Tag: 3dtv

Dolby fits RFID tags into cinema 3D glasses

Dolby is screeching about the next generation of its 3D glasses, which it says roped in the technical know-how of an eyewear design company.

To be fair to Dolby, at least these are only at a $12 list price compared to the expensive offerings at the beginning of the 3D bandwagon.  

These are next gen, says Dolby, because they can be used repeatedly for cinemagoers and are robust enough to be washed – and they’d better be, because we hear conjunctivitis is rather unpleasant.  

Dolby claims the glasses, which are sadly still required for accurate 3D viewing on the big screen, make the wearer “look marvellous” which is just what you need in a big, dark room. 

Dolby has also included invidually serialised RFID tags for “inventory tracking and management,” which means if you think it’s a hilarious joke to sneak out a pair from the Leicester Square Odeon to the nearby Wetherspoons you can expect a visit from the Cinema Police. 

BBC takes cautious view on 3D TV

The BBC is playing it cautiously over the implementation of stereoscopic 3D technology according to a recent report.

The March version of the Beeb’s technology plan has shown that while trials are set to continue with the new format, it will not be investing in programme making for the time being.

“The BBC will be responsive to possible changes in the 3D Stereoscopic landscape and explore the opportunities it offers programmes and audiences,” the report stated.

While the organisation will continue to follow developments it appears that it will hold back, stating that it “will not be investing in S3D programme making but plans to investigate via limited trials and commercially available equipment”.

While there are a number of projects that the BBC has looked into with regards to 3D, such as talk of utilising the technology to some extent at the forthcoming London Olympics and a recent gig by The Charlatans displayed in live 3D, it has no solid plans to make further inroads into the much vaunted technology.

So it’ll be a while before Pat Butcher’s earrings swing into the face of the moneyed Eastenders watcher.

The organisation pointed towards the expense of programme making of the format as one of the reasons why it would not take up the technology on a large scale anytime soon.

“S3D is a consumer display manufacturer driven technology,” the report stated. “Much of the hype has come from the success of recent movie titles and the imminent Blu-ray releases.

“There is no standardisation of the technologies for acquisition, post-production, contribution or distribution of S3D.

“This approach is likely to suit a number of smaller but better funded players in the movie industry.

“Within the broader, less diverse and often less well funded television making community a lack of standardisation would be a significant issue, not for S3D as a format but also in financial terms for the producers and commissioning broadcasters.”

It seems that the Beeb is not willing to bank its cash on 3D, at least for the time being, particularly with the expected 10 percent cuts the service is being forced to make.

However the report does not rule out a more comprehensive strategy being put in place at some point next year, when it is said that “either a full BBC S3D programme strategy will be developed or the current S3D standards fail to deliver/take off.”

A recent survey showed that despite a supposed move towards 3D, many potential viewers of the Olympics are more concerned about watching in high definition rather having the illusion that javelins are careering towards them through the screen.

Indeed, despite all and sundry telling us that 3D is the future – whether or not it will live up to expectations is the source of debate.

Trident becomes top TV video processing chip supplier

US based semiconductor supplier Trident Microsystems has leapt into the leadership position the fast-growing market for television video processing chips.

The firm leap-frogged MStar Semiconductor into first place in the first quarter having capitalised on new technology and customers gained from its acquisition of assets from NXP Semiconductors late last year.

Trident has since built its lead over its nearest rival, accounting for 13.8 percent of global television processing semiconductor revenue, while Taiwanese firm MStar has just 9.7 percent, according to iSuppli figures. It is the first time that Trident has led the market since the fourth quarter of 2007.

“Trident’s strong 2010 performance represents a complete turnaround from its weak results in 2008 and 2009,” said Randy Lawson, iSuppli principal analyst and manager.

“Leveraging the acquisition of Dutch-based NXP’s television semiconductor business in late 2009, Trident has been able to gain leadership in the market for LCD TV controller chips that support 120Hz-and-faster frame rates. NXP products and intellectual property also have allowed Trident to better address the market for smaller, lower-end LCD TVs. Finally, NXP provided Trident with an invaluable customer base in South Korea, greatly expanding its sales.”

A boom in the global market for LCD TV screen as consumers ditch the Cathode-Ray Tube devices has meant that the market for television processing chips, used to drive the LCD panel has consequently seen demand soar, with Trident able to capitalise.

