3D Keeps on Rolling

"A number of articles have come to my attention. None individually is Earth-shattering, but taken together, they show the interest in 3D displays is strong and growing.

According to Adam Kunzman at TI, they have 5500 digital cinema screens deployed and 1200 of these screens 3D enabled. On the TV side, they think that once they get the final numbers, there will be 500K 3D-enabled RPTVs in the installed base from Mitsubishi and Samsung. That represents about 75% of the DLP RPTV sales in 2007. He believes TI will reach 1M RPTVs by the end of 2008. 1M units in the installed base is a magic number that starts to get the attention of the game developers.

Hannah Montana 3D opened Superbowl Weekend and grossed $31.1M in 683 theaters, a record for any movie on Superbowl weekend. To date, it has grossed $62M, a record for any 3D movie or for any concert movie. This compares, for example, to $27.5M opening weekend for Beowulf on 3,153 2D and 3D screens. I’ll bet the owners of the other 517 3D screens regret not booking Hannah.

At the Game Developers Conference, there was a demonstration of a new 3D technology developed by France-based Trioviz, a start-up co-founded by Christophe Brossier. Unfortunately, Insight Media was not there to see the demo and details of the technology have not been revealed. Once any stereoscopic 3D material has been encoded by Trioviz, it can be put on a DVD, played on any DVD player and shown on any television. Bloggers have compared this anaglyphic system as a more sophisticated version of ColorCode-3D.

Two-LCD displays similar to the Planar StereoMirror display are available from both Omnia Tecnologias in Madrid, Spain and 7Data in Seongnam, Korea. 7Data is exporting to North America its monitors as either professional monitors or as game kiosks through RedRover Co. Ltd. While it is not clear whose patent takes priority on this technology, Fergason Patent Properties’ (Planar), Omnia’s or 7Data’s, there is no current talk about litigation.

DDD reports it has signed two new deals with Samsung Electronics that will support the roll-out of Samsung’s 3D TVs. This includes a bundling agreement as well as a licensing agreement that will lead to an embedded 3D processor inside Samsung TVs. Under the terms of the agreement, DDD and Samsung will work jointly to implement DDD’s TriDef real-time 2D-to-3D conversion and 3D image processing architecture in a format that is compatible with Samsung’s next generation 3D HDTV displays.

DDD also inked a deal with Hyundai for its TriDef Core, an embedded 3D image processing solution for 3D HDTVs. It will be used in the new Hyundai 46" LCD HDTV, which is being introduced in Japan to support the recently announced BS11 3D television programming from Nippon BS Broadcasting Corporation. The Hyundai TV is based on Arisawa Xpol technology and is already being demonstrated in stores in Japan with 3D material on a Blu-ray disk.

For those interested in stereoscopic 3D, the breadth of support it is getting from the entertainment and consumer electronics industries is good news, since it shows 3D isn’t likely to be a flash-in-the-pan fad the way 3D movies were in the 50s. Expanded versions of these stories will be in the March edition of Large Display Report."

By Matt Brennesholtz, Display Daily