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post #1 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Two Months With an Ultra-D TV



It takes time to get to know any new piece of AV gear, and a prototype glasses-free 3D UHDTV is no exception. It's important to get past the initial "wow factor" that is a part of the early-adopter experience, which can often lead to irrational exuberance. I documented my first impressions in the Ultra-D Glasses-Free 3D TV Hands-On Experience thread. Now, my two-month experience with a 46-inch display featuring Ultra-D's autostereoscopic system is over. Thanks to the extended test period, I have a more nuanced view of its capabilities. As a bonus, I also have 3D footage of the Ultra-D display doing its thing; if you have a 3D display, you'll probably want to check out the videos at the end of this article. I filmed the Ultra-D TV using a 3D camcorder, including real-time adjustment of the "3D factor" If you love 3D, or work with 3D, then the good news is Ultra-D performs better than you'd expect—I repeatedly found myself marveling at how realistic good 3D looked on the display. In fact, the quality of the 3D was so good that it spoiled me. However, if you are a 3D skeptic, I somehow doubt that glasses-free technology is going to change your mind about the format. Even though I love 3D, and Ultra-D makes it very easy to watch 3D content, I learned it is not something I want to look at all of the time—after a while 3D loses its impact. Much to my surprise, the novelty does wear off. In my view, 3D—like dedicated home theater—is best saved for content that deserves the enhanced presentation. Fortunately, the selection of such content continues to grow, especially with 3D releases of movies in Blu-ray and Vudu HDX formats. 3D isn’t going anywhere, and it's only going to get better now that technology makes it easy to watch. When I consider the potential applications for Ultra-D displays, the most prominent ones are public: From malls to museums to classrooms, I can imagine how useful 3D could be to help illustrate a point, or make an advertisement more compelling. What's harder to imagine is a family viewing 3D content day-in and day-out. Eventually, your eyes want a break, when that happens, 2D starts to look very appealing. Then after some time passes, 3D regains its luster—it's as if a tolerance to 3D builds up with too-frequent viewing. Because 3D can become fatiguing, it's important that an autostereoscopid display performs well as a 2D display. Ultra-D uses a combination of optics and video processing to create the illusion of 3D. On the optical side, there is a lenticular film on the front of the panel. For 3D, the Ultra-D works as advertised—at its best, it produced some of the best 3D I've seen on a consumer display. However, the optical film is still there if you turn 3D off, and that has significant implications worth discussing. Although the system uses a UHD/4K panel, it's unclear how much of that resolution is available when viewing 2-D content. It's quite clear to my eyes that the Ultra-D optical system reduces the overall resolution of the display when it is in 2D mode. When I tried to use the Ultra-D TV with my computer, text looked unusually rough. I don’t know if the perceived 2D resolution will improve when Ultra-D TVs go into production; as it stands, Ultra-D's optics visibly impact 2D resolution—at least when using the display as a computer monitor. For what it's worth, video content looked great in 2D.When Ultra-D equipped TVs hit store shelves, potential buyers need to take a close look at the impact of the resolution loss to see if it remains an issue. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to see a pre-production model, at which time I'll take another look at how Ultra-D equipped displays deal with 2D content. I'm excited to see what further improvements the next iteration of Ultra-D might bring to 3D reproduction. An improved screen with a higher refresh rate would go a long way towards addressing the issues I observed with the development sample—namely, motion from 24p Blu-ray source material was not as smooth as it would be on a TV with a higher refresh rate. The other area where I expect to see significant improvement is the conversion process; while 3D video was smooth most the time, the system occasionally struggled. According to Leo, that's a byproduct of using a small PC—the SeeCube—to do the heavy lifting. The optimized code that makes its way into production televisions will run directly on a Qualcomm mobile processor, it is supposed to perform better than the SeeCube I was using. I hope so because a number of demo clips that I played directly off the SeeCube were essentially perfect-looking; noticeably smoother than native 3D Blu-ray content that was converted to Ultra-D. I asked Leo about the disparity, and he said it was because the demo clips were already converted to Ultra-D format. Pre-converted Ultra-D footage played with uncanny smoothness, the 3D looked perfect I've received quite a few questions about Ultra-D's availability. According to Leo Riley, StreamTV Networks Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ultra-D equipped TVs will come to the US in either Q4 of 2014, or Q1 of 2015—after an initial launch in China. If the real-time processing in production Ultra-D TVs is as smooth as what I saw in the demo clips, the future of glasses free 3D looks very bright indeed. 3D Video Clips of Ultra-D About a month into the testing, AVS member Joseph Clark made a very generous gesture—he loaned me a 3D JVC camcorder. The hope was that the 3D effect would come through in the captured footage of the TV. The experiment was a success; as a result, I recorded a significant amount of 3D footage of Ultra-D doing its thing. The resulting videos are on YouTube, in both side-by-side and line-alternate 3D formats. Regarding formats: Side-by-side (SBS) format 3D videos should work with most 3D TVs, although you might need to manually select the SBS viewing mode using your display device. Also, I rendered the video in line-alternate format. If you have a passive 3D HDTV, the line-alternate version will preserve a lot more detail than the side-by-side version, and it'll work without employing any special viewing modes—you just need to make sure you are getting a genuine 1080p stream.   Joseph Clark's 3D Footage of the Missouri Botanical Garden Side-by-side format (half resolution) - View in 1080p full-screen with SBS conversion Line-alternate format (for passive 3D HDTVs) - View in 1080p full-screen   Sample clips from Movies and the Ultra-D "SeeCube" Demo Side-by-side format (half resolution) - View in 1080p full-screen with SBS conversion Line-alternate format 1 (L/R normal) - View in 1080p full-screen  Line-alternate format 2 (L/R reversed) - View in 1080p full-screen 

