Samsung releases stereoscopic DLP HDTVs
Samsung recently released what could be a revolutionary stereoscopic 3D
product range into the consumer market - but without much 3D fanfare.
Back in January this year Samsung showed a range of new products at the
2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - one of the products on show was a
DLP rear-projection HDTV which was capable of showing flicker-free
time-sequential stereoscopic images viewed using Liquid-Crystal Shutter
(LCS) 3D glasses. Two Samsung press announcements at the time said,
"Every 2007 DLP model is 3D ready for the next generation Full HD gaming
experience", but gave no hint as to what "3D ready" actually meant.
The Samsung "3D Ready" DLP rear-projection HDTVs were officially
released into the US market at the beginning of April. Samsung offers
six models with the "3D Ready" capability. All six models use an LED
light source rather than a lamp based light source like most DLP TVs and
projectors do. This also means that there is no color-wheel. Presumably
the color-cycle speed is higher than a regular DLP TV but this is not
clear in any of the documentation. All six models offer full HD
resolution 1920x1080. The TVs are available in screen sizes of 50, 56
and 61 inch (indicated by the first two digits in the product number).
The sets come in two series - the 87 series and the 89 series. The only
difference between the 87 and 89 series I have found so far is that the
89 series has a dual tuner; however, there may be other differences.
Samsung "3D Ready" DLP HDTVs:
HL-T5087S US$2299.99 (MRSP); US$1749.99 (Amazon)
HL-T5089S US$2499.99 (MRSP); US$2448.99 (Amazon)
HL-T5687S US$2599.99 (MRSP); US$2199.99 (Amazon)
HL-T5689S US$2799.99 (MRSP); US$2388.00 (Amazon)
HL-T6187S US$2999.99 (MRSP); US$2539.88 (Amazon)
HL-T6189S US$3199.99 (MRSP); US$2687.99 (Amazon)
Unfortunately, even though the product has been released, the meaning of
"3D Ready" has still not been fully outlined. Fortunately the product
manuals for these sets are downloadable from the Samsung website which
does reveal some interesting aspects:
* Page 8 reveals that a 3-pin VESA "3D SYNC OUT" connector for
connecting to "3D IR Emitter" is included on the side of the TV along
with all the other video and audio connectors.
* Page 9 shows there is a "3D" button on the remote control to select
the "3D/Dual-View" mode.
* Page 48 shows a "DLP 3D/Dual-View" entry on the on-screen display.
But unfortunately the full story is still not revealed: Page 53's
explanation of "Using the 3D/Dual-View Function" instructs readers to go
--> 'PRODUCTS' --> 'HDTV' --> 'DLP TV' and
Click "3D/Dual-View Information" which doesn't actually exist (at the
time of writing this article). What hasn't been revealed yet is how
stereoscopic video signals are input into the TV or what "dual-view" is.
Undoubtedly the reason for the soft 3D release is due to a lack of
availability of stereoscopic HD content and possibly appropriate
playback equipment. It is true that over a thousand PC games can be
played in stereoscopic 3D, but buyers will probably also wish for some
3D video content too. It is unclear whether field-sequential 3D DVDs
will be able to be played directly into this TV, but with the resolution
of the existing 3D DVDs being quite low (only 720x240 per eye) there
will be a desire for higher resolution material. With Samsung being one
of the companies behind the Blu-Ray disc format, it is natural to wonder
whether we will see 3D Blu-Ray discs. Samsung followed with an
announcement on April 25 that from September they will sell a $100
package that will include two pairs of LCS 3D glasses and a 3D emitter
that will hook up to their new "3D Ready" TVs. This is big news for 3D -