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Sony's giant outdoor 3D LED display

Sony brought its 3D LED Display system to Ceatec this year, where it demonstrated 3D viewing on a giant scale.

Sony's ginormous 3D LED display at its booth here at Ceatec 2010.
Sony's ginormous 3D LED display at its booth here at Ceatec 2010. Erica Ogg/CNET

CHIBA, Japan--This behemoth of a 3D display measures 71 feet by 16 feet. And that's just a fraction of how big it could be.

Sony attracted the masses--who were promptly handed 3D glasses--to its 3D LED Display.
Sony attracted the masses--who were promptly handed 3D glasses--to its 3D LED Display. Erica Ogg/CNET

Sony is using its HD 3D LED Display System as the centerpiece of its booth here at Ceatec 2010. This isn't the first public display--it made an appearance at IFA Berlin last month and was used to broadcast the World Cup match between Japan and the Netherlands in June. But for all the 3D gadgets on display here at Ceatec (and there are a ton), Sony's stands out. Mostly for its extreme size.

At 1,136 square feet it's not meant to be something you bring home for the kids. But as a backdrop at a concert? Or for large-scale outdoor events, like football games? That's exactly what Sony has in mind, though it's not for sale yet.

The one shown here is made up of 345 tiles, and each tile is made up of 9 square display modules. Each is about half a foot thick. Because it's just a matter of linking together the modules, there's really no limit on how large the display can be.

When put together in the dimensions noted above, the display's viewing angle is 120 degrees, better than most movie theaters. The contrast ratio is 1,000 to 1, and like many of the best outdoor displays, its brightness measures 2,000 nits.

It's also unexpectedly portable. Sony takes it apart, module by module, every time it has to be moved. At this size it takes three or four hours to put back together. When built to twice the height, as for the World Cup game, the job can take up to 10 hours.