Sony announced Thursday (Dec. 17)
that it has formed a technology partnership with RealD, the Beverly Hills,
Calif.-based 3D specialist whose 3D display technology is already installed in
some 4,800 movie theater screens worldwide, to help it launch 3D TV sets for
the home in 2010.
The deal includes Sony licensing
the stereoscopic RealD Format, and its expertise in producing active and
passive 3D eyewear and other RealD technologies. The pact with RealD is not
surprising, as Sony has collaborated with the company on 3D technology in movie
theaters for years. Sony also tapped RealD to supply its 3D display technology
for live 3D HD broadcasts of an NFL game in December 2008 and of the college
football BCS championship game last January, which was shown in select theaters
"Sony has its proprietary LCD
panel driving technology to reproduce full HD 3D images on the screen of new
Bravia LCD TVs, which will work in sync with new 3D eyewear based on RealD's
technology," said Sony Executive Deputy President Hiroshi Yoshioka in a
statement. "We are excited to work with RealD in bringing 3D to the home."
"We are thrilled to partner
with Sony on 3D eyewear and to integrate support for the RealD Format into Sony
Bravia LCD TVs and other Sony products," says RealD Chairman and CEO Michael
Lewis in a statement. "This collaboration enables the distribution of
high-quality 3D content to Sony displays through the existing HD
infrastructure, a vital element to the widespread adoption of 3D in the home."
Sony is one of several TV set
manufacturers, including Panasonic and Vizio, which is expected to roll out 3D
HD sets next year. Several high-profile demonstrations of 3D technology are
expected to take place at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.
3D HD technology took another step
toward the living room yesterday as the Blu-ray Disc Association finalized a
technical specification for recording 3D HD content onto Blu-ray optical discs.
3D HD Blu-ray players, which will be backward compatible with 2D Blu-ray discs
and work with any 3D-compatible TV, are expected to hit the market next year.