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Panasonic, a leading maker of consumer electronics, said that it had developed the industry’s first 50” plasma high-definition television that supports stereoscopic 3D output with the help of shutter glasses. The company also said that it would ship its stereo 3D equipment in 2010 after Blu-ray disc association (BDA) approves the “3D expanded standard”.

Panasonic’s newly developed 50” plasma features the so-called high-speed 3D drive and crosstalk reduction technologies to improve output of crisp and clear full-HD 3D images. As plasma display panels (PDPs) are self-illuminating device with full motion-picture resolution, they offer fast response time and are suitable to display fast-moving images. The high-speed 3D drive technology involves the development of new panel materials and chips that accelerate the pixel illumination while maintaining brightness. Panasonic also developed the crosstalk reduction technology using newly-developed phosphors with short luminescence decay time and illumination control technology to reduce double-images that occur when left- and right-eye image are alternated on the panel. All-in-all, the newly developed features promise clear images with accurate color reproduction even in 3D mode; obviously, they also improve image clarity in 2D mode. Even though Panasonic does not mention refresh rate of the PDP, it should be not lower than 120Hz at 1920x1080 resolution (progressive scan, 1080p).

The company relies on the so-called shutter glasses method to create 3D effect: the PDP displays time sequential images for the left and right eyes on the display frame by frame, whereas the glasses opens and closes the shutter in synchronization with the left- and right-eye images alternately shown on the PDP. The method has obvious drawback: viewers must sit under special angle to the HDTV. Moreover, many claim that shutter glasses cause headaches.

For the best experience, movies need to be shot in 3D mode using a special camera. In August, 2009, Panasonic announced an agreement with Twentieth Century Fox and the movie production company Lightstorm Entertainment to cooperate in the making of the new movie Avatar and joint promotion.

The manufacturer states that it would start to bring stereo 3D-enabled products to the market in 2010, however, it stresses that it is subject to approval of the “3D expanded” standard by the BDA, which has not promised to deliver the standard in the near term. Even though Panasonic plans to avoid the 3D format war, consumers interested in stereo 3D movies will likely need to acquire new Blu-ray players, HDTVs as well as shutter glasses (in necessary quantities). That said, stereo 3D will not become a de facto standard in living rooms for a number of years.

Panasonic’s 50” PDP prototype will be exhibited at Ceatec Japan 2009 trade show, which will be held in Tokyo from October 6th to October 10th. Earlier the consumer electronics maker displayed 103” PDP prototype capable of stereoscopic 3D output.

Tags: Panasonic, Stereo 3D, HDTV

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