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post #2 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 11:19 AM
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If this is the real deal, I believe this is the future of comfortable 3D viewing, basically the advancement of passive screens. There will probably still be better glasses 3D screens that will be better at least for awhile, but it'd be nice to show off 3D without having to hand out the glasses all the time. I've been shooting some 3D at my local botanical gardens with the 3DA1 and would love to see how it looks with the camera's full bit rate per eye on this screen without glasses. If its the same quality as an LG passive, I'm sold.

I couldn't get the line alternate to work and I'm on a passive screen. I tried the line alternate mode on display but it didn't work either. Do you just watch it in 2D mode? SBS plays fine. I can tell the screen is 3D, but of course you can't judge performance. The 3D level adjustment, is that just adjusting frame spacing like normal convergence adjustment on cameras?

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post #3 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for the review and impressions. One of the things I've been curious about with regard to glasses-free TV is how they handle negative parallax or pop out of the screen. Was the TV able to recreate that aspect of 3D satisfactorily as well?
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post #4 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TonyDP View Post

Thanks for the review and impressions. One of the things I've been curious about with regard to glasses-free TV is how they handle negative parallax or pop out of the screen. Was the TV able to recreate that aspect of 3D satisfactorily as well?

 

The main issue with pop-out and Ultra-D is you have to sit fairly far back (eight feet or so from a 46-inch) to view it comfortably. When viewed from much closer it becomes hard to focus on, whereas anything behind the screen is easy enough to view from five or six feet away.

 

Rendering extreme pop-out effects is a relative weakness of glasses-free 3D, but it works. For example, in Life of Pi, the flying fish really do appear to leap out of the screen.


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post #5 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 12:16 PM
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Thanks for the update. I'm at work, so I'll have to wait until I get home to check out the YouTube vids. What can you tell us about 3D effect pertaining to viewing distance? Is there a narrow sweet spot, or is the effect perceivable from various locations? How close and how far from the screen was the effect still good? Also, did you percieve any crosstalk, and if so, how bad was it?

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post #6 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eapleitez View Post

Thanks for the update. I'm at work, so I'll have to wait until I get home to check out the YouTube vids. What can you tell us about 3D effect pertaining to viewing distance? Is there a narrow sweet spot, or is the effect perceivable from various locations? How close and how far from the screen was the effect still good? Also, did you percieve any crosstalk, and if so, how bad was it?

