Posts Tagged ‘3D TV’

Hands-On: SIM2 LUMIS 3D Solo Projector

Posted by Carl on 29th August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

At this time in 2010, 3D was thriving due to an enormous amount of buzz generated by the support of high-performance video companies like SIM2.

A year later, the buzz has cooled, but that doesn’t mean the technology has faded into irrelevancy. In fact, it’s just the opposite. 3D products are improving and becoming more affordable and more applicable to a wider array of home systems.

Converging all of these trends is SIM2’s LUMIS 3D Solo Projector. A year ago, this product would have been priced significantly higher than where its $50,000 price tag sits. What’s nice about this three-chip DLP unit is that it is a state-of-the-art projector that uses active 3D technologies to allow installers to use traditional screen materials that play better with 2D content.


The 3D Solo includes Texas Instruments’ DLP 1080p DarkChip4, as well as other features such as two HDMI 1.4 inputs, SIM2’s proprietary PureMotion image processing, 3D PureMotion triple-flash motion processing, Pure Movie and SIM2’s AlphaPath light engine, which it says enables the projector to produce “superb color depth, exceptional brightness and [an] excellent contrast ratio.”

SIM2 also says the 3D Solo can be configured with a choice of lenses to accommodate short- and long-throw distances, and installers can order the projector in a choice of colors that includes gun metal, white, black or red.


After unpacking the projector, I hoisted the fairly lightweight unit into place and immediately connected HDMI cables from my cable box and Sony 3D Blu-ray player and plugged the unit in. Buttoning up the physical connections, I took the supplied cable for the active 3D IR sync box and connected it to the projector and plugged in the wall-wart power supply.

Forgetting about the idiosyncratic nature of SIM2’s remotes and GUIs, I became increasingly frustrated because I couldn’t power the projector up. After pulling the manual out, I read that not only do you have to press power, but you also have to press a numeric key on the remote. After finally getting the unit to power up, I began work on the unit’s image focus, alignment and zoom. Surprisingly, the unit doesn’t have remote controllable lens shift options, so I did that manually.

With the basic image parameters set, I checked out a re-broadcast of a Red Sox game and found the image to be highly detailed, deep and probably pretty close to calibration specs.

Later, due to the 1.4 gain on my 100-inch SI Black Diamond, I found that I needed to make adjustments to the color space, white point settings and more basic things like contrast and black levels. To permanently save these settings, I created a “user” setting in the menu.


I watched a ton of 2D content, as well as 3D versions of “Tangled,” “Tron” and “Despicable Me.” Watching Red Sox games and network broadcasts such as AMC’s airing of “The Matrix,” I was struck by the clarity, smoothness and color depth the 3D Solo produced. Small things like the wool texture of the navy blue Red Sox hats were presented like someone removed a filter from my video system. Dark details that are a major part of the green-tinted Matrix were in full display.


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Hitachi ends Domestic TV Production; Shows iPad Controlled 3D TV

Posted by Carl on 25th August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

Between a slowing global economy and fierce market competition television manufacturers have had to reassess their position in the world of consumer video.

A report from the electronics industry blog says that Hitachi recently announced that it would cease domestic (Japan) production of flat-panel televisions in favor of using outsourced products.  In addition, the blog states that Hitachi has also introduced six new flat-panel TV models, including the 50-inch P50-GP08, which it says supports iPad/iPhone control, and includes a number of other features.

Highlighting some of the other features bundled into the 3D TV include the ability to preview a channel before actually switching channels, and the ability to stream a previously recorded show that resides on the TV’s 500GB hard drive when used with an iPad or home network. says an app called Wooo Remote drives the iPad control and streaming functionality, and some of the other features of the 1080p TV include five TV tuners, four HDMI ports, a motion sensor that automatically turns the TV off when a user leaves the room and a claimed contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1.

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The (Post) Friday 5: Blade Runner, James Cameron Speaks Again, and More

Posted by Carl on 23rd August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

We dropped the ball last week! Our Friday 5 is a few days late. However, we’ve been too busy basking in the glow of a good week for 3D. Just because we’re a little late doesn’t mean you should miss out on these five 3D-themed stories. See what the web has been buzzing about…

James Bond Speaks. Daniel Craig says (via Contactmusic) that he’s happy that “Cowboys Aliens” was not in 3D. Wait, wasn’t that movie a massive flop?

