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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

So far CES 2011 is all about 3D, are you buying it?

6

January

(Las Vegas, Nevada - January 5, 2011- CES) - Going into the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) I was convinced 2011 would be the year of the tablet computer. Well it is, but after a series of press conferences on Wednesday with several of the major TV manufacturers, it's obvious this CES is all about 3D.

Sharp Electronics unveiled its new 835 Series of AQUOS Quattron 3D HDTV models in 60, 52, 46 and 40-inch screen size classes. Sharp’s HDTVs all use proprietary X-Gen LCD panels and Quattron Quad Pixel Technology for the widest color palette available on an LCD HDTV. Sharp also introduced a bunch of 2D HDTVs and all models are equipped with WiFi for home network and Internet app connectivity with access by Sharp’s AQUOS Advantage Live remote customer service. Three new Blu-ray players also were announced to round out Sharp's 3D offering. All the details are here.

Not to be outdone, Sony announced a new series of BRAVIA LCD HDTV with 16 new 3D models and 22 Internet-connected models. In all there are 27 new BRAVIA models in the 2011 line. The largest 3D HDTV in their lineup, the BRAVIA® XBR® HX929-Series, is 65 inches. Sony also introduced three new 3D Blu-ray players, but that's not all.

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Sony's 2011 lineup also includes two 3D video cameras, the Sony HDR-TD10 3D High-Definition Handycam® and the intriguing Sony MHS-FS3 Bloggie 3D HD Camera. The Bloggie 3D, available in April for about $250, will bring the simplicity of the Flip-style camera to 3D home movie-making. Details on Sony's new products can be found here.

image3_hdr-td10_lg.jpg   bloggie3dces201104.jpg

North American TV manufacturer Vizio announced a full line of Theater 3D™ HDTVs in sizes from 22 to 71 inches. They are said to be two times brighter and flicker-free and come with lightweight eyewear that do not require batteries. Information of Vizio's new products can be found here.

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Stepping away from the home entertainment department for a minute, GoPro, the company that makes those small, remote HD video cameras for use in extreme sports, is showing a special housing with a synchronization cable for use with two of the cameras to create 3D videos from your auto racing, surfing and rock climbing adventures.

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I could continue to list more TVs from Samsung, LG and others, but by now you should get the picture, and it's in 3D.

I'm really surprised by it all. Don't get me wrong, there are some incredible 3D products here that rival the fantastic, big-budget "Captain EO" 3D movie produced by George Lucas that played at Disney's Epcot Center for many years. I still remember the first time I saw it and how everyone was reaching to grab the objects that weren't really there. But as cool as that was, and as cool as these new TVs are, I still don't think most people want to watch 3D TV all the time. So why are so many of these companies putting their eggs in the 3D basket?

The explanation I 've heard most often this week goes like this: When color TVs were introduced people said no one would want to watch color TV all the time, when HD TVs were introduced, people said no one would want to watch HDTV all the time and when Blu-ray players were introduced, people said no one would want to watch Blu-ray all the time. OK, OK...I get it.

But 3D is different. It's more of a novelty and kind of gimmicky, sort of like using a fisheye lens on a camera for a few days and then it just gets old. Over the long haul I just don't see it.

Do you think 3D TVs will become the new standard? Do you plan to buy one?

[Last modified: Thursday, January 6, 2011 3:48am]

    

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