Sony was first to sign on S3D glasses technology from RealD.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sony will license some of RealD’s technology and equipment, such as 3-D eyewear, which can be used with Sony TV screens and other equipment intended to create a three-dimensional viewing experience similar to what is now offered in movie theaters. The equipment is expected to hit stores in 2010.
No other terms of the deal, announced Thursday, were disclosed. RealD’s agreement with Sony isn’t exclusive, which means the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company can also partner with other equipment makers for the same technology.
Indeed it was not exclusive to Sony. JVC was right on the heels of with similar news of their own.
JVC has licensed the RealD 3D format for its LCD monitors and other upcoming advanced 3D at home products.
The move follows Sony Corp. similarly licensing RealD technology for its own upcoming line of 3D Bravia TVs.
To enjoy 3D in the home, consumers will need to own 3D-capable displays. However, it shouldn’t matter whether displays support RealD or other rival formats for consumers to watch 3D Blu-ray products. In the Blu-ray Disc Assn.’s just-announced 3D specification, all 3D Blu-ray players will be able to output to any 3D-capable TV/display regardless of its format.
That last line is the clincher. It appears one if not both of these deals have been in place for a while, awaiting only the Blu-Ray Disc Association announcing the final 3D specification. JVC is currently shipping its Xpol technology, using polarized glasses for S3D images.
Sony hints at offering both types of glasses in their press release:
Sony Corporation and RealD today announced a technology partnership aiming to provide immersive 3D home entertainment to consumers beginning in 2010. The pact includes Sony licensing the stereoscopic RealD Format, know-how in producing active and passive 3D eyewear and other RealD technologies. Sony and RealD have been closely working together to create a better 3D experience at movie theaters for years. The parties will now join forces to deliver a similar premium 3D entertainment experience to the home.
What drove this flurry of activity? Many, including MasterImage 3D, give credit to James Cameron and his epic Avatar. It has taken the world by storm and Korea is no exception. Samsung kicked off 2010 with some S3D news prior to CES.
Samsung said Monday that it will integrate RealD’s technology into its new 3D TVs, which it is expected to unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, and support the proprietary stereoscopic RealD Format for the delivery and display of high-quality 3D content. The RealD Format is an enhanced version of a side-by-side 3D format that uses a unique set of filters and other technology that multiplexes a left eye and right eye 3D image stream into a single channel for delivery of 3D HD content using today’s HD infrastructure to any 3D-enabled display. The two companies will also work jointly on active eyewear technology and New Passive Display technology to promote 3D’s adoption
But one movie alone cannot drive sales of new HDTV displays and Blu-Ray players. Even Sony, with its vast library of movies knows that which is probably why they partnered with Discovery and Imax to launch an S3D channel in 2011.
Luckily for all those other HDTV and BD player manufacturers there will not only be an alternative, but sooner. You may have already heard, ESPN is taking the plunge into an S3D Network with this year’s World Cup. Talk about a game changer! So get yourself some RealD glasses and happy viewing!