Sony Reveals 3-D HDTV Plans At IFA Show

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Berlin - Sony formally revealed its intention Wednesday to launch 3-D TVs next year with plans to expand the capability to 3-D Blu-ray Disc players, Vaio PCs and PlayStation3 video game systems.

The company said it will also continue to "accelerate its efforts across the Sony Group to create both attractive 3-D hardware and content, and provide new forms of 3-D enjoyment."

Sony's 3-D-compatible Bravia LCD TVs will incorporate frame sequential display and active-shutter glass systems, together with Sony's proprietary high frame-rate technology to produce FullHD 3-D images, the company said.

The approach is similar to one announced last year by Panasonic for Blu-ray Disc players and plasma displays.

In related news, Panasonic said Wednesday that it is now rolling out three tractor trailer trucks carrying demonstration theaters for its forthcoming 3-D Blu-ray Disc player and 3-D plasma systems on a nationwide tour. Panasonic's FullHD 1080p stereoscopic 3-D products, which the company said it will begin to market next year, use HD frame-sequential technology.

A number of companies in the CE hardware and content-production industries are working on a common standard to enable home-based FullHD stereoscopic displays and source components.

Sony's announcement marks the first major TV manufacturer to announce a Blu-ray-based 3-D system using LCD technology. In addition to 3-D Bravia LCD TVs, Sony said it will also develop 3-D compatibility into other devices, including Blu-ray Disc products, Vaio PCs and PlayStation3 systems, although a projected delivery date for those devices was not revealed.

"In the growing industry of 3-D cinema, Sony has supported and driven the expansion of 3-D by providing a wide variety of professional equipment for the shooting, production and screening of movies in 3-D," Sony said in a statement. "The number of digital 3-D screens is increasing rapidly, and is expected to reach 7,000 by the end of 2009. In addition to 3-D movies, Sony's range of professional 3-D products is also driving the growth of 3-D production and distribution across a range of entertainment industries, from theatre and music performances to sport and beyond."

Sony said it expects to "leverage its wealth of technology and engineering resources spanning both professional and consumer markets to bring the optimum 3-D viewing experience to the home, from 2010 and beyond."


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