3D. It's the "thing" that everyone has to deal with or risk losing out on this year. I decided to spent a lot of time investigating the various incarnations of 3D from the major manufacturers who were displaying the technology at their booths. Before I get too far, let me just apologize in advance to manufacturers not represented here; I tried to get to everyone, but invariably I'm sure I missed someone somewhere. Here is a log of my experiences, detailed by manufacturer.
Discuss "My 3D Blu-ray & 3D Television Adventures at CEDIA" here. Read the article.
Great info Clint. I really think that the projector guys are falling way behind with this. Optoma has had the HD66 for about a year now at $700. They don't have a 1080p version for under $2,000? It blows me away that nobody has jumped on that yet since about every TV manufacturer has replaced their medium/best models with 3D versions of the same for nearly the same money.
Ah well, we may get some suprises inside the next year instead of having to wait until CEDIA 2011 to get those.
Totally agree about the Panasonic glasses being a bit awkward. Suprised the Sharp looked so good, but that's nice to hear for them. They seem to have been struggling as of late with their overall quality.
I just ordered for my brother a 65VT25, so when that shows up, I will be able to really get into the 65" 3D plasma and give it a good look. Some people would call $3,500 expensive, but seriously, 2+ years ago that's about what I paid for my Pioneer 6070HD. Prices really are great.
DP has the best projection setup at all the shows. Hasn't changed much in the past few years, but huge spaces of 'BLACK on BLACK on BLACK' is phenomenal when you are demoing projectors.
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I agree about DP. One thing that was frustrating was the general lack of content - unless someone happened to be licensed to use something like Avatar. Many of the 3D animation films, which I would expect to look fantastic, actually looked really bad - and the animators, unfortunately, apparently have no sense of how much better it is to simply keep everything behind the plane of the TV instead of breaking it. Nearly all the content was done incorrectly and yielded awkward viewing instead of an immersive experience.
People want to look INTO their TVs, not have stuff jump into their laps - I hope content creators get it soon.
Optoma is way behind the curve. The guy that was there was nice, but he was demoing a system that simly didn't work consistently. At one point the left and right eyes got out of sync and the DLP sync system has no way to correct this save for going into the menu and reversing it manually. There's no auto-correct and, according to him, it happens 50% of the time!
FWIW I got a major headache yesterday after touring the 3D TVs.
Sky found out in the UK that they had similar problems when they started doing test 3D footage of football games in the UK, they didn't have much idea how to film it in 3D and test audiences would complain of headaches etc as they cut between the individual cameras too quick and with too much 'outward' depth so the brain basically got fed up. In the end they actually hired the cinematographer from Avatar, Mauro Fiore, to teach them how to film in 3D without the problems that had been initially encountered in the early stages of the development of Avatar and although I have not seen any 3D footage from Sky as none of the few pubs showing Sky's 3D broadcast are anywhere near me, it was supposed to be a lot better.
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While not enamored with 3D I'm curious if they had any of the no-glasses models on display.
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To start with:
there are no 2D movies ever projected at public cinemas. Human perceive a screen at real distance and that establishes the third dimension. The only way to see the screen in 2D is to observe it with one eye only with out moving the head position and orientation relative to screen. Movies recorded with single camera have many 3D cues like perspective, motion, shading and etc. The correct and most natural way of viewing 3D movies made with single camera is to seat at the same distance as the original camera thus matching both view angles. This way one sees undistorted perspective. The problem with that is the use of zooming which was conveniently adopted to overcome expensive camera systems. The zoomed scenes are extremely unnatural and confusing to viewer. Grossly mismatched perspective makes it difficult to asses object's depth position and excessive motion speed of characters feather distorts the reality of the scene. The correct way of shooting single camera AKA 2D movies is to establish no object zone in front of the camera equal to viewing distance of sweet spot viewer position to screen. This way if the object or an actor is about to intersect the screen position, it or his size would be that of real size and thus perceived as natural and not confusingly enlarged. The new movie techniques should give up on making unnatural scenes trough elimination of zooming. The correct way to replace zoom is to move the camera AKA dolly the camera. Now, because the legacy of single camera movie making techniques have perpetuated into stereoscopic cinematography, new problems have emerged and instead of correction the industry again has chosen to use convenient techniques that partially eliminate those problems by introducing total distortion in depth. The now famous AVATAR has not a single scene that is geometrically correct and perceived as natural with real size and position. Instead when one sees zoomed face of a human actor intersecting stereo window (usually at screen distance) then face is perceived as gigantic and it's motion as excessive as if the actor was made out of Styrofoam. The background and foreground are misplaced by placing it close to screen surface, the techniques AKA normalizing the depth of a scene makes all objects distorted and viewer is never able to experience natural immersion. The only concern of stereoscopic movie makers is the excessive parallax that can create painful eye strains. They are not interested in creating natural undistorted stereoscopic scene content. Such attitude will block any process of general S3D technology adoption. At the same time it leaves room for competition which is emerging and focused on delivering true stereoscopic experience to new technology cinemas, home theaters and all other stereoscopic media formats and sizes. The stereoscopic picture and movie technology has being with us for over a century and it's about time we make it correct and as enjoyable as our natural stereoscopic vision is. So, next time when you look at stereoscopic image or movie ask your self: am I seeing the scene in it's natural size shape and position?