New Blade Runner! Director Ridley Scott will revisit Philip K. D!ck (yes, our system blurs out that name) and one of our favorite sci-fi films, “Blade Runner.” According to MarketSaw, the upcoming film will be a 3D follow-up to the 1982 classic.

Must-See PlayStation TV. Ubergizmo says that the new PlayStation TV will hit Europe this fall.

He’s a Talker. James Cameron is out talking up 3D again — and we do love him for that. Check out 3D TV to see what the director has to say about ticket prices, light levels, and fans of the technology.

You Takin’ to Me? Acclaimed director Martin Scorcese says (via The Wall Street Journal) that “Mean Streets,” “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” could have benefited from 3D technology. What do you think?

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1-Week Deal: Buy a Samsung 3D TV, Get the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tablet

Posted by Carl on 19th August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

HP may have given up on its table plans, but Samsung is giving its tablets away — well, to anyone who buys certain 3DTVs from Best Buy.

Starting this Sunday, August 21 through Saturday August 27, anyone who buys a 46-inch or 55-inch Samsung LED LCD will also get a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet running the Android Honeycomb OS.

It’s a pretty sweet deal, considering the total package also includes a 3D starter Kit with 2 pairs of active Bluetooth 3D glasses plus Blu-ray copies of Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek The Third in 3D and mail-in vouchers from Samsung for Megamind and Shrek Forever After in 3D.

You’ll still need a 3D Blu-ray player, but you can pick up a matching Samsung BD-D5500ZA for $160. Not a bad deal since the Galaxy costs $499, also acts as an additional TV remote (download the app first) and does all the nifty things a tablet does. After the deal ends, the Galaxy will be off the table, replaced by a 3D Blu-ray player.

Below are all the little fine print details from the press release:

Products must be purchased on same receipt to receive package savings.

  • $1999.99 TV + $499.99 Galaxy Tab + $349.99 3D Starter Kit =$2849.97 – $500 TV Savings – $849.98 Package Savings = $1499.99
  • $2799.99 TV (Sku: 2209261) + $499.99 Galaxy Tab + $349.99 3D Starter Kit =$3649.97 – $800 TV Savings – $849.98 Package Savings = $1999.99

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Optoma Announces HD8300 and HD3300 3D Projectors

Posted by Carl on 17th August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

Optoma has a reputation for offering full-featured DLP home theater projectors at prices for the budget-conscious and DIY consumer. Though the company says these new products are focused on the custom installation market, the prices are probably going to make them appeal to a much wider audience.

The first is the HD8300 ($4,499), 1500 lumens, 30,000: 1 contrast ratio projector with built-in frame-interpolation processing and a new color management system the company calls PureColor, designed to fine tune primary and secondary colors.

To make installing a little easier, the HD8300 (top photo) includes lenshift and a 1.5x optical zoom. Also keeping with the videophile theme is the inclusion of ISFccc controls with day and night modes.

The projector with RF active shutter glasses, sold separately. The RF emitter is included with the projector and doesn’t require line of sight like IR glasses.

In addition to all the expected video ports, the HD8300 includes RS-232, two +12V triggers, and a VESA 3D port. You also get two remotes—one main remote, plus a smaller backup remote that attaches magnetically to the projector.

While the HD8300 sounds like a big deal, the game changer is the HD3300 (bottom photo), the first $1,999 3D 1080p projector we’ve come across. Optoma says it puts out a whopping 2,000 lumens and a 5,000:1 contrast ratio.

For the $1,999 price you get a shorter zoom (1.2x), one less 12 volt trigger and no lens shift, which means you need to be a lot more precise before you start drilling holes for your ceiling mount. Other than that, the features appear to be pretty much the same.

Also shipping now is the HD33, a $1499, 3D projector with 1,800 lumens and 4,000:1 contrast ratio. We will be checking out this one in person pretty soon, so stay tuned for the review.

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HDI 3D Launches Laser Driven Projector Line

Posted by Carl on 11th August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

For the past few years the projection video industry has been diligently working on projection products that incorporate laser-based light engines.

Approximately a year ago Explore3DTV reported that N.H.-based Laser Light Engines was working on the development of this technology and it had partnered with IMAX to receive funding.

