Our limited experience with this feature so far suggests that it can be effective with some material, but it’s no substitute for the real thing.

Shane Buettner, Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 15, 2010  |  0 comments
It’s getting better all the time.

When we wrote this feature for last year’s HDTV Buyer’s Guide issue, the flat-panel HDTV market was much simpler. 3D was nowhere in sight, and much of our analysis boiled down to the pros and cons of LCD and plasma technology. This year, 3D is just one of the newer wrinkles in the market. The number of plasmas in the market isn’t what it was just a few years ago, but plasma is not only hanging on, the best plasmas still stake a legitimate claim to being the best flat panels available. With LCDs, manufacturers are aggressively using the backlighting techniques to market the sets. In fact, LCDs are getting more and more sophisticated and offering serious potential value. There’s a lot to learn, so let’s get going.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 25, 2010  |  1 comments
Last week, I attended a meeting at Stewart Filmscreen, where I learned about a new screen material called Silver 5D. It's a clever name, since this material is designed to work well with both polarized 3D and 2D images (3D + 2D = 5D).
Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 04, 2010  |  4 comments
Once in a while, my job has some pretty nice perks. Last week, for example, I was invited to the Disney studios in Burbank, CA, for a preview screening of two movies coming out this holiday season—Tron: Legacy and Tangled, an animated telling of the Rapunzel fairy tale.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 09, 2010  |  5 comments

At last week's Sony press event, the company's ES A/V receivers weren't the only things on display. (For more on these feature-packed AVRs, see my report here.) Tucked away at one end of the room was a mysterious shape tightly draped in a black shroud standing several feet from a projection screen. What could it be?

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 29, 2010  |  4 comments

Now that 3D broadcasts have begun in earnest with the World Cup on ESPN, I'd like to explain how this system works. It's not the same as Blu-ray 3D, which I'll cover in a future blog.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 14, 2010  |  0 comments
The last couple of weeks felt like 3D festivals in Los Angeles, with nearly simultaneous press events involving Digital Projection, Sony, and Panasonic. Panasonic's was by far the more relaxed, intimate affair. With just a few journalists briefed at a time, there was more opportunity to absorb the information and get answers to questions we didn't even know we had until recently.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 14, 2010  |  0 comments
Last week, Sony invited hundreds of journalists to soundstages on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City California. The event: a kickoff of its new 3D component lineup, plus announcements of upcoming 3D software.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 10, 2010  |  First Published: Jun 11, 2010  |  7 comments

Tom Norton and I must have very bad traffic karma. After Wednesday's slog to Sony Pictures Studios for the Sony 3D Launch, we faced a similar hurdle yesterday on the Ventura Freeway as we made our way to a 3D briefing from Panasonic at the Hotel Intercontinental in Century City. Fortunately, it wasn't as far as the Sony event, and I had a few alternate routes up my sleeve, so we made our appointment on time.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 10, 2010  |  7 comments

Traffic on the San Diego Freeway and surrounding surface streets was among the worst I've seen in many years as Tom Norton and I slowly made our way to Sony's big 3D launch event yesterday at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. We finally got past the accident—after a medevac helicopter landed right next to us on the freeway—and arrived shortly before Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer said, "Thanks for coming!"

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 03, 2010  |  8 comments

As I wrote in a previous blog entry, there are two approaches to 3D that use passive glasses, and I explained one of them—polarization—in that entry. Here, I'll explain the other one, which is marketed by Dolby Labs and called, appropriately enough, Dolby 3D.