Panasonic talks up future of 3D movies

SL: Yes. Our field-sequential Full-HD system was officially adopted by the BDA in December 2009 - it is now part of the Blu-ray spec.

TR: How come your 3D Blu-ray player - the DMP-BDT300 - has two HDMI ports, and other brands do not?

SL: We use one HDMI output to convey field-sequential video directly to a display; the other is provided for legacy AV receiver and amps that won't 'pass through' the 3D video signal to monitors.

TR. So if you're using such equipment, you would need two cables - one for the pictures, and another for the sound (DTS HD MA, Dolby True HD etc)?

SL: That's right.

TR: The key advantage of plasma, as far as Panasonic's 3D tech is concerned, is the very fast response time needed to reliably-implement a field-sequential display. But your rivals are pushing hard with 3D LCD screens. Will Panasonic launch a 3D LCD TV?

SL: LCD has such a large slice of the overall display market, but we won't be launching 3D field-sequential LCD panels this year. The refresh rate of the panel is very important for a clean and crosstalk-free 3D image - and, currently, LCD just isn't good enough in this regard. Where the 'right' image remains onscreen before it's refreshed with the 'left' image, the resulting crosstalk effect can completely ruin the 3D image. Until that's cracked, Panasonic won't be delivering a 3D LCD panel.

TR: How long do you think it will be before we see a practical 'solid projection' system. In other words, no glasses! And just with 'real' objects, your perspective of the scene would be influenced by where you're sitting. Currently, this is the province of sci-fi - but for how much longer?

SL: In the future, I guess we will have displays like that. I'm certainly unaware of any work that Panasonic is conducting on that front. I certainly couldn't put a timeframe on it!