TVs set to go 3D this year

Three-D televisions could be about to take off, following the announcement that the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is to support the format. Meanwhile, Sony is expected to announce a range of 3D products later today.

“The BDA intends to take full advantage of [Blu-ray’s] high bandwidth and capacity to achieve the very highest possible quality 3D experience,” said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee Chair.

The BDA is working on a spec, but says that, at a minimum, it will require delivery of 1080p resolution to each eye. It’s promising backward compatibility for both discs and players. Thus, 3D discs will also include a 2D version of the film that can be viewed on existing 2D players, and 3D players will still allow users to play back their existing 2D movies.

“The 3D theatrical market has been very successful this year,” said Bob Chapek, President of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. “We are just now seeing all of the true capabilities of 3D, and with Blu-ray Disc’s superior technical characteristics, as well as the broad industry support of the format, it makes it the ideal packaged media platform for 3D home entertainment.”

Meanwhile, according to the Financial Times, Sony is expected to announce later today that it will have 3D products in the shops by the end of the year. It is likely to launch Bravia televisions, Vaio laptops, PlayStation 3 consoles and Blu-ray disk players.

It’s not clear how far these products will conform to the BDA specification, although the FT does say that the company is plumping for ‘active shutter’ technology, rather than the polarisation technique used in 3D films. The TVs won’t be cheap.