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CEATEC '09 - The Cost and Future of 3D

The Cost and Future of 3D

No hard pricing or launch date information on any of the 3D products could be obtained at the CEATEC show. This is hardly surprising considering that the formal industry ratification of the widely backed sequential frame 3D system (which enables you to watch 3D while maintaining a Full HD resolution) isn't expected to happen until December at the earliest.

But under repeated questioning during a frequently 'lost in translation' 3D-related Q&A session, Panasonic, at least, went so far as to suggest that its 50in 3D TV would likely cost under £3,000, with at least one pair of 3D glasses thrown in with the screen, and subsequent pairs costing between £30 and £40 each.

The face of this interpreter during a Q&A session on 3D pretty much sums up the experience

of trying to get questions answered in Japanese press briefings.

With all the 3D evidence on show at CEATEC duly digested, it has to be said that were it not for Panasonic's efforts, 3D, the supposed star of the CEATEC show, really would have fallen flat on its face.

In fact, even though Panasonic at least has shown a home-use version of 3D that's generally convincing and even at times spectacular, I'm still struggling to imagine 3D and its attendant glasses being anything more than a special 'event' technology. Something that's only going to be used in dedicated AV rooms or by hardcore gamers, rather than something that's ever likely to go mainstream in the same way HD has.

Still, if anyone's got the power and money to prove me wrong, it's Panasonic, Sony and already 'out' UK 3D supporter, Sky. And if there was one other piece of good 3D news at CEATEC to accompany Panasonic's prowess with the format, it was the discovery that the big brands all appear to be pursuing a similar 3D approach, hopefully indicating that we won't ultimately have yet another format war bloodbath on our hands.

Right, that's quite enough 3D stuff for one article. Next week we move on to the second biggest feature of CEATEC 2009: the environment...

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