Sony’s top execs CEO Sir Howard Stringer and Mike Lynton ran a big screen 3D video demo, which included a sneak peak of upcoming Blu-ray and movie titles including the July release of the 3D Cloudy With A Chance of MeatBalls disc. They then unveiled their most splashy collaborations, with ESPN 3D, who will televise over 25 World Cup matches in 3D as well as The Discovery Networks and IMAX, imagine killer whales leaping out of the sea to gobble sea lions in 3D. We then moved to a neighboring sound stage where we were shown how 3D is made at Sony's technology center.
At the heart of the technology center is a stage and two cameras, which coordinate in creating a 3D image much in the same way your eyes do. A combination of the individual images seen by each eye creates a perception of depth and dimension in the brain. This is called parallax and it is the base on which 3D imaging technologies were created.
Because there is separation between the eyes in humans, each eye sees the world from a different angle. If you cover one eye, and then alternately the other, you will see things differently each time - and can perceive the difference in angle.
When shooting a 3D image, two lenses are used to capture separate images of the same object from different angles. Containing twice as much information as conventional 2D images, 3D images are then edited while maintaining the information from both angles. When the medium is played back, the left-hand image is shown only to your left eye and the right-hand image only to your right eye. These two images combine in your brain to give you a perception of depth. For 3D TV’s this effect is aided by the implementation of active shutter 3D glasses that are paired with the TV set.
To bring the point home to the assembled throng, a splash magazine writer sprinted on to the stage, for what she called her “one-second of fame” at the request of the technicians. Slowly turning with her arms out you could see her hands leap out at you. But as George Joblove, Executive Vice President of Advanced Technology for Sony Pictures Technologies points out, “shoving spheres in people’s faces is not what 3D is about, the aim of 3D is to more closely approximate reality.“
Buzz Hayes senior VP of Sony’s technology said,” It’s not just about making 3D it’s about making great 3D.” Great 3D with great stories and production is vital to the success of all the 3D makers. Because if one person has a bad experience he tells ten people and the bad word spreads like wildfire.
Sony will also be putting out a number of big 3D game titles for their PlayStation 3 game consoles equipped with Blu-ray players including the highly rated Super Stardust HD and Wipeout HD. Since games are created in a 3D modeling programs it is perhaps 3D’s most natural application and one of Sony’s biggest advantages over their competitors.
Sony will be offering a PlayStation Network voucher to download the first 4 3D capable games available for free, if you purchase one of the new Sony 3D Bravia HDTVs. The line features screen sizes including 40, 46, 52, 55, and 60-inches and ranges in price from around $2,100 (KDL-40HX800) to about $5,000 (XBR-60LX900).
Sony announced that its 3D capable BRAVIA HDTVs are now available for pre-sale at Sony Style stores and that its new integrated Blu-ray 3D devices will hit retail shelves beginning this July. Additionally, the company released a free firmware update that activates Blu-ray 3D capability for previously announced Blu-ray Disc models including the BDP-S470 and BDP-S570 players and the BDV-E570 and BDV-E770W home theater systems. The rollout includes 19 BRAVIA HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players and theater systems. Sony is also going to be offering true 5.1 surround sound amps to supplement the viewing experience.
For more info go to Sony's 3D World site with info about all 3D technologies and products.