Panasonic Ramps Up 3D Full HD Efforts
Panasonic is making a big production of 3D Full HD (3D FHD) Home Theater technology, evangelizing the coming 2010 debut of a roster of Panasonic-branded 3D products for the home with a “rollout” of sorts that’s taking place well before the actual rollout.
As prelude to the market intros, happening sometime in the next calendar year, the company is literally taking the technology on the road – in three 3D Home Theater-equipped trucks tasked to tour European and American sites over the next few months.
The idea, said Peter Fannon, vice president of corporate government affairs for Panasonic Corp., N.A., at a 3D FHD demonstration in late August at Panasonic’s Secaucus, N.J. American headquarters, is to make the case for the technology’s benefits to select Panasonic trade, creative-community and retail partners. Venues to be visited this year will include the Berlin IFA exhibition, the CEDIA Expo in Atlanta, and exposure at Tokyo’s annual CEATEC technology exhibition in October.
“This technology is as big a change as the move from analog to digital TV was,” said Fannon. “Audio is already an immersive experience, with 7.1-channel technology. It’s high time that video catches up, and now that we have mature high-definition technology, we are able to make 3D a truly immersive TV experience.”
Panasonic’s stereoscopic 3D FHD system uses a Blu-ray player in tandem with active-shutter glasses embedded with LCD lenses whose strobing effect, refreshed 120 times a second, works with the content on a Blu-ray disc to produce the 3D Full HD images. The glasses are powered by a 250-hour battery that is automatically activated when 3D content is detected on screen. Panasonic is using a 3D-capable 103-inch plasma display to show the technology in full flower, but Fannon said that multiple screen sizes will be available when products hit the market.
A big part of the buildup to the public’s acceptance of 3D technology in the home is its embracement of 3D in movie theaters, added Fannon. “By the end of 2009, there will be 4,000 3D theatrical screens in the U.S. And it’s clear that studios are enjoying important financial benefits of 3D releases” in the form of brisk sales of higher-priced 3D movie tickets. “We expect a large number of theatrical titles to be available by next year.”