3-D Comin’ At ‘Cha!: On the rear projection TV battle grounds, Samsung is cooking up another “first” for summer debut – a slim-depth 56 inch, 1080p DLP model (HL-T5676S) which the company heralds as “3-D HD Ready.” When fed specially encoded content, the picture will shift between left and right eye views 120 times a second (60 for each eye) while the set simultaneously cues an attached pair of LCD shutter glasses to open and shut the appropriate left or right lens. When wearing these glasses, a viewer’s brain puts these rapidly alternating images together and voila, that’s how you see three dimensionally.
Out of the gate, the biggest source of spatial content to show on this TV will be PC-based video games. Over the years, 3-D versions of “Doom,” “Quake” and “dozens more” have been customized for use on computers likewise linked to LCD shutter glasses. And yes, the Samsung HL-T5676S does include a PC interface – RGB with 1080p input support – though some PCs are now coming out with HDMI connectors which will deliver 3-D images in even more pristine, high def fashion.
A sprinkling of motion pictures have been shot in 3-D since the 1950s, and a few, like “Spy Kids” have migrated to DVD in 3-D, though in that crude, low tech form that requires the use of cardboard glasses with image dimming red and blue lenses to sharpen up the jiggly, ghost- like images. “For shutter-glasses-based 3-D to work with a high def Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive, the software and the player output will need to be formatted differently,” said our Samsung source, Dan Schinosi, senior marketing manager for the HDTV product planning/visual display product group.
Some tweaking also would have to be done on high def video game systems like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. You might recall that PS3 was initially supposed to have two HDMI outputs, to deliver either double widescreen or 3-D content. Then the second HD output was eliminated in a cost-cutting move.
But the good news is that even standard, two-dimensional video content can be processed on the fly so that, say, your vacation footage from the Grand Canyon can look somewhat 3-D on this Samsung TV. The transformation will be done in an outboard interface box that will be bundled with the LCD shutter glasses from Samsung’s as yet un-named project partner, at a price likewise to be announced.
And fresh out of Japan, says Schinosi, is a report that Sony will be doubling the refresh rate of its SXRD- micro-display based RPTVs to 120 Hz, so that those televisions can also pull off a 3-D viewing stunt. Do you think Sony Electronics has consulted with its gaming and movie divisions about this move? I’d bet on it.