Projector Reviews

3D Projectors – Where are we going?

Damn good question if you ask me.  I primarily attended NAB (national association of broadcasters) last week, to learn what I can about 3D, relating to our home theaters.

I am pleased to say, I probably increased my practical knowledge at the show, by 2x.  Unfortunately,that catapulted me into the “know enough to be dangerous” category.

On the downside, I’m now probably 4x as confused.

But, guys, I’m working on it.   3D is my next project after the big Home Projector report, and the K-12 projector report publishing around May 9th.

I’ve got 2 3D projectors already here.  (A couple of other manufacturers have already offered.)  One projector is your basic 720p DLP (but 3D ready), and a massive LCoS projector from LG ($10K), at the other end of the spectrum.  (The low cost projector uses active glasses, while the expensive one uses passive glasses.  I’m also bringing in a polarizing modulator that should work as an add on to many existing projectors (for some types of 3D content?)

My biggest problem, folks, is content.  I’m going to pick up a blu-ray player this weekend that has the necessary HDMI 1.4 that looks to be needed for the best 3D movie compatibility going forward. (Or use a similarly equipped PC?).

For gaming, if any of you are playing 3D games in 3D, drop me a line (comment in this blog).  The one of the guys at Nvidia, that I spoke with at NAB says Batman, is one of the best 3D games.  I’m open to other suggestions, of course, and different types of gaming.

I’m also going to either buy another computer next week, or upgrade the card in our most powerful PC here (a 3 year old gateway – I’m a Mac guy mostly), so I can handle the 3D computer based content (including games).

Hey, anyone out there already gaming in 3D, would love to chat, about what you have as a setup (yes even LCDTVs), software, video card, etc… If you have something to pass along, commenting back to this particular blog would be the best thing until I start publishing all the 3D stuff, in the 3 – 8 week timeframe.

My goal is to be ready to rock in terms of 3D, by end of May, with a couple of articles published, and at least one review.

BTW, I’ve got my passive glasses here (two types), I’ve got my active shutter glasses too.  It’s the content, that’s now critical.

And, before I get back to work, one thought relating to 3D hype that has been annoying me for many months.  The sad thing is I’ve even heard it from some very smart industry folks, who should know better, if they had thought it through:

If you’ve been doing any reading about 3D in the  home, it’s not uncommon to read one particular criticism of the solutions that require the active glasses, to view, and that is:

That the expense of the glasses is major problem.  I’ve seen stuff like “…it’s ridiculous, who’s going to buy 4 pairs of $200 glasses to watch 3D on reasonably low cost projectors or other display technologies.”

Arrrgh!   OK, first of all, I searched the other day, one of the distributor’s sites that I buy occasional gear from.  They had, I don’t know, maybe 12 different pairs of 3D shutter glasses.

Of those, yes, there were several up around $200 and one retailing for $400.  But two were down around $100, and several others between there and $150.

And that’s the price today, in a consumer market that has no content as of yet, except some limited gaming…   There are quite truly millions of LCDTVs and plasmas that will be sold in 2010, that are 3D ready.

So, if 3D doesn’t fizzle again, like in the 50’s and late? 70’s or 80’s, there will be millions of shutter glasses sold over the next 2-3 years.

In other words, no doubt by 2013 sometime, you’ll probably be able to buy a cheap pair of shutter glasses for what? $14.99, ok, maybe $25/pair.

In other words, the price of using active shutter glasses will not be a critical issue, and certainly not a deal breaker.  The hype right now (about the pricing), is coming, in part, from the manufacturers who’s gear works better with the passive glasses.

There are advantages and disadvantages of both types of solutions, but let’s at least take “the high price of active shutter glasses out of the conversation.  Sure, the prices will be this high at least until the fall, but then we should definitely start seeing active ones for under $100 and dropping.

Let’s make the decisions based on picture quality, not silly arguements that don’t hold much water.

That’s it.  -a