RealD signs big names for 3D TV

The 3D display technology enlisted Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Samsung, and DirecTV for its push into the TV realm. But it's not the only 3D player.

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RealD, a company whose 3D display technology already is widely used in movie theaters, has enlisted a raft of prominent partners for the TV industry: Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, JVC, Samsung, and DirecTV.

Vuzix builds two displays directly into its Wrap 920AR glasses.
Vuzix builds two displays directly into its Wrap 920AR glasses. Vuzix

This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, RealD announced deals that will bring its technology to Samsung products, Toshiba's ZX900 TV, Panasonic's Full HD 3D Viera TVs, Sony's Bravia HDTVs, and LCD monitors from JVC.

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based RealD also announced it's cooperating with those same companies for 3D eyewear.

Being able to display the 3D imagery is one part of the transition. Getting the imagery to the TV is another matter. There, RealD announced a partnership with DirecTV.

"We look forward to working with RealD and our programming providers to deliver 3D content later this year to owners of 3D-capable TVs," DirecTV Chief Technology Officer Romulo Pontual said in a statement. "No new set-top boxes will be required."

Closer toward the eyeball part of the 3D pipeline, Gunnar Optics announced RealD-capable 3D glasses at CES available this quarter. Prescription versions will arrive in the third quarter, the company said.

RealD, which uses polarized light to separate imagery for the left and right eyes, isn't the only contender for 3D technology. XpanD, which uses liquid crystal to briefly make one side or the other of its eyewear briefly opaque, announced a 3D partnership with Vizio.

XpanD also announced a range of X102 and X103 glasses in various colors. XpanD uses Bluetooth to synchronize the glasses' behavior with the imagery on the TV screen.

And if you want to sidestep the whole issue of 3D displays, you can try Vuzix's Wrap 920AR stereo display glasses, which build two separate 1504x480-pixel displays into the glasses themselves to create stereoscopic vision. The glasses monitor position and orientation so a person's view can be adjusted according to head position, and they have external cameras that can feed in what a person would ordinarily see without the glasses. Sounds handy for the budding concept of augmented reality.

XpanD announced two models of 3D glasses.
XpanD announced two models of 3D glasses. XpanD