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Sony To Launch 3D TVs By Late 2010 249

eldavojohn writes "The Financial Times is reporting that Sony is announcing 3D TVs for late 2010 at the IFA technology trade show in Berlin. It's another glasses-based technology with "active shutter" being employed (the same stuff teased at CES as well as employed on NVIDIA's glasses). Expect to see 3D Bravia television sets, Vaio laptops, PS3s and Blu-ray disc players compatible with this technology."
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Sony To Launch 3D TVs By Late 2010

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  • porn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BisexualPuppy ( 914772 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:30AM (#29299475)
    3D porn, anyone ?
  • Hrmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by acehole ( 174372 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:34AM (#29299523) Homepage

    I saw a couple of 3D tvs shown at a tradeshow I went to about a month ago. There were two different types, one I looked at closely had a different type of glass on the front which made the image behind 3D. The other by sony didnt have it as far as I could see and looked just like a normal TV.

    Sucks to be me though, I've got a dominate eye so I can't see the 3D stuff. Just looks like an out of tune tv. Guess i've got that to look forward to when they go mainstream :P

    • Re:Hrmm (Score:4, Interesting)

      by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:39AM (#29299605) Journal

      Sucks to be me though, I've got a dominate eye so I can't see the 3D stuff. Just looks like an out of tune tv. Guess i've got that to look forward to when they go mainstream :P

      Um, almost all of the population has a "dominant eye" with a very small fraction having no ocular dominance at all []. I haven't had the chance to demo any of these technologies but if you're asserting that ocular dominance renders them useless then I think Sony's market is drastically small. I'm not an optometrist but are you saying you experience ocular dominance far more than the average person? To a debilitating extent?

      • by acehole ( 174372 )

        To clarify, one eye is significantly weaker than the other to the point I can't read things if I close my other eye to see out of it. My vision primarily is out of the one eye.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Cyberax ( 705495 )

          Try glasses or contact lenses.

          • Kind of an idiotic thing to say, really. While they do help many, corrective lenses are certainly not a panacea (nor are the surgical options, which for many of us don't even exist). Like many, my vision with corrective lenses is extremely poor in one eye. Looking at "3D" is not only ineffective, it gives me a blinding headache. Probably there are enough people for whom this is true that "3D" display technology based on 2D devices will fail in the marketplace.
            • by Cyberax ( 705495 )

              I wear glasses, and one of my eyes is significantly worse than the other one (I also sometimes use contact lenses, but I really like glasses).

              If it's impossible to correct vision in one of your eyes, then it sucks to be you. But most people still can use 3D-glasses with contact lenses or regular glasses.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Probably there are enough people for whom this is true that "3D" display technology based on 2D devices will fail in the marketplace.

              Just as red/green status and traffic lights have failed because of the wide prevalence of red/green colorblindness?

              It's a binocular world out there, and I don't think the rate of anomalous depth perception is high enough to change that.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                Bad example -- the colors of traffic lights are not the only cue, the position also informs. There will be no widespread adoption of 3D displays until they get holovision working right. Stereo vision != 3D, it's just a simulation (tied to silly looking glasses) and thus it will remain a novelty.
              • Re:Hrmm (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Urban Garlic ( 447282 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @11:29AM (#29300313)

                > It's a binocular world out there...

                It really isn't. Binocular stereopsis is not the most important depth cue that human vision uses, it's just a fairly compelling one that's easy to produce mechanically. Real-world vision uses a combination of relative size, parallax and relative motion, illumination, focus, and binocular cues to figure out depth information. There are one-eyed folks out there with excellent depth perception, and two-eyed folks with poor depth perception. Almost all of the depth action is visual-cortex post-processing.

                One of the causes of eyestrain from typical binocular 3D systems is that the images mix up the binocular and focal cues -- the binocular info says that the stuff is a few meters in front of you, but the focal cue says it's all in the same plane.

                I personally seem to be sensitive to the focal cue, for some reason -- I seem to get full-on migraines from ViewMaster[tm]-style binocular 3D viewers, and noticeable eyestrain from desktop-scale 3D systems, but can watch theatrical 3D movies comfortably, which I think is due to the differing screen sizes and distances.

        • You should have said "I am mostly blind in one eye" instead of "I have a dominant eye." This would clear up the confusion.

