As far as I have understood up to now, a passive-3D LCD flat panel displays 3D Blu-ray images in the following mannerthe 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.
The daily deluge of news into my inbox included a very sad item yesterday. Insight Media, a display-industry analysis firm, reported that Samsung will not be making so-called "active retarder" 3D LCD TVs in collaboration with RealD. This approach places an active polarization-switching layer over the LCD layer, much like the polarization switcher placed in front of a projector lens in a commercial RealD theater. The viewer wears standard passive glasses, and the TV quickly alternates the polarization in sync with the alternating left and right images on the screen.
As I explained in a previous entry in this blog, virtually all direct-view 3DTVs coming to market now use battery-powered active-shutter glasses to ensure that each eye sees only the image it's supposed to. But if you've gone to see a 3D movie at a commercial cinema lately, you were undoubtedly handed a different type of glasses that includes no electronics at all. These so-called passive glasses are much less expensive than their active counterpartswhich is why they're used in public settings where they can be easily damaged or stolenand there are two different types, depending on the technology being used in a particular theater. In this blog entry, I'll explain how one of these technologiespolarizationsimulates 3D on a 2D screen.
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.
In the May 10, 2010 issue of Newsweek, famed movie critic Roger Ebert writes "Why I Hate 3-D (and You Should Too)," giving nine reasons with extended commentary. I don't disagree with everything he says, but "hate" is far too strong a word for me.
Normally in this blog, I profile extreme products based solely on information provided by the manufacturer, not on personal experience. However, the D-73d projector from Runco is a different storyI got to spend an entire day with it at the company's training facility near Portland, Oregon, where Runco moved after being acquired by Planar. Helping me was Erik Guslawski, eastern regional product specialist, and Bob Williams, chief product architect and recent guest on my Home Theater Geeks podcast.
Because there's so much to write about, I'm going to split this report into several parts. First, I'll cover the features of the D-73d, then I'll focus on my experiences with the projector at Runco, including measurements and watching real-world content.
In Part 1 and Part 2 of my report on the Runco D-73d 3D DLP projector, I covered its features in some detail. Now, it's time to reveal what we measured while working with it at Runco's training facility near Portland, Oregon. Helping me was Erik Guslawski, eastern regional product specialist, and Bob Williams, chief product architect and recent guest on my Home Theater Geeks podcast.
So far in this report on my experience with the Runco D-73d 3D projector, I've covered its features in Part 1 and Part 2 and my calibration and measurements in Part 3. Now, it's finally time to watch some movies.
Anyone who knows high-end video knows Runco, which is now the high-end home-cinema division of Oregon-based Planar. Among Runco's many well-regarded projectors, the premier line is undoubtedly the Signature Cinema series, which now includes two brand new models.
On Tuesday, I visited Samsung's QA (Quality Assurance) Labs in Los Angeles to discuss the company's 3D technology in some detail. Of course, there was a Samsung 3DTV on handthe UN55C7000 LED-edgelit LCDalong with a BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray player and a high-def media server with some additional 3D content.
Aside from the RealD passive/active 3D flat panels, Samsung had some other great demos in its booth at SID DisplayWeek. One of the most interesting was a 70-inch, 240Hz, 4K (3840x2160) 3D panel that uses active-shutter glasses. The custom footage of a woman hanging out at an oval house in the woods looked gorgeous, though all the motion was very slow, and I did see a few artifacts in the stairs during one pan.
One of the biggest impediments to the adoption of 3D in the home is the cost of active-shutter glassestypically around $150 a pop, making it prohibitively expensive to outfit an entire family, even after you account for the one or maybe two pairs included with some (but not all) 3D TVs. So when I read that Samsung will be offering active 3D glasses at less than $50 each, I sat up and took notice.
This week, the Society for Information Display (SID) is holding its annual DisplayWeek confab at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where the future of display technology is front and center. Among the biggest announcements at the show was a partnership between Samsung and RealD to develop a new type of 3D flat panel that uses passive glasses but does not cut the vertical resolution in half like other passive-3D flat-panel technologies.