At CES 2010, Sony announced its first 3D Blu-ray player, the BDP-S770, but that won't be the only 3D-capable standalone Blu-ray player from Sony this year. Wednesday, Sony announced the BDP-S470, a midrange Blu-ray player that's slated to get a firmware update in the summer to make it 3D capable. In addition, the company announced that three previously announced products--the BDV-E770W, BDV-E570, and BDP-S570--will be getting the same 3D upgrade.
Over the course of several CES shows and major press announcements, we have been eagerly following the PlayStation 3's future evolution into a console capable not only of 3D games, but 3D Blu-ray content. We know that the PS3 is in the official 3D Blu-ray spec, but what has been unclear to this point is when, and how, we'll get that 3D content at home.
Google has filed at least four patent applications for technology it's building into its Chrome browser to try to make the Web a more powerful foundation for applications.
Patents can serve a variety of purposes. They can be used to keep competitors away from new technology until the patent expires. They can be licensed to others for their use or used as bargaining chips when negotiating patent cross-license agreements that let companies use each other's patents. They can be hoarded for defensive purposes, ready for deployment in a patent infringement countersuit if one company is sued by another. They can be used to gain more favorable terms in the creation of industry standards that relate to the patents. And of course they can bolster corporate chest-thumping when it comes time to boast about levels of innovation.
Thus far, Google hasn't proven to be a litigious company, but its presence is looming ever larger over the computing industry. The new patents are in a particularly fast-moving area, the development of Web browsers and associated technology for making cloud computing a more powerful foundation for applications. … Read more
HDMI Licensing announced Wednesday that it has made the 3D portion of the HDMI specification version 1.4 available for public download on the HDMI Web site.
This means companies and organizations that have not executed the HDMI Adopter Agreement can now have access to the 3D portion of version 1.4 of the HDMI Specification. Prior to this, only parties that have signed the HDMI Adopter Agreement have had access to the information.
However, the document available for download is extracted from version 1.4 of the HDMI specification. However, HDMI version 1.4a will be released shortly with … Read more
Q: Dear David, I'm having difficulty deciding on a flat-panel TV. I am interested in the best quality image, and price is not the major issue. Do I wait for the new models? -- Thanks, Les
A: Hi Les, If price isn't the major issue, you want the best picture quality, and you can handle waiting a few months, then definitely do so. As always, I expect the new models to offer improved performance over the old ones. -- David
This morning I had the following, fairly typical, email exchange with a reader. In fact, this time of year--after CES but before first the first new reviews hit--is characterized by more email uncertainty and questions than any other. Judging from my in-box this Monday morning, 2010 will be no exception.
Last year I addressed the same question with an answer similar to the one I gave Les. I essentially said that now is a great time to pick up a bargain on an older model, but if the new technology appeals to you, you have the patience and you don't minding spending a few hundred dollars more, then wait for reviews on the new models before making a decision.
Not much has changed since then. Sure, many of the new HDTVs announced at CES are mighty tempting, and offer features (3D compatibility, Skype, built-in Wi-Fi, even thinner panels) that might appeal to people who want to live on the bleeding edge. But the TVs that offer them will be priced at a premium compared to current models.
Of those new features, 3D is the best candidate for causing you to pass on those bargain, 2D-only 2009 models and waiting to get a 2010 TV. But before you say "I'm holding out for 3D," you should definitely know the facts.… Read more
If there's one lingering sensation after this year's CES, it's that already big and high-resolution TVs are trying very hard to get even more realistic and compelling to consumers. As proven by movies like "Avatar," 3D can be about more than things flying out of the screen at you like that old Joe Flaherty sketch from SCTV. 3D can be about immersion, and one of the true hoped-for killer apps in 3D TV is sports programming. I'll be the first to admit that I'd be excited about a 3D broadcast of a Jets game; in fact, 3D could help gain perspective on camera angles, and help with sports like baseball in helping keep track of field distances and fly balls. Plus, of course, it would look cool.
Would 3D or any other future form of TV ever replace the experience of being at the game itself, though?
I ask because I am a New York Jets season-ticket holder. My father, Michael Stein--otherwise known as "Jetmike"--has had season tickets for 44 years. He's been at Shea and Giants Stadium and even the Polo Grounds since the Jets were the Titans, and has only missed games to go to medical school in Italy (where, sadly, he missed the 1969 Jets Super Bowl). He also is a huge home theater buff; he owns a Pioneer Kuro TV and has 7.1 surround in his living room media center. I asked him whether there was anything that could lure him to give up being at the game and stay home instead.
He had no hesitation in his answer. "I go for the camaraderie," he said. "At the game, 80,000 people become one."
I can attest to that, as we both braved 19-degree weather for the final Jets game at Giants Stadium on January 3 for a remarkable night football experience. But our viewing angle, despite having good mezzanine seats, is far from ideal. A TV broadcast can zoom in and show slow-motion replays. Being at the game can show the whole field, but TV already has an advantage in quality.… Read more
I'd like to give a tiny Golden Globe to all the fine people who put together these incredibly detailed Avatar Lego dioramas. That's my kind of 3D.
Many of these are repurposed from older Lego sets, such as Halo and (gasp!) "Toy Story," which in a way is an apt metaphor for Avatar itself, no? Either way, another win for the hobbyists! (More photos after the jump.)
Hewlett-Packard, one of the biggest names in printing, is dipping into the 3D printer market through a deal with Minneapolis, Minn.-based Stratasys, the companies said Tuesday.
3D printers let people create three-dimensional models out of designs created on a computer, constructing the model by either removing material from a block or by building it up gradually from another material. Stratasys will manufacture an HP-branded 3D printer set for release later this year.
CES overloaded the industry with 3D TV hype, and it's time to bust it. This week on the Roundtable, I interview CNET's own John Falcone and HDNation's Robert Heron on the practical realities, and likely future, of 3D TV.
CES 2010 was full of the usual electronics wonderment, but some trends were more frequent or more prominent than others. We took a gander about the show floor and tallied up the five top trends from the show.
Take a look at the video then come back here for a chance to win the swag bag.