In the meantime however, Los Gatos, Calif.-based HDI 3D was also working on laser-based projection technologies and on Aug. 10 the company announced that it has begun to manufacture its line of laser-driven 2D/3D Switchable Dynamic Video Projectors. 

Using Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) display chips in conjunction with its laser technologies the company says its 3D projectors can produce 360 frames per second (fps) per eye with 1080p content, and that its’ technologies deliver a color gamut potential up to 200 percent of NTSC specifications. 

HDI says the first pre-production run of 100, made in the USA “Cube” projectors will be available by Feb. 2012 and five other models will be made available in late 2012.

The company adds the projectors are designed to work with its companion line of Laser Silver Screens, which will be offered in 120-, 200- and 300-inch diagonal versions. HDI claims the 120-inch screen produces 70 Foot Lamberts in 2D and 35 Foot Lamberts in 3D, while the 200- and 300-inch screens offer 35 Foot Lamberts in 2D and 18 Foot Lamberts in 3D respectively.

Additionally, the company claims that it has eliminated the viewer fatigue effects of 3D, including migraines, dizziness, nausea and motion sickness through its designs that include light-weight, polarized glasses.

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LG Goes Passive for Nano LED 3D TV

Posted by Carl on 9th August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

It’s been almost a year since we first heard about them, and the product has undergone some significant changes since then, but LG’s Nano TVs are almost here.

This week LG released details of the new Nano LED LCD TVs which use a proprietary thin screen (the nano part) which is supposed to disperse light more evenly across the screen than other LED TVs. In addition, the Nano line uses a full array of LED backlights rather than edge lighting. True backlighting eliminates the awkward bright spots surrounding a picture that sometimes come as a result of edge lighting. The use of the Nano dispersion film should also help create a wide viewing angle when combined with the full backlight.

As we reported a few months ago, the Nano TVs will now use LG’s CINEMA 3D technology, also known as passive 3D, rather than the active 3D it was first announced to use. LG explains that the switch was a result of customer feedback indicating that viewers much preferred the passive 3D system, which uses low-cost polarized glasses rather than the battery-powered active-shutter glasses common on other 3D TVs. The TV also includes a 2D-to-3D conversion feature. LG still offers plasma TVs with active shutter glasses.

Read our review of LG’s 55LW5600 CINEMA 3D TV here.

If 3D’s not your thing, don’t worry, this TV comes fully-outfitted with LG’s smart TV features, so you can get check your Facebook updates, watch Netflix streaming or a host of other online apps. A 3D video-on-demand app is also included, so you can take advantage of those four sets of included 3D glasses right away (or use the round ones you stole from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”).

According to the press release, it appears the TV will ship with LG’s Magic Motion remote control, which, in-use is a little like a Wii controller—you wave and point to direct a courser to navigate the apps.

The TV also uses LG’s DLNA-like Smart Share system which allows wireless sharing of content from PCs and some smart phones or tablets.

Because the model number of the TV has changed from the units showed this past January at CES, it’s unclear what size the TV will be available in. In January LG shows two series (LW9500 and LW7700) which were going to be available in 47-, 55- and 60-inch models. This was before the switch to passive 3D technology. The current series as announced in Korea is LW980S. The model announced this week is reported as featuring a 400Hz refresh rate, though that likely will translate to 480Hz when released in the US. No price info was announced, but these will be LG’s flagship TVs, so they’ll probably carry a premium price.

LG will show the new TVs in September at Germany’s IFA show, and then likely here at CEDIA in Indianapolis a week later.

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Sharp Debuts Elite LED 3D TVs

Posted by Carl on 7th August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

Today, Sharp pulled the sheet off the new Elite LCD TVs, a collaboration between Sharp and Pioneer’s Elite brand which mixes the best technology of both brands into the new premium TVs.

There were bowed heads across the videophile world when Pioneer left the TV business a few years ago taking with it the Kuro plasma TVs that many viewers believed were the best flat panels on the market. Ears started twitching earlier this year when Sharp and Pioneer announced that they were going to be working together to launch a new line of Elite TVs. Well, here we are, and the mating looks pretty sweet.