The first three quarters of 2010 saw the television video processor market amount to $1.78 billion, rising 30 percent from the same period of 2009.

“Growth in the television processing semiconductor business is being generated by a number of market and technology trends specific to the TV segment, where dramatic product changes have – and will continue to be – introduced to the consumer marketplace,” Lawson said. “These trends are increasing the complexity and cost of video processing chips.”

LCD panels also require electronics to address slower pixel response times than that of plasma screens, meaning that video processing chips are vital to avoid picture blurring. 

It is also necessary for LCDs larger than 50-inches to provide improvements in their contrast ratios in order to better compete with plasma screens. This in turn requires dynamic backlight controls and video processing algorithms which can be added to processing chips.

HDTVs also require additional processing power, and high definition sets are predicted to rise to 75 percent of flat panels shipped in 2012 according to estimates, up from just 34 percent in 2009.

And with 3D displays also becoming increasingly popular across the world, and internet connectivity in TV sets also becoming widespread, it appears that demand is only set to increase.

Consumers demand higher quality TV online

A study investigating modern consumption of TV has shown that while HDTV is fast becoming the mainstream for home viewing, consumers are increasingly demanding higher quality services such as 3DTV and high quality streaming.

The survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Cisco, showed that UK consumers’ expectations of picture quality have been raised by High Definition TV, with uptake currently at 57 percent of households.

It was shown that with the arrival of 3DTV consumers will continue to seek higher quality pictures with 43 percent of young customers aged 16-24 expressing interest in purchasing 3D enabled sets in the future.  33 percent of those aged 25-34 also showed interest in 3D. We have long been shouting from the rooftops that the 3D telly push is a cynical way to offload a panel glut for very high profits – it seems the marketing is working.  

It is noted that there often problems with TV on demand services with 31 percent of UK couch potatoes experiencing stuttering or picture freezes, 17 percent of which reported having to go to the extreme lengths of switching the set off and on again.

However, the way that people are watching television is increasingly diversifying with newer devices such as tablets and large screen smartphones now enabling online TV consumption anywhere in the home.

Furthermore there is evidence that consumers are seeking integrated services with many surfing online and watching television simultaneously, with 70 percent of online consumers accessing the internet in the living room thanks to the freedom of access given by wireless devices.

Quality of streaming online TV content is still a problem for many, with 72 percent of consumers reporting issues, 42 percent of which gave up viewing content altogether. It’s a problem when you are just getting to the end of the Hollyoaks omnibus and 4od freezes up as usual.

This has led to 22 percent of consumers showing willingness to pay for a guaranteed improvement in quality.  According to the Forrester survey young consumers would rather pay per item as opposed to a traditional subscription payment model, mirroring the pre pay model that proved very popular on mobile phones.

It is noted that with regards to who should ensure quality of service it is clear that consumers believe both the site from which they are viewing content and their ISP provider should both take responsibility.

With the arrival of increasing availability of wireless devices such as tablet PCs it seems that such diversification of viewing mediums will continue to boost online viewing consumption.

*EyeSee A bird tells TechEye that the music industry is also looking for ways to monetise streaming. With feeds from Glastonbury already popular, major labels are holding talks, in line for a 2011 push, to bring live gig streaming in a paid-for service like a hybrid of the iPlayer and Spotify.

One in five TVs sold stateside will be 3D by 2013, says report

3D is the hottest thing happening in Hollywood according to research by In-Stat.

In a market report the company said 3D had found its way to the US consumer electronics market. It predicted that by 2013, one in five new TVs sold in the US will be 3D and year-over-year shipment growth will be 231 percent  between 2010 and 2011, resulting in a doubling of the US installed base of units for 3DTVs from 2010 to 2011. 

Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst, said: “High definition did create a wave of activity in the US market, not seen since the introduction of colour.

“3DTV promises to be the next significant innovation wave for living room entertainment.”

Innovation wave – right. What that means is it reckons 3D will be the next big thing. 

However, Goksen Sertler, senior analyst at Meko said the figures were a “little bit aggressive”.

“You have to look at the market share in terms of TV sizes as well as the 3D aspect and 231 percent isn’t definitive of total shipments,” she said.

“Meko’s European forecast for Stereoscopic 3D TVs in 2011 is 7 percent of the total
flat TVs in Western Europe. This would mean a 290 percent year -on -year increase from 2010 shipments,” she added.

