So now it's Panasonic's turn and guess what the focus is...? Yep, 3D.
Describing the technology as something that "will change TV dramatically next year" the company has announced ‘FHD 3D' (Full HD 3D). It's currently unclear whether the industry will adopt this phrase en masse, but on the evidence of Sony and now Panasonic's commitment 3D is clearly where the industry is focused - whether we want it or not.
Like Sony, Panasonic is promoting two channel 1080p for each eye and bringing a range of 3D Blu-ray players, recorders, TVs and - arguably where it exists already - home cinema audio. The catch is the company isn't saying anything specific, at least not today. In fact, the main focus was a trailer for James Cameron's December epic Avatar and an interview with producer John Landeau. The sample footage was heavily CGI centric and yes, 3D. It's certainly going to be a blockbuster, but not really the focus we were hoping for today.
After the conference we were treated to a demo of the Avatar trailer in 3D on a concept screen. The results are undeniably impressive, but I still find a sense of ‘layers' between the different parts of the screen. Needless to say there was no photography allowed.
Every few years the tech world jumps on a new technology and the results are largely theoretical. 2009 with 3D is playing out to be one of those years. Time to run to the Samsung, Sharp and Philips conferences, let's hope they have some actual consumer hardware to back up all the hype...
Update: Beyond the 3D hype we have had an actual TV announcement - but it isn't 3D. The 58in TX-P58V10E and 65in TX-P65V10E will augment the popular 42in and 50in V10 series. They feature 1080p panels, 600Hz sub-field drive technology, VIERA CAST which integrates web content, THX certification and a daft 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Pricing and availability are unknown at this stage.