        • I empathize. I had cataract surgery (lens removal) at a very young age. At the time replacement was not an option. My brain never learned to use binocular vision. As it's now a nuerological issue, medical science has a way to go for me. I too am eagerly anticipating 3-d video that doesn't require two healthy eyes.
      • Re:Hrmm (Score:5, Funny)

        by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:52AM (#29299821) Homepage Journal
        There's different degrees of dominance. He's probably got an extreme case where the other eye is mostly disregarded by the brain, possibly because it's defective. The eye, I mean.
        • Re:Hrmm (Score:4, Funny)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @11:27AM (#29300297) Journal
          It's not defective, it's just that the eye is generating 32-bit values and the brain is expecting 16-bit ones, so there's an overflow and it aborts.
      • Re:Hrmm (Score:4, Informative)

        by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday September 03, 2009 @11:26AM (#29300277) Homepage Journal

        My ex-wife has strabismus [], which is probably what the GP was referring to. She couldn't see 3D either.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Everyone has a dominate eye.

    • Projectors? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @11:03AM (#29299975)

      What I don't understand is why we are not seeing cheap 3d for projectors using polarized glasses. It would take less than $20 worth of parts to take a standard projector and make it a 3d projector. Just replace the spinning color wheel on the projector with one that has the same colors twice with different polarizers on each side.

      This cheapo solution of course lowers the luminance and requires either a slower color wheel or twice the frame rate on the DLP. for a little more money you could even recapture the lost luminance, but it would be simpler to use a brighter bulb. Neither of those are serious issues because projector luminance has more than doubled for the same price in the last few years, and so have color wheel speeds, so it's a tiny degredadation to use 3-d mode. Moreover it's demostrably tolerable to viewers since there are people who sell retrofits for projectors (that go over the front of the lens) that do exactly that. But the retrofit approach is expensive compared to just changing out the color wheel.

      The question then is how do you drive it but that's all a software issue.

      • Re:Projectors? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Snowspinner ( 627098 ) * <philsand@u[ ]edu ['fl.' in gap]> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:06PM (#29300737) Homepage

        Because you need a screen that will reflect the light back in a polarized fashion. In film terms, you're talking about a screen with silver crystals in it for reflectivity. But those screens are enormously fragile - which is part of why 3-D keeps flopping over in theaters - if one person throws their drink at the screen, or even touches it, the screen is wrecked for good and needs to be replaced.

        That's not technology suitable for home usage. Which is why home systems have always been based on field sequential systems of 3-D.

        • Wow. What idiots populate your local theater such that "throwing their drink at the screen" is a serious problem to worry about?
        • Re:Projectors? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by TexVex ( 669445 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:53PM (#29301295)
          I personally can't stand shutter glasses. My vision is very sensitive to flicker. It's not a matter of refresh rate but one of how much time is spent in blackness between frames; 3D necessitates a relatively long blanking of each eye.

          Theater screens using circular polarization work extremely well. The glasses are super cheap and do not require electronics. Without needing to black out the image to each eye for half of each frame, my personal flicker issues are avoided. The circular polarization allows the viewer to tilt his head off horizontal and not mess up the 3D effect. It seems to me that circular polarization is a clear winner over shutter glasses. What is the potential of circularly polarized 3D LCD displays?

          Also, what about DLP? I have great love for my DLP TV, and would be very much interested in a 3D DLP display. Does the screen screw up polarization there as well, and would one that could preserve the polarization suffer from the fragility you speak of?
    • I have a very dominant eye as well, but this new 3D that's coming out isn't too bad, because you need goggles to view it.

      That's good for two reasons: 1) No widespread adoption - putting on goggles will work for some home and commercial use, but I'd say at least half of the eyeballs-on-screens will not have goggles. And 2) it should work with people like us - the screens switch inputs on and off, so you will still see the normal screen out of your good eye. They're not using colors, or separating one image i

    • Sucks to be me though, I've got a dominate eye so I can't see the 3D stuff. Just looks like an out of tune tv. Guess i've got that to look forward to when they go mainstream :P

      I have the same problem to so when I wear 3d glasses I wear an eye patch.

  • It's not 3D (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Omnifarious ( 11933 ) * <> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:39AM (#29299595) Homepage Journal

    Unless I can move my head to look around something, it's not 3D. If they want to call it 'stereo' TV, that's fine, but it's not 3D.

