Maybe They Should Name It “3DIA”

CEDIA Expo is the annual show for the high-end home theater industry. (CEDIA is easier to say than “Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association“.) It was held last week, and while many of the products are well out of range for the average home owner’s budget (such as the new Runco D-73d DLP front projector that uses an LED light source and supports 3D content for a mere $50,000), there were still developments of broad interest. And the majority of the display announcements seem to have been about products that support 3D content.

For example, both Sony and Mitsubishi showed front projectors that show 3D content. Both apparently use Sony’s SXRD LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) microdisplay panels, and both have 1080p resolution. The Sony VPL-VW90ES model will have a list price of $10,000 when it ships in November; the Mitsubishi pricing and ship date were not announced yet.

Sharp and Toshiba were among the manufacturers showing new flat panel LCD HDTVs with 3D support. The Sharp LE925 will come in 52″ and 60″ models which are expected ship in time for the holidays. Both feature the new Sharp Quattron four-color LCD technology, which adds yellow sub-pixels to the standard red, green, and blue triads. Toshiba showed their WX800 series LCD HDTVs with 3D support, which will ship in 46″ ($2,600 list) and 50″ ($3,300 list) prices. Using LEDs in an edge-lit configuration, the panels are less than 1.2″ thick.

You’re not going to find many of these products at your local Walmart or Best Buy; high-end products like these are destined for the high-end specialty retailers and custom installation markets. In time, however, the features and prices of these products will trickle down to the broader market.