 

Crosstalk never came up as an issue, not even with text and graphics.

I don't know if there is an outer limit to how far you can view the effect. It seems like eight feet or more is optimal, although I spent a fair amount of time viewing the display from about five or six feet. It's definitely not a narrow sweet spot, and it works well from side viewing angles as well as head-on. 


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post #7 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 12:47 PM
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Hopefully as this translates to larger screens, it doesn't push back the viewing distance. I already sit 7 feet back from my 56" tv, and I plan to go bigger without increasing my viewing distance. Great to hear about the crosstalk (lack thereof), that's exciting. Wasn't there supposed to by a live demo in Los Angeles or something? Whatever happened to that?

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Originally Posted by eapleitez View Post

Hopefully as this translates to larger screens, it doesn't push back the viewing distance. I already sit 7 feet back from my 56" tv, and I plan to go bigger without increasing my viewing distance. Great to hear about the crosstalk (lack thereof), that's exciting. Wasn't there supposed to by a live demo in Los Angeles or something? Whatever happened to that?

 

I don't know, I'm not their PR guy; I just happen to live in Philly, where StreamTV Networks is based—I thought it was a cool story to follow. I'll see if someone at StreamTV can answer your question.


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post #9 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I don't know, I'm not their PR guy; I just happen to live in Philly, where StreamTV Networks is based—I thought it was a cool story to follow. I'll see if someone at StreamTV can answer your question.

If you aren't able to, no big deal. I know you don't work for them. You just might as well be their unpaid PR guy though. You have been the single biggest source of usable information I can find on Ultra D anywhere on the Internet. It would be nice if this company provided more concrete information on their product. But I appreciate what you are able to tell us.

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post #10 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 02:14 PM
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Thanks for posting these, Mark.

Two things that I notice when viewing the interleaved versions on my LG passive display:

1. There seems to be a "rippling effect." It seems like I'm looking down onto a carpet that has big protruding "humps" at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way across the screen. It looks very strange. The sense of realistic depth isn't what I know to be the case with those shots of the Botanical Garden.

2. I'm picking up on significant focus issues on the left and right edges of the screen, top to bottom and in from the edge maybe 2 to 2 1/2 inches. I don't know how much of this might be a result of a 3D camera shooting a 3D screen and creating its own set of artifacts.

The shots of the gymnast on the pommel horse look 2D to me.

I see the wavering that everyone who's seen the demo talks about (in the dolly shots). This particular artifact is different than the change in perspective I see when moving laterally while watching a regular stereoscopic 3D television. I couldn't say which is better or worse, but neither seems more troubling than the other.

My conclusion is that I still very much want to see these displays for myself. Shooting the screen with a 3D camera was an interesting experiment, but I suspect it didn't do the display justice. Part of that may be the narrow interaxial (which with these types of cameras is significantly less than the separation of normal human eyes). I'm really looking forward to the next version and your next demo. Perhaps for that round we'll experiment with a Fuji W3. It has a wider interaxial spacing. If you want to do that, just let me know.
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post #11 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 02:20 PM
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Quote:

Originally Posted by imagic View Post

 

It's quite clear to my eyes that the Ultra-D optical system reduces the overall resolution of the display when it is in 2D mode. When I tried to use the Ultra-D TV with my computer, text looked unusually rough. I don’t know if the perceived 2D resolution will improve when Ultra-D TVs go into production; as it stands, Ultra-D's optics visibly impact 2D resolution—at least when using the display as a computer monitor. For what it's worth, video content looked great in 2D.

have you checked if the screen is subsampling? there are multiply ways to check if the screen can do true 4k with a pc. and this is a test device right? i don't see a reason to build a test device with proper PC support.