    • Actually it can be (Score:5, Interesting)

      by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @11:06AM (#29300003)

      Unless I can move my head to look around something, it's not 3D. If they want to call it 'stereo' TV, that's fine, but it's not 3D.

      Well even a hologram goes away when you move past the film. What you mean is you want the image to change depending on your position in the room up to a point (where you are behind the hologram).

      And indeed some TVs can do this. the ones with linticular lenses in principle can offer different views to different parts of the room. the stero headsets however don't.

    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      With a decent 3D display and the video cameras they are now pushing for consoles, a single-player experience really -could- be 3D. I'm talking about the Johnny Lee demo where he moves around and the camera tracks his head, changing the angle of everything on the TV.

      With a really, really good 3D display they could do it for multiple players. But I don't really see that happening any time soon.

    • Wrong. Depth is the third "D", and this tech provides depth perception.

    • That would be stupid for a TV anyway. Everyone in the room would see a different angle of the broadcast.

    • Unless I can move my head to look around something, it's not 3D. If they want to call it 'stereo' TV, that's fine, but it's not 3D.

      We already have 'stereo' TV. Call this a 3D TV and call what you're describing 'volumetric'.

    • Re:It's not 3D (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anenome ( 1250374 ) on Friday September 04, 2009 @12:32AM (#29307821)

      What you want is Johnny Lee-style head-tracking. Watch this and be amazed: []

  • Yay! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:40AM (#29299613)
    And, of course, there is a industry-wide, agreed upon standard for the 3D encoding and formats, right? Right??
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chrisq ( 894406 )
      Yes .... Blueray 3D and HD 3D!
    • by Rolgar ( 556636 )

      If their machine works, and wins the format war, it will BECOME the industry standard, and everyone will have to license the right to use their formats.

      Thing is, I don't want a 3D TV. I want my 2d setup until we get holographic 3D that you can move around and choose your own perspective.

      • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @11:35AM (#29300427) Journal

        holographic 3D that you can move around and choose your own perspective.

        Producers would probably hate that. They're trying to perfect the angle of the shot, but only one person can actually see it from that angle because you have to be in the exact middle of the viewing area in order to see it. Plus, any sort of distance shot would be un-viewable from anywhere significantly off-center because the target of the scene would be out of the picture at that angle. They'd have to move it into the foreground, spoiling the distance effect.

    • Excellent point. Sony doesn't have a good history with the industry adopting their formats or standards (e.g. beta, minidisc, ATRAC).

      Personally I'll be waiting for the open standard not invented by Sony.
      • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

        You forgot their dozens of types of Memory Stick. I'm not sure but I think that all their Memory Stick types are more numerous than all the other flash memory types combined (SmartMedia, SD, CompactFlash, xD).

        And yes xD is completely stupid, not only for the fact that there was already many formats of Flash media types on the market, but especially for the fact that they have both "regular" and "widescreen" memory cards.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Narishma ( 822073 )

        Counter examples: 3.5" floppy disc, compact disc, trinitron, bluray.

        • Compact disc: sony originally had their own standard and phillips had their own.. ended up being a combined effort.

          3.5" floppy: The adopted version (mass produced and used) was a variant of the sony 90.0 mm X 94.0 mm disk. The sony design was not adopted.

          bluray: Sony started the spec but it was a collaboration between many companies.

          trinitron: did anyone actually license that technology? Yeah sony sold a lot of trinitron tvs, but was it a common adopted standard or did people wait for the patent to
          • >>>bluray: Sony started the spec but it was a collaboration between many companies.

            By that logic, no company has successfully "won" with their spec... not even JVC (VHS).

      • PS1 and PS2 can also be considered a "format" because you could not play the games without the player, each of which sold ~110 and ~150 million units... more than any other console. (The next best-selling console was Super Nintendo at 60 million.)

        And then there's Umatic and Betacam, which were THE standards used by professionals. When you watch an old 70s, 80s, or 90s show you're probably watching Sony Umatic or Betacam. Although both these analog formats have been phased-out, Sony still produces DigiBet

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      The industry wide standard for Sony is whatever flaky new proprietary format Sony happens to be behind at the moment.
    • Probably doesn't matter, since the video gets encoded, not the 3D. Current technology could generate a picture from over/under or side by side frames, (1080P, normally 1920x1080, would actually be two images @ 1920x540 or 960x1080 and the images stretched to fit). With a few tweaks it could take interleaved video (1920x1080 3D would mean one frame is 1920x2160 and split as above, only this time not requiring stretching).

