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Sony Reveals 3DTVs Launch Date

Gordon Kelly


Sony Reveals 3DTVs Launch Date

If you've read our 3D TV First Impressions, you'll know that there may be slightly more substance to this technology in the home than first appeared (I'm still not a fan). So you may be interested to discover Sony, one of the format's biggest backers, has announced the release date for its first consumer 3DTVs...

In a nutshell: June. This is when 40in and 46in Sony 'Bravia HX803' televisions will touchdown in stores, a range with LED backlighting, 200Hz processing and FreeView HD.

What will have most potential buyers interested, however, is its 3D functionality and the HX803 should be one of the better examples since it not only displays 3D, but can also use 'Simulated 3D' to convert 2D content into 3D. The quality of this footage won't be up to the standard of dedicated 3D, but it's a nice bonus.

Naturally enough at this point the question always comes: 'But what about the glasses?' All Sony 3D TVs uses Active shutter technology which is indeed the expensive kind meaning circa £100 per pair (battery life is approximately 100 hours), though it does produce better quality images than 'Passive' 3D as seen in the cinema and with the LG LD950 (read: 50p plastic glasses). Furthermore Sony will bundle two pairs of active shutter glasses with the HX803 along with the first ever 3D Blu-ray disc, the brilliant 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs' and a 3D documentary 'Deep Sea'.

On top of this (and one of the key factors why Sony is so strongly behind 3D), is the PlayStation Network will simultaneously release four 3D stereoscopic gaming titles (Wipeout 3D, Motorstorm Pacific Rift, PAIN and Super Stardust HD). Furthermore, Sony is filming the World Cup in 3D, even if its chosen 3D fixtures spurn England until the group stage.

Sadly Sony hasn't put a price on either the 40in or 46in HX903 models as yet, but at least you do know there's a minimum of six weeks for you to save up the best part of two grand...


Sony Bravia UK


April 16, 2010, 1:01 am

Oh joy...

So the required glasses are the active shutter type... are those also the type which are comfortable for extended use over a pair of regular specs? Or will I be popping in contacts every time I want to watch a movie?

Forgive me for being a luddite - I will have no problem with this so long as it remains a relatively niche product for those who can afford it (and more importantly want it). I will not be happy if they try and force it on everyone, e.g. with major gaming titles being developed for 3D with the 2D world getting a second-rate experience.


April 16, 2010, 7:05 am

Re: Gordon & 3D - Mark Kermode seems to agree: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm...

Me, I'm reserving judgement till I see my first 3D movie.


April 16, 2010, 7:46 am

@MrGodfrey - no active are generally less comfortable since they are heavier because they require batteries. Active means the glasses themselves do the image processing, Passive means the processing is done in the TV and you just need lightweight plastic or paper glasses. In reality the tech is more complex than this, but that is it in very broad brushstrokes.

@Pbryanw - funnily enough he's my favourite film critic, has been for many years. This is superb: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/mar...

Hamish Campbell

April 16, 2010, 12:43 pm

Ha ha, very good sir, England making it past the initial group stage, ho ho, rapier sharp today!


April 16, 2010, 1:33 pm

I'm fairly neutral over the issue of 3D, for games I can see a plus side (first person shooters). For TV/Films I'm not convinced. Having watched UP, Avatar & Alice in Wonderland in 3D I can honestly say I saw ghosting. Would I pay again for a 3D experience at the cinema... well that would depend on the film. Would I pay for a 3D TV... categorically no! My eyes were strained after Avatar. I can't imagine watching a 3D channel 8 hours a day...I'd be blind!

Charm El Snake

April 16, 2010, 5:02 pm

This is the same old argument. According to John Archer's review on this site, 2D films that are re-processed into 3D are poor in comparison to live action filmed in 3D. Arguing that these pseudo-3D films prove that 3D is rubbish is like arguing that mono sound played through two speakers proves that stereo is rubbish.

Surely a 3D telly can play 2D too, just like I guess that 3D Blu-rays disks can be played as 2D if you want. So if the source is better in 2D, we can watch it in that format. I'm sure everything will support the lowest common denominator for many years to come (ie. mono sound and black & white 2D telly).


April 16, 2010, 6:27 pm

I guess the one thing that will resolve whether this technology will survive past initial delight as any part of an economy, is time and money.

Both movie studios and the manufacturing base appear to be pouring both in hard to get this innovation through our credit cards. Admittedly, HD-DVD shows it can all go wrong, but studios clearly perceive this 'technology' a box office winner and God know how, less pirate friendly too. Manufacturers must see a saturated 2D market and thus need the next big sell. This dual money making machine might just be unstoppable!

But, get the whole technology chain right and give me truly immersive entertainment and I could be won over!


April 19, 2010, 1:36 pm

HDRE, I can't imagine watching TV for 8 hours a day, 3D, 2D, HD or black and white! You need to get out more! Do some exercise!

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