The TVs, available in 60- and 70-inch models, are both LED-based LCD TVs loaded with picture-quality enhancing tech, some of which sounds familiar. First, the TVs incorporate full-array backlighting, rather than edge lighting, creating more uniform screen lighting and localized dimming (by LED groups). All Elite TVs include a yellow sub pixel along with the standard red/blue/green formulation, which, when added together, creates more than 8 million dots on the screen. This sound a lot like the Quattron system Sharp introduced in 2010.

The models are claiming a refresh rate of “greater than 240Hz” due to a proprietary scanning backlight technology.

Videophiles will be pleased to learn that the Elite TVs are THX certified, which in my experience is pretty much a rubber stamp for a great-looking picture. It also includes ISF certification with Day and Night modes for calibration.

But the feature that the company is most hyping is something called Intelligent Variable Contrast. Found only on the new Elite TVs, it automatically controls both the brightness and backlight to enhance color depth, brilliance and detail in dark areas—sounds like the Kuro effect to me.

Finally, as expected from any TV sold in 2011, these models will include a suite of online features included Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow and YouTube.

Another online feature borrowed from the Sharp book is Elite Advantage Live (called Aquos Advantage on Sharp TVs) which allows online tech support directly through the TV. A remote tech can adjust settings in the TV, so you can just hand it over to the experts without letting them in your home.

Wait, there’s more. Yes, the Elite TVs are 3D and ship with two active shutter glasses.

The Elite TVs, remaining true to the original Elite line, will only be available at select specialty dealers and custom installation companies. The 60-inch model carries an MSRP of $5,999.99, and the 70-inch model carries an MSRP of $8,499.99.

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LG Bundles Cinema 3D TV with Blu-ray Player and Glasses

Posted by Carl on 5th August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

It’s not holiday shopping time already is it? It must be, because LG just released a package deal I want for Christmas.

All in one box LG is now offering a 55-inch LW5300 3D LED LCD TV with a Blu-ray player and four sets of passive 3D glasses for $1,899 (Hey, LG, toss in four more glasses and you’ve got a deal). Even better, Best Buy is currently cutting the deal down to $1,599.

Neither the info from LG nor the Best Buy website say anything particular about the Blu-ray player, but the TV we do know. It (and its 47-inch little brother) is a 120Hz LED TV with ISFccc mode, local dimming (via edge backlighting) and built-in Picture Wizard II feature to optimize the image. Unlike its smarter cousin, the LW5600 (read review here), it does not include any online smart TV features. The Best Buy page lists an Ethernet port on the specs, which may refer to the Blu-ray player, so perhaps you can stream Netflix that way (we’ll update when we get a confirmation from LG).

The TV(s) in the offer are part of LG’s Cinema 3D line which produce 3D via passive polarized glasses rather than battery-powered active glasses. The pros and cons of both systems have been thoroughly discussed here, here, and here.

A package based around the 47-inch model carries an MSRP of $1,399 or a Best Buy price (probably subject to change at whim) of $1,099.

Being that this is August, and November is when the real aggressive dealing starts, I expect packages to start including lifetime supplies of popcorn and spilled Pepsi

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Panasonic Details PT-AE7000U 3D Projector

Posted by Carl on 1st August 2011 in Consumer Electronics

The upcoming unit includes 3D video reproduction, a 1080p LCD chipset, and more.

With the introduction the PT-AE7000U 3D projector, Panasonic is breaking new ground.

Not only is the company one of the few manufacturers to be offering an LCD-based 3D projector product, but the PT-AE7000U is actually at a price point that’s approachable to consumers.

When the PT-AE7000U starts selling next month, it will have an MSRP of $3,499. Part of that price tag will include new image processing technology that’s designed to boost the projector’s LCD chipset and result in a better image.

According to Panasonic, the PT-AE7000U is the only 3D projector to use a 480Hz refresh rate to drive its LCD panels. As a result, it can produce “stunning large screen 2D images, as well as an immersive 3D viewing experience for home theater viewers.”

The projector’s 3D technologies were developed in collaboration with Panasonic’s Hollywood Laboratory engineers, who helped the filmmaking community to develop 3D industry standards. The company specifies the 1080p PT-AE7000U to produce a contrast ratio of 300,000:1 and its brightness rating to reach as high as 2,000 lumens.

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