3D and 4K Are Kissin’ Cousins


By Chris Chinnock

There is no doubt that the big news (and hype) from CES 2013 will be around 4K or UHDTV panels, monitors and TVs. They deserve to be recognized and promoted, but I suspect they will be over hyped. The hype bubble will burst when consumers realize they want one, but they have pay a huge premium for this resolution. Even the manufacturers acknowledge that they won’t be selling many UHDTVs in the next couple of years – but they just can’t stop the marketing machine that will promote this next big thing.

Remember how 3D was the next big thing at CES 2010 and a pretty big thing at CES 2011?  Many professionals, consumers and journalists have formed an opinion about 3D (good, bad or neutral), and there is not a lot of discussion, hype or buzz around this topic today in the U.S. (that’s not the case outside the U.S.). Nevertheless, there is a lot more activity going on in 3D than most realize.  While much of the activity is focused on content creation, 4K will give the technology a big boost too.

At CES, I will be focusing on 3D and 4K developments, primarily. I will also be creating video news articles at the event, so if you want to set up a meeting, please email me.

One event you need to be aware of is a special conference being put together by The International 3D Society and3D @ Home Consortium called “3D’s 20/20 Vision.” For those interested in 3D, these sessions offer a great opportunity to learn about 3D and interact with some of the best innovators in the industry. The sessions are listed below (I’ll be moderating the 3D: Eye Can See Clearly Now – The New Prescription session)

3D’s 20/20 Vision Overview – January 8, 2013 – N262

1-1:30 p.m.  The Big Picture: 2013 Preview
1:30-2:15 p.m.  3DTV World View 2013
2:15-2:45 p.m. The Summer Olympics London: 3D’s Historic First
2:45-3:15 p.m. 3D Consumer Connection – The CE/Content Partnership
3:15-3:45 p.m. 3D Anywhere, Anytime – Theatrical to Tablets
3:45-4:25 p.m. 3D: Eye Can See Clearly Now – The New Prescription
4:25-5 p.m. From HD to Ultra Hi-Def to Auto Stereo


See full agenda:

But as the title of this article suggests, 3D loves 4K. Have you noticed that the new crop of 84” UHDTVs for consumers all offer passive polarized 3D, while the HiSense 4K TV offers active 3D (with 3840×2160 resolution per eye!)? These offer outstanding 3D images, folks.

I also expect to see glasses-free 3D displays using 4K panels. StreamTV Networks has a press conference on Monday and tells us they will be showing 50” and 60” models that will be offered at affordable prices. I will be very curious to see the image quality. In addition, the company is discussing setting up special Ultra-D 2160p transcoders at broadcaster head-ends to deliver formatted content directly to the TVs for optimal image quality. I suspect this is a version of a 2D plus depth format, but we will let you know more later.

And this is the tip of the 4K and 3D iceberg.  Keep checking our Display Central web site as we post stories and videos from CES 2013.