LAS VEGAS In order to call a new TV "3-D ready," as many manufacturers here this week at the Consumer Electronics Show claim, what exactly was done to the unit in terms of engineering?
| David Naranjo of Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, (center), discusses the company's 3-D adapter for its 3-D-ready DLP projection TV.|
It's not a trivial issue for TV system designers, especially when there is no agreement among broadcasters
on a single 3-D TV format and Blu-ray has chosen its own 3-D format
independent of the pending broadcast format.
David Naranjo, director of product development at Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, said the the answer is a 3-D adapter.
At a pre-CES event Tuesday (Jan. 5), Mitsubishi showed off its own 3-D-ready projection TV, based on DLP technolog. It displays 3-D content from a Blu-ray player.
Mitsubishi engineers developed a 3-D adapter for the company's projection TV. The board consists of HDMI 1.4 interface, Mitsubishi's homegrown ASIC based on MIPS core, and video signaling circuitry.
The 3-D adapter comes with "enough horsepower to handle 90 percent of all the different 3-D formats out there -- including top-to-bottom and side-by-side formats," Naranjo said.
Naranjo said Mitsubishi is so far not selling its MIPS-based ASIC to other 3-D TV makers. While the endgame may still be having consumer chip companies such as Broadcom, NXP or Pixelworks develop a single-chip 3-D TV solution in the future, leading TV vendors including Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Sony have had no choice but to develop their own proprietary ASIC in order to design their own 3-D adapter.
Unlike other CE vendors such as Sony, Samsung and JVC, which have announced agreements with RealD, a 3-D technology company, Mitsubishi appears to be holding out on its final decisions for 3-D technology partners and formats -- at least for now.
Mitsubishi declined to comment further on its 3-D TV strategy.
Mitsubishi did stage its own 3-D-ready TV demonstration here using 3-D glasses that bear the RealD logo.
Naranjo said that doesn't mean the company's 3-D-ready TV must always be viewed using RealD's 3-D glasses, which feature polarized lenses. Mitsuboishi's approach is independent of 3-D format, said Naranjo.
"The secret sauce offered by all these different 3-D technology companies, whether RealD, Sensio or others, is in the encoding algorithm which minimizes the artifacts created by two images -- whether they are placed side-by-side or top-and-bottom." As long as the 3-D adapter used inside a TV decodes that format, "you can watch 3-D content by using different 3-D glasses, including those based on battery-powered LCD shutters," said Naranjo.
Mitsubishi's 3-D TV uses a DLP-based projection TV, rather than LCD TV. Max Wasinger, an executive vice president at Mitsubishi, said DLP offers better 3-D image separation than LCD due to its much higher refresh rate. The higher speed "reduces the visual artifacts," said Wasinger. Readying LCD TV for 3-D, "you need a minimum 240-Hz refresh rate," he added.