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Panasonic’s 3D HDTV Among CEATEC Highlights

Panasonic’s 50-inch FullHD 3D plasma display was one of several themes — including eco-technology and networking in the home and beyond — being highlighted at its booth at CEATEC Japan 2009, held through Oct. 10 at the Makuhari Messe.

Panasonic emphasized its ecological products throughout the home, as well as its Viera Link networking that connects the TV to a wide variety of electronics and appliances in the home, car and all areas of life.

Those themes were also detailed in the opening day keynote by Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic.

Panasonic’s prototype 50-inch 1080p 3D plasma display, which uses active shutter glasses that enable the viewing of theater-quality images, is set to reach the market next year. No pricing information was offered, but during a press seminar on the technology, Panasonic executives said it would be tagged for a consumer audience. Possible screen sizes have not been decided upon as yet.

The company noted that its new high-speed 3D drive technology, which Panasonic claims enables rapid illumination of pixels while maintaining brightness, uses crosstalk reduction technology to minimize double-images that occur when left- and right-eye images are alternately displayed.

Panasonic highlighted its work with Hollywood studious to develop its FullHD 3D technology, which it said works best with plasma displays.

The company noted that unlike analog TV or HDTV, broadcasters will not play a key role in introducing the new format. A 3D-capable Blu-ray Disc drive, also set for next year and also without a suggested retail as yet, will play the premier role in introducing 3D.

To reproduce 3D images, Panasonic uses the FullHD x 2 frame sequential method that displays 1,920 by 1,080-pixel images for the left and right eyes on the display frame by frame.

Ohtsubo’s CEATEC keynote Tuesday emphasized the company’s “Eco Ideas” plan to introduce products and systems that will cut energy consumption for every A/V, IT or appliance used; create technology with fuel cells and solar power; and store energy — namely electricity — via lithium-ion batteries.

Comparing this time to the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century and the Information Revolution of the 20th, Ohtsubo said, “The 21st century needs a great revolution to realize sustainable growth and break our dependence on oil.”

He noted that Panasonic must produce “products and services, and manufacturing must suit the values of the new era — to enrich lives in a sustainable way. ‘Eco’ will be the center of all our activities” from now on. That will be part of “all of our products and services offered … and the implementation of business practices that minimize environmental impact.”

Among the prototypes discussed by Ohtsubo at the Panasonic booth is an AC/DC hybrid wiring system using electricity from fuel cells or solar power that will lose less power. An “intelligent” home energy system management system was shown using mounted sensors to reduce energy waste and make the home more comfortable. And EVERLEDS LED bulbs are being displayed that use less energy and are just as effective as today’s traditional lightbulbs.

Also on display was Viera Link, which, via a Viera TV, can share programming and information from room to room and outdoors via car navigation systems, mobile phones, Blu-ray decks, home security products, HD camcorders and digital cameras. Content from Blu-ray, the Web, cable, satellite or terrestrial broadcasts can be moved and shared.