3D TV Big In 2010

A technology from the 1950s has been updated and about to hit your home

It was back in the 1950s when 3D technology first hit the big screen and caused theatre patrons to have heart palpitations, sway from side-to-side to avoid some imagined monster trying to devour them, and in some cases, get headaches.

While popular for a few years, the desire for films that needed cardboard red and blue glasses finally waned, and although several aspiring movie makers have tried to reintroduce the genre over the years (Robert Rodriguez being one), it never really regained the momentum it once had. Until now. And television vendors have taken it one step further.

Uber movie blockbuster director James Cameron might want to take credit for the emergence of 3D television in 2010 due to his record box-office breaking movie Avatar, however that would be premature. While those that have seen the picture in its 3D environs (on the day I went the 3D projector was broken, so I had to settle for 2D), rave about it, television vendors have been quietly beavering away for quite some time now and claim they have managed to gear the technology towards being user-friendly in the home theatre market.

So this year, most of the big players in the television CE industry are releasing televisions that have 3D capabilities. Some of us older generation cynics might snigger a little having been through the various incarnations back in the day, but things are different now. A lot different.

For a start, they have got rid of those pesky glasses, and now you will be able to get a properly framed set that are robust and can handle knocks.

Second, in the case of Sony, the company has made a deal with both ESPN and the Discovery channel that will see the latter two entities supplying 3D content – anybody for being courtside at the tennis, or see a lioness in her natural environment getting a little testy?

Finally, and probably more importantly, the technology has caught up to what it is truly capable of doing, rather than what R&D folk wished it could do, but didn’t quite make the grade.

It will be some time before this technology becomes the norm in households throughout Australia, but I’d say within the next five years, the take-up rate will be very high. What will they come up with next? Viewers being part of the set? Who knows, but this will a big one to beat.