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post #12 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:

Originally Posted by imagic View Post

 

It's quite clear to my eyes that the Ultra-D optical system reduces the overall resolution of the display when it is in 2D mode. When I tried to use the Ultra-D TV with my computer, text looked unusually rough. I don’t know if the perceived 2D resolution will improve when Ultra-D TVs go into production; as it stands, Ultra-D's optics visibly impact 2D resolution—at least when using the display as a computer monitor. For what it's worth, video content looked great in 2D.

have you checked if the screen is subsampling? there are multiply ways to check if the screen can do true 4k with a pc. and this is a test device right? i don't see a reason to build a test device with proper PC support.

 

That's correct. When a pre-production UHD/4K unit becomes available, I will test that function. According to Leo Riley, the final implementation of Ultra-D will be bypassed when the TV is in 2D mode, so as to eliminate any lag. The only question is if the optics that make Ultra-D work will pass the full UHD/4K image without any degradation. I literally have no idea how that'll work out, hopefully for the best.


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post #13 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 03:42 PM
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Awesome Mark, thanks for the review. I for one will be buying a set when they hit. I've got other friends who also have good things to say about D.
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Great report Mark, thanks. Even though I'm not in the market for a flat screen, it was very informative.

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post #15 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 04:53 PM
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Thanks again for the updated impressions Mark! Great work.
Quote:
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If you aren't able to, no big deal. I know you don't work for them. You just might as well be their unpaid PR guy though. You have been the single biggest source of usable information I can find on Ultra D anywhere on the Internet. It would be nice if this company provided more concrete information on their product. But I appreciate what you are able to tell us.

I totally agree. It's odd that Mark is the source of the most comprehensive first look at this tech rather than an official source or other preview.
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post #16 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you think the interleaving on LG is reversed vs. Vizio? I will post interleaved clips with a L/R swap momentarily...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Clark View Post

Thanks for posting these, Mark.

Two things that I notice when viewing the interleaved versions on my LG passive display:

1. There seems to be a "rippling effect." It seems like I'm looking down onto a carpet that has big protruding "humps" at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way across the screen. It looks very strange. The sense of realistic depth isn't what I know to be the case with those shots of the Botanical Garden.

2. I'm picking up on significant focus issues on the left and right edges of the screen, top to bottom and in from the edge maybe 2 to 2 1/2 inches. I don't know how much of this might be a result of a 3D camera shooting a 3D screen and creating its own set of artifacts.

The shots of the gymnast on the pommel horse look 2D to me.

I see the wavering that everyone who's seen the demo talks about (in the dolly shots). This particular artifact is different than the change in perspective I see when moving laterally while watching a regular stereoscopic 3D television. I couldn't say which is better or worse, but neither seems more troubling than the other.

My conclusion is that I still very much want to see these displays for myself. Shooting the screen with a 3D camera was an interesting experiment, but I suspect it didn't do the display justice. Part of that may be the narrow interaxial (which with these types of cameras is significantly less than the separation of normal human eyes). I'm really looking forward to the next version and your next demo. Perhaps for that round we'll experiment with a Fuji W3. It has a wider interaxial spacing. If you want to do that, just let me know.

 

Do you think the interleaving on LG is reversed vs. Vizio? I will post interleaved clips with a L/R swap momentarily...


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post #17 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 05:53 PM
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Great review. You have the funnest job ever! Good thing you write so well. I'm hoping to get this on my next TV, maybe it will be out before superbowl!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Do you think the interleaving on LG is reversed vs. Vizio? I will post interleaved clips with a L/R swap momentarily...

Do you think the interleaving on LG is reversed vs. Vizio? I will post interleaved clips with a L/R swap momentarily...

I tried it with the glasses turned upside down, too. That's not the issue.

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post #19 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Do you think the interleaving on LG is reversed vs. Vizio? I will post interleaved clips with a L/R swap momentarily...
 

I tried it with the glasses turned upside down, too. That's not the issue.

 

Right on. I agree, the video captures approximately 15% of the real-world effect. Still a cool experiment. 3D presents many challenges.


