3D TV in South Africa

Technology & Convergence

Manufacturers give details about local 3D TV release plans. Although the technology has been available for some time three dimensional projection has become a hot topic in the past year.Bolstered by 3D movies such as James Cameron’s Avatar the world appears to be taking notice of new technologies in the three dimensional realm. As a result major television manufacturers are now making the move towards releasing 3D capable units in 2010.

South Africa has been confirmed as one of the territories for these releases with the 2010 FIFA World Cup bolstering South Africa’s as a prime destination.

According to Andrew Fraser, Brand Manager for Sony South Africa: “South Africa will be on par with the rest of the world with regards to releasing this new technology, this is largely thanks to the input of the FIFA World Cup.”

Although viewers must wear headsets in order to view 3D video content at home - a frustrating addition for some - it seems likely that 3D enabled flat panel televisions will grow in popularity in the coming years. Below is a local synopsis of when major LCD and Plasma manufacturers Sony, LG and Samsung plan to roll out 3D technology in South Africa.

Since the debut of its 3D television technology in 2009, Sony has made several announcements pertaining to three dimensional content delivery to the home.

In December the company announced that it had decided upon a final specification for its incoming Blu-ray three dimensional product range in 2010, choosing the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec to store 3D video. This will allow for a full 1080p (High Definition) frame for each eye and will only require 50% more storage capacity than 2D video content.

Sony also revealed that its PlayStation 3 console would be forwards compatible with 3D content. This will be made possible upon launch of Sony’s 3D product range, via a firmware update.

Company spokesperson David Barns also revealed that the company would be releasing two 3D capable models to market – namely the KDL-NX710 (40 inch and 46 inch) and the KDL-NX810 (52 inch and 60 inch) as well as 3D supporting Blu-Ray players in September 2010. Pricing details are not yet available.

LG confirmed that their South African 3D television line up is due for release in June 2010, although pricing and model numbers are as yet unavailable.

The company will not however be releasing 3D playback enabled Blu-Ray players to market.

Samsung spokesperson Corrie Labuschagne has revealed that Samsung will release the C9000 3D LED TV and the C6900 3D enabled Blu-Ray player in August, adding that the local market will see Samsung 3D enabled TV’s starting from 7-series and above, C9000 being the top of the range 3D enabled panel.

Labuschagne also confirmed that Samsung is looking towards “leading the market of 3D enabled panels” adding that he believes that the company’s 200Hz LEDs have an edge on the competition.

Samsung’s 7 Series televisions will also include the “proprietary built-in 3D processor and emitter [which] is optimised for and compatible with multiple 3D standards including half and full HD resolution formats as well as the Blu-ray Disc Association ratified “Blu-ray 3D” standard. Pricing details are not yet available.