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Panasonic Demos 3D HDTV Home Theater with Blu-ray and 103-inch Plasma

By Chris Boylan

In an impressive demo at CEATEC in Tokyo this week, Panasonic showed off 3D in full 1080p high definition using a modified Blu-ray player and modified 103-inch plasma HDTV. 3D Content used in the demo included clips from Meet the Robinsons and the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Olympics content looked most compelling with several well-orchestrated segments from the opening ceremonies as well as a few clips of the actual competition including gymnastics events and running races.

Although Blu-ray Disc does not officially support any 3D standard, Panasonic was able to store two independent 1080p video streams on a standard 50 GB Blu-ray Disc using the main video stream for one of the stereoscopic streams and the equivalent of a BonusView PIP commentary track for the other stream. Panasonic's custom-modified Blu-ray Disc Player then sent the output of both 1080p streams to a modified 103-inch plasma for display.

Viewers were required to wear special active polarized glasses which receive an infrared signal that identifies which stream goes to which eye. The glasses then automatically shutter each lens in high speed (60 times per second) timed with the specific stream for that eye. In other words, your left eye sees an image only when left eye information is displayed on the screen and your right eye only sees content for that eye. This shuttering action is undetectable to the naked eye and produces an extremely realistic three-dimensional moving image, far superior to the old-fashioned anaglyph process which uses red and cyan-colored lenses.

US and Latin American journalists enjoy an eye-popping 3D demo in full HD on Blu-ray and a 103-inch plasma HDTV.

Work is currently underway with the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) to adopt a 3D standard for Blu-ray Disc so that software, players and display devices can all support the 3D technology properly.  But kudos goes out to Panasonic for showing what's possible using a standard BD-50 dual-layer Blu-ray Disc as the storage medium.

What did you think?

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