John Lewis says buy 3D kit even though there's no 3D content

John Lewis, the department store retailer, is boasting about being the first to flog 3D TVs in-store and urging the consumer to get their hands on the expensive kit – even though there’s barely any content yet. As John Lewis itself admits.

The product John Lewis is touting is the Samsung UE40C7000 3D TV which comes in at a very unreasonable £1,799. The TV has been available since the 22nd of April, though John Lewis is clearly keen to flog the product as it has felt it necessary to issue another release. 3D glasses, the X2 Samsung Active Shutters bundled with a 3D copy of Monsters vs Aliens will set you back a huge £149. The glasses surely won’t be dissimilar to the type that are handed out for free in cinemas with a ticket to a 3D film.

To enjoy the very limited 3D content you’ll also need the Samsung 3D Blu-ray player which clocks in at £349. Then you’ll need a 3D ready HDMI cable which costs £49.95. Altogether that works out at £2346.95 – so buyers had better really enjoy the Monsters v Aliens film, because after splashing that much there won’t be much left in the wallet to purchase any of the other films.

John Lewis claims it’s an investment, though, with Sky planning to launch its 3D TV service – no doubt also at an inflated cost – later this year. The store says not to worry about the lack of 3D films that are in the market at the moment, because the telly runs regular 2D fine as well.

If you’ve got loads more money than sense, and are especially keen on Monsters v Aliens, you’ll be able to pick up all of the kit at the Oxford Street flagship store.

3D glasses will cost you a fortune

While Europeans are expected to buy 700,000 stereo 3DTVs this year, the question of what kind of glasses you wear and how much they cost remains unresolved.

Those figures come from Meko, a UK market research company that predicts 3.8 million sets will be sold in 2011 and 8.1 million in 2012.

Goksen Sertler, senior analyst for Meko, told TechEye that while there is a lot of excitement about 3D, only two percent of TVs in Western Europe sold this year will be S3D equipped. “The sets will be made available in just the larger sizes – over 32-inches – will be in the premium model ranges and will not be sold through all channels,” she said.

And, said Sertler, standardisation for 3D specs is important to gain end user confidence – she said people wanted to ensure the spectacles work with every brand.

Right now, and by and large, they don’t, she said, with additional glasses costing around $110 a pair and containing proprietary electronics that communicate with the TV. That means that if you’ve a large family you can expect to lash out several hundred dollars just so you can all watch the telly.

There are two main types of stereoscopic glasses – the active shutter type which communicate with the TV and tell it which eye is working. That, she said is expensive. The passive system used by LG is very cheap, with materials costing only around $10.

She agreed that the prices of the active shutter glasses were ridiculously expensive, but said that a company called Xpand was working to produce a system that would work with all the different types of sets.

Meko predicts that there will be lots of content from Blu-ray and from TV stations, but European buyers will want to go for smaller sets than Americans, with 40-inch and 42-inch sets with FullHD resolution to be the best sellers. “Customers will also be looking for high quality sets that  have other features that will keep costs up, such as LED backlighting.”

*EyeSee Meko will be hosting the 7th Displayforum event at the Heathrow Hilton on the 3rd of November on the subject of 3DTV in Europe.

Lack of content hinders 3D TV sales

Manufacturers of TVs are set to add USB connectors to their TVs this year while Skype is moving into the living room with video calling – but while the vendors continue to churn out 3D hype, lack of content could well slow down adoption.

That’s according to market research company Displaysearch in a report that estimates 100 million “connected TVs” will ship by 2013, up 546 percent from the 15 million that shipped in 2009.

According to Displaysearch, government policy in Brazil and China is driving adoption of digital broadcasting, while this year is the year for terrestrial TV in 2010.

Analyst director Paul Gray said that its research shows that LED backlighting and 240Hz LCDs will help to drive feature developments in TV during this year, and they’re enabling technologies for 3D.

He estimates that 2.5 million 3D capable TVs will ship this year, and grow to 27 million sets by 2013.

Gray said: “We are just seeing the hype turning into real products, but the key issue will be how consumers react and the industry will learn a great deal as people take 3D sets home and use them. There are many complications in the supply chain, starting with a shortage of content. The content industry probably has the biggest task ahead.