      I don't see a need for a standard as long as it's not obfuscated in some way - the log

    • And, of course, there is a industry-wide, agreed upon standard for the 3D encoding and formats, right? Right??

      It is a work in progress. SMPTE has already defined the requirements, [] and is working on actual specifications. Sony likes to be proprietary when they can, but I doubt they would ignore a SMPTE standard. They aren't the only manufacturer that's been talking up 3D in 2010. []

  • by electrosoccertux ( 874415 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:43AM (#29299653)

    not sure what dimension you guys are living in but my tv has both width, height, AND depth. Already 3d.

    • You want one of those modern flat-screen TVs, then.

      You know, like this one [] from e Beam inc.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Apparently you haven't seen the New Samsung ultra-ultra thin TV. Only exists on a 2d plane~

    • not sure what dimension you guys are living in but my tv has both width, height, AND depth. Already 3d.

      Does it exist in time too? If so then its 4d.

      • Well said. Of course, that means Sony has developed TVs that exist for the merest fraction of a moment. Imagine the space savings! I could own a TV that exists on the showroom floor at 15:30:31.908 2009-09-02, you could own the TV at 15:30:31.909 2009-09-02, and someone else can own the TV at 19:01:59.910 2009-09-03 that takes up space in my living room! It *seems* like one 4D TV, but it's really an infinite progression of 3D TVs!

        A more interesting proposal is that they've developed a TV with height,
  • by rodrigoandrade ( 713371 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:43AM (#29299659)
    > It's another glasses-based technology with "active shutter" being employed.

    Great, but I wonder if these companies ever think about people with eyesight problems (yes, talking about myself) who can't properly eperience glass-based 3D movies.
    • What kind of eyesight problems do you have which prevent you from seeing 3D? My father is missing an eye (accident as kid), so he obviously doesn't see three-d but still can enjoy the movie.

      aside -

      I still have the stereoscope glasses from when I saw Disney's Lost World 3D theatrical movie. Do these things have any monetary value, or should I just toss them?

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )
      I think that cinemas are realising it. A lot of people have difficulty with 3d for one reason or another. When 3d films first arrived there was no choice. Now often there are showings in 3D and showings without. My wife has a lazy eye and 3d looks as though it has a feint shadow image to her and gives her a headache.
    • > It's another glasses-based technology with "active shutter" being employed.

      Great, but I wonder if these companies ever think about people with eyesight problems (yes, talking about myself) who can't properly eperience glass-based 3D movies.

      No, what they're thinking is "we can sell a pair of glasses to EVERY VIEWER!! They won't be able to just invite the neighbors over to watch the game on their 82" TV, now the neighbors will have to buy their own 82" TV! Or buy a pair of our entirely reasonably pri

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Of course they do, but 3d movies [pack people in, so people like you are a tiny demographic.
      If this is l;ike the demo I say, it will be an option built into the screen and firmware, not the only way to look at the screens.

    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      They also don't worry about blind people being able to see, or deaf people being able to hear. You aren't the target audience and your disability doesn't prevent you from playing the game.

    • Shutter based solutions should be equally viewable by people who are visually impaired all the way up to blind in one eye.

      Ok, they only get the 2D experience. But that's all they would have got anyway, if their binocular vision is impaired.

      Anaglyphic 3D would look crap to the monocular, but shutter and polarised 3D should look almost as good as the equivalent 2D presentation.

    • Great, but I wonder if these companies ever think about people with eyesight problems (yes, talking about myself) who can't properly eperience glass-based 3D movies.

      Based on the responses I see here to comments such as yours, a lot of people are blissfully unaware that some of us have limited-to-no depth perception.

      I'm one of those people, being born with strabismus. Though the eye problem was eventually (mostly) corrected with surgery, it happened too late for my brain to develop a true ability to perceive depth cues. As I understand it, that has to happen within the first 5 years of life, more or less. The brain learns to compensate, of course - I can catch a ball, c

  • ... I'm not much interested in 3D until the glasses ARE the display, to be honest. Should be great if you're doing 3D design though.

