Autostereoscopic. Ever heard that term before? Philips hopes you'll be hearing a lot more of it, and yesterday announced a line of Quad Full Autostereoscopic 3D HDTVs during a 3D event in Hollywood.
A Quad-HDTV means it's screen resolution checks in at 3840x2160 (8.29 million pixels), or four times that of the highest HDTV standard, and otherwise known as 2160P. Combined with autostereoscopic technology, the end result is that 3D images can be made to look believable without having to wear those funky glasses or other specialized headgear. Instead, images target a specific eye, but rather than require a strict viewing angle, Philips says its 56-inch HD 3D display has a generous 160-degree viewing angle.
As expected, first-run products won't come cheap with early rumblings putting this TV in the $25,000 ballpark. But Philips isn't the only one pushing 3D technology - Toshiba and Sanyo have both said they're working on competing autostereoscopic displays, which could drive down the price if this technology takes off.
In what's sure to elicit Tim Allen-like grunts, Philips has unveiled its Pronto TSU9800 touchscreen remote control. The new models retains all the same features as the previous model (TS9600), but upgrades to a bigger full-size 6.4-inch VGA display. Also new to the TSU9800:
Two more buttons + optical rotary wheel
Pronto Link support (allows a homeowner to control home theaters, lights, temperatures, security, and multi-room audio systems via a single remote)
Advanced two-way functionality by receiving feedback from RS-232 or IP-controlled devices in real-time
Philips is offering an optional accessory allowing users to mount the remote to any wall or table top, and will also make available two extenders for integrating into with home controls.
Blu-ray may have won the high-definition format war, but the spoils haven't exactly been anything to brag about. Saddled with high prices, consumers have been turning the other cheek in favor of upscaled DVDs and an increasing emphasis on movie downloads, which looks to get even more popular this fall. But that could all change if 3D movies prove popular for home setups.
Leading the charge is Philips, who will demonstrate 3D on Blu-ray later this month at IFA 2008.The demo is expected to show how Philips' 2D-plus-Depth content format can be applied to Blu-ray, which would open the door for 3D movies to be shown on a variety of displays. Whether or not that matters to home theater buffs remains to be seen, but with a growing amount of 3D movies released on the big screen, those that missed the theater debut would still be able to relieve the experience at home, minus the ginormous screen.
Does this give Blu-ray the edge it needs to gain popularity points?
We’ll try anything that immerses us more deeply in a game. We dig hardware that breaks down the barriers between a fantasy universe and our everyday real world. But we had to suppress a giggle when Philips first demonstrated its amBX system of colored lights, whirring fans, and vibrating wrist pads.