Vizio first talked about its Passive Theater 3D technology during CES, indicating (as did several manufacturers) that the active-shutter technology currently driving 3DTV sales is destined to be outdated soon. Why? Because James Cameron doesn’t like it.
Actually, the majority of Vizio’s argument lies in the continual presence of crosstalk issues, the bulk of the active-shutter 3D glasses themselves, and the price to buy more than one pair. It now sounds like Vizio’s strategy is picking up steam with retailers, as the company’s gaining endorsers as it pitches its Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology that uses Polarizer Filters built directly into the TV — meaning viewers can use battery-free, stylish polarized glasses instead of the larger active-shutter glasses used for other 3DTVs.
“Shutter glass (SG) 3D technology has been criticized for picture quality problems associated with flickers and cross talks, as well as bulky, battery-operated glasses. Given these issues, consumers have been reluctant to purchase more expensive SG 3D TVs over traditional 2D models, said LG Display Executive Vice President and Head of the TV Business Unit, Sang Beom Han. “Combined with the knowledge that consumers were comfortable with the glasses and flicker free technology, we made the decision to switch our focus and efforts to LG Display’s Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology. Early reports from around the world including sales in the very competitive U.S. and Chinese markets give us confidence that we will meet our goals for FPR 3D.”
One of Vizio’s strategic manufacturing partners, AmTRAN Technology, sees several benefits to Vizio’s 3D plans. “We at AmTRAN believe that passive Theater 3D is the most economically efficient, easily adopted, user-friendly 3D technology,” stated Alpha Wu, AmTRAN Technology CEO. “In addition to a superior experience for the consumer with better picture quality and a comfortable viewing experience, Theater 3D offers more flexibility in the choice of LCD backlighting technology. This choice will lead to greater cost efficiency and to faster adoption of 3D in the home.”
Vizio has expanded the Passive Theater 3D technology in their HDTV lineup, with sizes ranging from 32 to 71 inches. Now offering five Theater 3D models in 32″, 42″, 47″ and 65″ class sizes with a bright, crystal-clear, virtually flicker-free 3D picture, these TVs have become a fan favorite because crosstalk is minimized and battery-free eyewear for watching 3D content is included with each model.
Academy Award-Winning Director James Cameron stated at NAB that he “is no fan of active-shutter 3D TVs, and when passive sets become a dominant product over active 3D TVs, that will mark the next big ‘threshold’ in home 3D adoption.” Cameron further explained, “Instead of having a few-hundred-dollars-a-pair of active glasses, making sure they’re all charged up and are they working and are they switched on, there’ll be a bowl of disposable – we like to say recyclable – cheap plastic glasses that work very well in decoding the image to the left and to the right eyes. If you’re having a Super Bowl party, you’ll have a bowl on the coffee table, and if the kids sit on a pair of glasses there’s no major scold, just a minor scold. And that’s going to accelerate adoption of 3D into the home. Of course, the content is going to have to rise rapidly to meet that.”
Key television analysts such as Riddhi Patel of IHS iSuppli believe that consumers will have a stronger acceptance to 3D in 2011. “Global 3-D television shipments in 2011 will catapult by a spectacular 463 percent to reach 23.4 million units according to IHS iSuppli research. Sales growth is being driven partly by declining prices and the increasing choice of set sizes,” stated Riddhi Patel HIS iSuppli Principal Analyst – Television Systems. “Furthermore, brands are changing their marketing strategy to promote 3-D as a desirable feature, attracting the interest of consumers. Finally, the availability of Film Patterned Retarder or passive 3D technology will make 3-D televisions more appealing to consumers,” concluded Patel.
Vizio will have a booth at E3, so you can look to DailyGame for more information about the company’s E3 displays – including we hope its new 3DTV models — next month.