Sony emphasises 3D across all HDTV lines

Company exhibits its 3D committment from capture to display.

3D is the big buzz here at CES, and the company started its press event by exhibiting its commitment to 3D with a live demo of 3D capture and display technology. Sony also introduced its lineup of 3D-capable HDTVs and Blu-ray players for 2010.

Sir Howard Stringer brought Sony Music artist Taylor Swift up on stage to perform her hit Love Story; as she performed, cameras by the stage captured her outstanding acoustic performance live in 3D, and projected it on the screen.

Already, last year's release of U2 3D has made a compelling case for watching concert performances captured in the 3D. This prospect gets all the more compelling if coupled with the prospect of showing a performer live during the concert. Somehow, I can't help but think this will take some of the sting out of not being able to see the stadium's stage from afar. Those big screen projections will have a whole new meaning.

Yesterday, Sony announced it, along with Discovery and IMAX, were launching a 3D broadcast channel in 2011.

"We intend to take the lead in 3D," proclaimed Sony chairman Sir Howard Stringer. Stringer noted the company's experience in the professional capture side and production sides, as well as the roles other Sony division will have in the coming 3D revolution (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Sony Music, Sony Network and now consumer angles).

Sony announced today that it would be creating a 3D technology center at its Culver City studios to educate Hollywood on production techniques; and that it was partnering with CBS to do research into what audiences want from the 3D home experience.

At one point, Stringer joked this was the "CES 3D show," a reference to all of the days' previous 3D announcements from other consumer electronics companies, including Samsung and Panasonic. And one third of the Sony booth was dedicated to 3D demonstrations.

Sony will release three series of 3D HDTV this summer. The company didn't discuss pricing, but only the top of line NX900 series comes with the necessary transmitter and two pairs of active-shutter glasses (made by Real D). Varying by series, the 3D models will be available in screen sizes from 40 to 60 inches. Read more for details on all of Sony's 2010 televisions. Also announced--Sony's 3D Blu-ray players, including home theater set models.

Sony also demoed a 24.5-inch 3D OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) television. This was a technology demo only, though; Sony announced no plans to commercialize this, or any other OLED televisions, at CES.

The push to 3D is reflected in Sony's new tag line--"make.believe." Gone is the familiar HDNA tag line, which prevailed in the early years of the high-defintion transition.

For more up-to-the-minute blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PCWorld's complete coverage of CES 2010.

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Melissa J. Perenson

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