Image Problems for 3D Projectors and TVs?

Sharp VX-Z1700

Projector Central warns anyone contemplating buying a 3D home cinema projector to expect “a new assortment of artifacts” no matter which brand they choose.

It argues 2D home projection has neared perfection over the past 10 years and urges people to buy 3D-enabled projectors, such as those exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show, only for occasional 3D use.

Of the brands it saw in action, which did it prefer?

Surprisingly, the relatively affordable Sharp VX-Z1700 ($US5000) was rated more highly than rivals’ models costing two to three times as much.

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Meanwhile, Variety reports 3D TV has an image problem.

It says more than one million 3D TVs were bought in the US last year, outstripping first-year sales of HD TVs, but Samsung, the biggest proponent of the technology, expected sales would reach three million.

Variety attributes the modest take-up to lack of 3D broadcasts and the cumbersome glasses needed to view 3D content.

“Samsung, in particular, wants to do away with the current glasses and brokered a deal with RealD to incorporate the company’s 3D projection technology directly into Samsung’s new 3D TV sets.

“Doing so means the free pairs of RealD glasses that moviegoers currently wear in theatres to watch a 3D film can also be used at home.”

As for content, Variety says the major studios hope to release 100 3D films on their “Blu-ray 3D” line of discs this year, sports channel ESPN will launch its 3D sports channel on Valentine’s Day, and Sony has partnered with Imax and Discovery Communications to launch a 3D documentary channel, 3net, in 2011.

“Every videogame company is developing 3D titles. And Verizon’s fibre-optic FiOS TV network can deliver full HD versions of 3D movies and TV shows to Panasonic’s Blu-ray 3D players.

“Other content providers are focused on high-profile fare like sports and concerts, because as long as 3D TV requires glasses, it will only be used for event programming, not casual viewing.”

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