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A First for Toshiba, The Biggest for Panasonic at CEDIA

24 Sep, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

ATLANTA — For its first-ever 3DTV, Toshiba decided to look at what others before them had done.

The result is the thinnest HDTV to date for the company, a 1.2-inches thick screen that automatically adjusts its light levels to match the lighting of the room it’s in. The WX800 LED upconverts 720p 3D broadcasts to 3D and the 55-inch model has a price tag of $3,299.

“We’ve always been a bit late to the 3D game,” said Toshiba spokeswoman Mariella Souflis. “But after looking at what others are doing, we’re pleased with the result.”

“With the new Toshiba Cinema Series models, we have created a brand of televisions that provides consumers with luxurious design, exciting features, high quality, and pride of ownership, without sacrificing true value and ease of use,” added Scott Ramirez, VP of product marketing and development for Toshiba’s TV audio and visual group. “Toshiba’s new Cinema Series models are clearly positioned to exceed consumers’ performance and design expectations. By adding our new enhanced 3D experience, the WX800 provides a home theater experience which truly distinguishes itself from all others.”

The WX800 processes multiple 3D input formats, including MPEG4-MVC, RealD, and select others. It can also access Netflix, Vudu, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Toshiba has also unveiled its first 3D Blu-ray Disc player, the BDX3000.

“3D is changing the movie industry by creating new creative opportunities and consumer experiences. The new Toshiba BDX3000 allows everyone to bring 3D home, and create that immersive experience in the comfort of the living room,” Ramirez said. “The BDX3000 is the perfect complement to the new WX800 Cinema Series 3D HDTV and just the start of Toshiba’s foray into the world of 3D.”

The player also features Blockbuster OnDemand, Netflix, Vudu and Pandora. It’s retailing for $249.99.

Over at Panasonic, the company decided to focus more on the commercial market, instead of the consumer, showcasing three giant plasma 3DTVs, including the largest to date, the 152-inch TH-152UX1. It will be available in January for $500,000.

“You’ll probably get a few extra sets of glasses when you buy one,” joked Jim Noecker, senior business development manager for Panasonic’s flat-panel display business.
At the 103-inch plasma display, CEDIA Expo visitors could watch Avatar on 3D Blu-ray Disc, which is expected to be packaged with Panasonic 3D Blu-ray products later this year, thanks to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. For the 86-inch plasma display, Panasonic brought its own 3D footage.

“We’re really proud of our end-to-end 3D business,” Noecker said.

At THX, which has started a rigorous certification process for 3DTVs, beginning with LG Electronics, Kevin Wines, image technology director, said more and more 3DTV people are adhering to the Jeffrey Katzenberg school of thought. The head of DreamWorks Animation has chastised many in the 3D content world for sub-standard 3D content.

“What the [3D creators] may forget is how tricky it can be for the 3D engineers once it comes to the home,” he said. “3D can enhance a story. It can’t save one.”

THX’s certification process has double the testing points for 3D compared to 2D, since THX tests everything for both the left and right eyes.

In other CEDIA Expo news, Digital Projection unveiled a high-def, single-chip 3D projector, the M-Vision Cine 400-3D. Capable of 3D projections for screens up to 12 feet wide, the projector retails for less than $20,000.


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