Today, Sony announced that is plans to sell 3D televisions by the end of 2010. So far, the 3D industry has focused mainly on theater (over 7,000 digital 3D screens are expected to be in theaters worldwide by the end of 2009), so the Sony announcement will come as a big boost to the 3D world. Sony chief executive, Howard Stringer, is expected to announce that Sony will sell 3D Bravia television sets and also make the company's Vaio laptops, PlayStation 3 consoles, and Blue-ray disc players compatible with the new technology, at the IFA technology trade show in Berlin. Sony believes that 3D is "on its way to the mass market through technology, distribution, and content," but does insist there are still some issues to be face, including agreeing on a single 3D standard and avoiding a format war.
While there are several types of 3D technology, Sony will be going with "active shutter" technology, which means using electronic glasses with tiny shutters that open and close in sync with images on TV. This creates a 3D impression and is different from the "polarisation" technology used in theater that only works when viewers are sitting at a certain angle.
Many in the electronics industry believe 3D will soon be the new HD. Hyundai is also currently working on 3D television sets for Japan and Panasonic has announced it has plans for 3D TVs in the works. Neither company has matched Sony's commitment, however, to making 3D TV mainstream.
There has been no word on exactly how much the TVs will cost, but analysts predict the earliest versions to cost several thousand dollars. Hyundai's 3D TVs currently retail for about $4900.