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post #20 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 10:30 PM
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Nice little write-up. Very interesting technology as I really enjoy 3D in small doses like you said. I'd love to see one in action.

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post #21 of 51 Old 06-06-2014, 11:06 PM
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very exciting. would like to buy a 4K set this year but if ultra-d licenses this tech out (don't know if that's the idea), then we could have glasses-free UHD sets from the major players next year.

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Was your cat ever fooled by the 3D effect?
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post #23 of 51 Old 06-07-2014, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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very exciting. would like to buy a 4K set this year but if ultra-d licenses this tech out (don't know if that's the idea), then we could have glasses-free UHD sets from the major players next year.

 

Samsung actually has its own glasses-free tech, as does Vizio. Ultra-D is licensing its tech, but it will compete with Dolby 3D. So, if glasses-free 3D catches on, there will likely be numerous brands and systems to choose from.


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post #24 of 51 Old 06-07-2014, 05:10 AM
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Samsung actually has its own glasses-free tech, as does Vizio. Ultra-D is licensing its tech, but it will compete with Dolby 3D. So, if glasses-free 3D catches on, there will likely be numerous brands and systems to choose from.

That's good to know. Monopolies are typically a bad thing.

Looking forward to seeing this at Best Buy in a year or so.
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post #25 of 51 Old 06-07-2014, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Thanks for posting these, Mark.

Two things that I notice when viewing the interleaved versions on my LG passive display:

1. There seems to be a "rippling effect." It seems like I'm looking down onto a carpet that has big protruding "humps" at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way across the screen. It looks very strange. The sense of realistic depth isn't what I know to be the case with those shots of the Botanical Garden.

2. I'm picking up on significant focus issues on the left and right edges of the screen, top to bottom and in from the edge maybe 2 to 2 1/2 inches. I don't know how much of this might be a result of a 3D camera shooting a 3D screen and creating its own set of artifacts.

The shots of the gymnast on the pommel horse look 2D to me.

I see the wavering that everyone who's seen the demo talks about (in the dolly shots). This particular artifact is different than the change in perspective I see when moving laterally while watching a regular stereoscopic 3D television. I couldn't say which is better or worse, but neither seems more troubling than the other.

My conclusion is that I still very much want to see these displays for myself. Shooting the screen with a 3D camera was an interesting experiment, but I suspect it didn't do the display justice. Part of that may be the narrow interaxial (which with these types of cameras is significantly less than the separation of normal human eyes). I'm really looking forward to the next version and your next demo. Perhaps for that round we'll experiment with a Fuji W3. It has a wider interaxial spacing. If you want to do that, just let me know.

 

In person, the gymnast on the pommel horse was the best 3D effect of them all, it's too bad it did not translate.

 

The wavering effect is directly tied to the strength of the 3D effect, the so-called "3D Factor."

 

Next time, I'll probably use a still camera and manual offset (cha-cha method) to capture paused frames—I already have a slider. The extra resolution and dynamic range, plus the ability to choose the optimum spacing, should help to convey the subject better.
 


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post #26 of 51 Old 06-07-2014, 03:35 PM
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The videos are set to private so is impossible to see on my tv even if I subscribe to the channel.

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post #27 of 51 Old 06-07-2014, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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The videos are set to private so is impossible to see on my tv even if I subscribe to the channel.

The videos are all public now.

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post #28 of 51 Old 06-07-2014, 04:36 PM
 
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I've received quite a few questions about Ultra-D's availability. According to Leo Riley, StreamTV Networks Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ultra-D equipped TVs will come to the US in either Q4 of 2014, or Q1 of 2015—after an initial launch in China.

I guess that gives me more time to save up. It's a shame that we don't get the best (or cutting edge) technology first anymore. When did we lose our mojo?
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post #29 of 51 Old 06-07-2014, 10:26 PM
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My 2007 LED DLP is finally in its slow death throes. I wold hate to have to buy a stop-gap TV before Ultra-D sets become available.

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post #30 of 51 Old 06-08-2014, 02:48 PM
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Can this technology eventually translate to projectors?

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