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Panasonic Corp., a leading producer of consumer electronics products, has announced that it began works on establishment of three-dimensional full-HD (3D FHD) Blu-ray disc (BD) format. The company will work with Hollywood studios to create three-dimensional high-definition titles and expects its own equipment that supports output of 3D movies to arrive in 2010.

Earlier this year Panasonic created Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory Advanced Authoring Center (PHL-AC) which will began operations effective February 1, 2009.  The center, which is located within Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) in Universal City, California, is expected to speed up 3D FHD Blu-ray format-establishment and development and will work directly with Hollywood studios providing 3D title development services for 3D FHD Blu-ray titles.

“Panasonic recognizes that for 3D FHD to succeed, just like Blu-ray, collaboration on research, development and production with studios and content providers is absolutely essential,” said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, managing director of Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory.

PHL-AC will feature a Plasma 3D Full HD 103” HDTV home theater system, a 3D-ready digital cinema projector (Theatrical Dolby 3D system) with a 380” screen theater for 3D HD picture quality evaluation, and a 3D ready MPEG-4 AVC high profile encoder.

“Panasonic is working assiduously, with the cooperation of the Hollywood studios, to promote the 3D FHD system through standardization activities of the 3D format from the Blu-ray disc association (BDA). The creation of the new PHL Authoring Center will enable Hollywood to start trial production and ultimately create commercially available 3D FHD titles to realize a new window into reality, and elevate the level of high-definition entertainment that consumers can enjoy in their own homes. We expect 3D FHD to become a reality by 2010,” added Mr. Tsuyuzaki.

Panasonic is virtually the only company who is actively promoting stereo 3D high-definition video content these days and there are reasons for that. Panasonic’s 3D FHD BD technology relies on a special pair of active shutter glasses that work in synchronization with the company’s premium-class plasma HDTVs. Shutter glasses require viewer to sit directly in front of the screen and is also criticized for causing headaches.

“Plasma is currently the only TV capable of delivering a 3D full HD experience due in great part to its ability to refresh at a speed which enables multiple image display without loss of resolution,” said Bob Perry, executive vice president of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.

But not only Panasonic’s 3D FHD BD technology require the company’s large plasma HDTV with extreme refresh rate, the technology needs actual creators of movies to record content in accordance with certain principles (two left- and right-sided 1080p images should be recorded per every frame), which may result in emergence of separate 3D FHD Blu-ray discs incompatible with existing players and HDTVs on the software level due to the fact that they will carry stereoscopic three-dimensional content that requires high refresh rates, active shutter glasses and support from the player.

The 3D FHD BD tech from Panasonic is definitely unique, but at this point it is not supported by other consumer electronics companies. No surprise that none of Hollywood studios have expressed their commitment to the technology.

Tags: Blu-ray, Panasonic, Stereo 3D


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