Stereoscopic 3-D television could be the next home entertainment blockbuster, the logical sequel to today's high-definition flat-screen TVs. But the path to 3DTV winds through more twists and turns than the road to the Emerald City, passing through forests of alternative file formats, compression schemes, display technologies and patents.
Market analyst firm Insight Media (Norwalk, Conn.) tracked as many as 22 unique approaches to displays alone in a seminal report on 3DTV published in May, and it's still early.
No one has yet figured out a low-cost way to deliver stereo 3-D to LCDs. What's more, many consumer electronics giants, as well as key technology providers of digital cinema, have yet to announce their products and directions for 3DTV. Others say any approach that necessitates glasses--a requirement for high-resolution 3-D images today--will never be more than a niche with consumers at home.
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