3D tech goes full throttle in 2010

January 28, 2010 – 12:18 pm

PCWorld takes a look at the 3D technology, movie releases and consumer products ready to come out this year:

3D is back. And this time, it’s making a big statement. The concept isn’t new, of course–the first 3D motion picture dates back to the turn of the twentieth century. But a growing string of recent Hollywood releases, cemented by the runaway success of Avatar , has returned 3D to our cultural consciousness.

For the first time, though, 3D is being positioned not just for theatrical and professional venues but also for homes. Few observers expect this sea change to happen overnight–but it is coming.

The consumer electronics industry has been putting the elements for a 3D revolution into place surprisingly quickly. Every major manufacturer has revealed its 3D plans for 2010, with most companies setting a summer launch for their 3D-enabled televisions. Summer will also see 3D-enabled Blu-ray players. For filmmakers, a 3D camera will arrive in the fall: Panasonic’s $21,000, professional-grade Full HD camcorder will be able to record video from each of its twin lenses to SDHC cards.

Broadcasters are getting into the act, too. BSkyB is among the networks working on 3D channels. ESPN’s channel, launching in June, will show 85 sporting events in 3D. And Sony is partnering with Discovery and Imax to have a 3D channel by 2011.

Film content is already available, and will be growing thanks to the Avatar effect. Last year 17 3D films came out; more than a dozen such titles are scheduled for 2010. And 2011 will likely be a banner year for 3D movies as Hollywood rushes to replicate Avatar’s success.

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UPDATE: Some coverage on upcoming 3D releases:

Tainted Green: Samsung takes huge 3D LCD and LED TV risk. The result?

Associated Press: Manufacturers making big push for 3-D TVs