Mitsubishi Planning 3D Blu-ray Player

"Along with a few other tech journalists, we spent a couple of hours over at the Westchester Country Club, which is gearing up for The Barclays PGA Tour event. What the hell were we doing there? Well, as part of a marketing deal with the PGA Tour, Mitsubishi is the "official large outdoor video display provider" of the Tour and the PR team wanted us to see some of these displays in action along with the Tour's ShotLink technology, which tracks players' shots almost down to the centimeter (the info is displayed on those giant Mitsubishi scoreboards). That's all sort of interesting if you're a golf fan, but things got a little sexier when Mitsubishi reps took us into a hospitality suite, handed us each a pair of fancy 3D glasses and showed us a demo of some new 3D-imaging technology they were working on.

The demo was run from a massive Dell desktop and output onto a large DLP set. In an effort to inject new life into the fading rear-projection category, the company's pitch was that the 3D technology worked with existing DLP TVs and projectors (due to DLP's native 120Hz refresh rate, which allows you to split it into 60/60 for 3D) but not with LCD and plasma displays.

Most of us were pretty impressed by the demo, which included clips from movies, commercials, and sporting events. There was real depth to the 3D and you got that whole feeling of things poking out at you from the screen. All the demo material had been shot in 3D, but the kicker to the whole presentation was that Mitsubishi apparently has a Blu-ray player in its labs that can convert existing 2D movies into 3D on the fly. Better yet, according to company reps, it may be available early next year.

We are pretty skeptical it's going to show up anytime soon and have doubts that converted 2D content is going to look all that great in 3D. But the 3D movement is gathering more momentum as other companies like Samsung and Philips continue working on ways to bring 3D into the home. Ideally, you wouldn't have to wear glasses (Philips is trying to integrate 3D right into the display), but we have a feeling you're only going to get a true Imax-like 3D experience with some eyewear.

While Mitsubishi wasn't ready to get into pricing, one would expect to pay a premium a special-featured Blu-ray player. That said, Mitsubishi hinted that it was in discussions with one game console manufacturer to integrate the 3D technology into the system. The Wii's not capable of such feats and Microsoft's in the HD DVD camp, so one would have to assume it's Sony and the PS3.

We know. It's all rampant conjecture. But eventually, HD and 2D just aren't going to cut it. We may be a few years away from that, but there's chatter out there. Anybody out there itching for 3D at home?"

By David Carnoy, CNET Asia