    • TBH, i don't mind wearing 3d glasses (they will help by stopping me looking elsewhere), my real problem is that so far 3d is used as a gimmick. If taken seriously:
      *most content would be as good (although on a slightly smaller screen and with the hassle of putting on the glasses)
      *some content will look slightly worse as the director looses some of the control of where you look
      *some content will look slightly better as 3d aspects matter (sports,wildlife,news,etc)
      *some content will look amazing as it can use n

  • Glasses? Nah... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Arrawa ( 681474 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:49AM (#29299773)
    I refuse sitting in my living room wearing those nasty 3D-glasses. I'll wait untill Philips opens up its WOWvx [] department again. I've seen this live and my initial reaction was, well, WOW!
    • Hum, WOW. I've seen one viewer stereo TV, but here they claim multiple viewers + some foreground against background parralax. Do you know what's the tech behind it ?

      • Have you ever been to a science museum and seen the demo where they have a large concave darkened reflective surface, so it looks like you can shake hands with yourself? The basic idea is the same, but rather than reflecting light, each point on the surface emits light and you see a different subset of the pixels depending on where you are standing. Unlike glasses-based approaches, it supports multiple viewers and doesn't cause motion sickness when you move your head.
        • Hum I know the trick when you put a small object close to the focal point of a concave mirror and you see it appear somewhere else but you're starting with a 3d object in the first place here... how do they create the image ?

      • by Zerth ( 26112 )

        Lenticular overlay. They add a grayscale heightmap to the video stream to adjust the displacement.

  • Hum, where did I put my pedant hat... hum not here, not here... ah there we go. Hum hum

    That's stereoscopic television, not 3d TV. I personally don't enjoy that much stereoscopic images, they don't look really believable to me. Stereoscopy is only one way we build a 3d model of our environment, the parallax created by our recent movements creates an accurate map too. Sure if you lose an eye, you'll have much poorer depth perception, but you won't lose it all. If you cover one eye, the world outside doesn't s

  • by jjeffries ( 17675 ) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:57AM (#29299867)
    The Sony 3D TV will only play back Beta tapes and DRM-ed content off Memory Sticks(TM), and it will install a rootkit on every device in your house before committing seppuku.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mnky-33 ( 1293220 )
      Actually Sony is one of the few companies which have changed their ways. Most of their tech is fairly open and compatible, they've got better since the rootkit fiasco.
  • [] is glasses-based, but it's polarized light instead of shutters. I think motion sickness is a bigger risk with shuttered glasses. Polarized light looks better, feels better, and costs $300.

    I want one of these :)

  • This tech will fail because simply sending two image streams isn't good enough -- it encodes assumptions about eye spacing, viewing distance and angle that are too restrictive. People aren't going to jump for a system that shows you a distorted and headache-inducing scene if you aren't sitting precisely in front of the center of the screen.

    I've tried out a more sophisticated system that generates five points of view (from a 3D model) and fans them out with optics that don't require glasses. This greatly r

  • by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) * on Thursday September 03, 2009 @11:10AM (#29300053)
    Will we ever have that trope of nearly every near-future sci-fi story - the true volumetric display [] with an image that appears in midair like a living statue made out light, no eyeglasses, panes of glass, contact lenses, volatile gases, or brain implants required? Is there anything in the labs today that make this a true definitely-maybe-keep-your-hopes-up-sure-to-have-it-twenty-years-from-now technology, like fusion reactors?

    Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!
  • DLP has had 3d [] for a long time. I think my TV has it. This is an interesting trick []. Other than that, no one cares.

  • And who exactly is going to be creating programming to watch on these so-called 3DTV's? Anyone? Bueller? Will I be able to watch Mythbusters in 3D this fall? Next fall? Fall of 2020 even?
    • No it will be like the Current HDTV, a small number of the most popular programs, in 3D at extra cost, with no new content at all ...

      What is the point, the program on a small screen, on a large screen, on and HDTV, in Steroscopic 3D all look basically the same to me, and in most cases the program itself is so badly written and acted it is not worth watching ....

    • You don't have to do custom programming; you can use a modification of edge detection to generate a texture map; effectively same color at different luminosity would drive the topology mapping.

  • We finally get displays which have no flicker whatsoever, and now these people want to put it back in. Do not want.

    Hollywood still thinks 24 FPS is good enough. Many home screens are now capable of delivering much better frame rates. The day is close when "direct to disk" will be better than theater quality. Video games may get there first.

  • Casablanca ... now in color, 3D, and animated!

    Judgment at Nurenberg -- with a whole new laughtrack!

    Tron: Nearly as 3D as before!


Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan