Taking home 3D

3D TV is undoubtedly one of the main trends of this year's CES

Tags: 3DPanasonic CorporationSamsung Electronics CompanyUSA
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By  George Bevir Published  January 10, 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nevada: 3D TV is undoubtedly one of the main trends of this year's CES, with key industry figures referring to it in their speeches and talks, and manufacturers building their stands around their latest 3D-enabled displays.

But as far as tellys are concerned it's not just about 3D; manufacturers also want to make their screens so thin that they look as though they have been painted on the wall. I stood next to the entrance to the LG stand for ten minutes or so today, and never have I heard so much 'ooing' and 'aaing' at a tech conference. The object of attendees' affection? LG's 47" full LED Slim HDTV, which was the centrepiece of the firm's stand.

The TV has a fully backlight display with netcast entertainment access and a very unobtrusive border of what looked like only half an inch running around the outside of the screen which couldn't have been more than an inch and a half thick. 3D TVs were on display at the LG and Samsung stands, but not as prominently as the Panasonic stand, where it was all about 3D, with massive banners commanding CES attendees to 'Step into our 3D world'. And step in they did, with a queue to try out the manufacturers full HD home cinema snaking beyone Panasonic's stand and across the hall.

With all of the world's leading electrical manufacturers working hard to position themselves as the leading 3D TV brand, it seems inevitable that before long we will be viewing all moving images through a pair of plastic glasses.

This is not something I'm particularly keen on; aside from 3D making me feel as though I'm going cross eyed, I think 3D movies inspire laziness in movie directors. Ok, so Avatar may have smashed  box office records. But it lacked an original plot or storyline, and the characters were thinner than LG's flatscreen.

But it's not hard to understand why such a movie was made. 3D costs a lot to produce, so it makes sense for producers to make a mainstream (read: bland and uninspiring) film that will offend as few people as possible so they can recoup the costs involved.

So it follows that reducing the cost of production could mean that we won't only have to watch tedious films like Avatar if we want a 3D fix, with Panasonic one of the firms that could help to make the technology more widely available.

At CES Panasonic showcased "the world's first integrated twin-lens 3D camera recorder for professional use", and it certainly looked very small and neat compared to the other 3D cameras I have seen that basically look like two devices strapped together with a belt. Similar in size to a medium to large camcorder, according to a spokesman for Panasonic the device should be available by the end of the year. It is priced at $21,000, so it's unlikely to be a family purchase, but it should be more affordable to a wider range of TV production firms, which will hopefully mean we can watch 3D films without having to endure 2D storylines.

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