Earlier this week I talked about the possibility of a stereoscopic (ie, 3D). Whether or not they're Macs, 3D computers look as if they'll arrive sooner than I expected.
CyberLink Corp. is showing visitors to this week's Computex expo a demonstration of PowerDVD 10 ULTRA 3D that enables Blu-ray 3D movie playback on computers. With PowerDVD, consumers will purportedly be able to enjoy full 1080p high-definition stereoscopic video on Blu-ray 3D movies.
PowerDVD is the first software player to receive Blu-ray 3D certification from the Blu-ray Disc Association. Optimized with CPU and GPU hardware acceleration, PowerDVD delivers two 1080p frames to create a hi def, 3D video effect in the display. PowerDVD outputs to all main 3D formats, including sequential, row-interleave, and checkerboard too. It also enables 3D graphic menus and 3D subtitles for a full 3D experience.
Now I have no idea if or when Apple might bring 3D technology to, at least, a build-to-order Mac. However, taking Blu-ray 3D home on the computer is probably the quickest and most economic way to upgrade home entertainment to 3D. Alice H. Chang, CEO of CyberLink, says that most computer hardware are capable of displaying 3D content (at least with PowerDVD installed). The PowerDVD 10 ULTRA 3D will enable Blu-ray 3D disc playback in the Mark II release, which is scheduled to be launched this summer.
Looking down the road, the IDG News Service (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9177464/Glasses_free_3D_LCD_TVs_l...) says that cConsumers will likely see 3D LCD TVs that don't require people to wear polarized glasses out on global markets by 2015, according to a Taiwanese research group that showed off an early version of such a device.
Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) displayed a 42-inch glasses-free 3D LCD TV this week, and the company can currently make them with screens as large as 65 inches, according to Stephen Jeng, director of ITRI's 3D System & Application Division. The technology is considered vital to getting 3D into more people's living rooms.
As noted by IDG, analysts say most people don't want to wear polarized glasses to watch 3D TV, and many balk at the price, up to $200 per pair for some of the glasses. The main issues for glasses-free 3D TV are broadcasting, availability of content, and eye safety.
ITRI is using parallax barrier technology to create the 3D effect on the TV, notes IDG. As for the global 3D TV market, it's expected to reach 6.2 million units, according to market researcher Displaybank, with sales growing to 33 million units by 2012.
So a 3D Mac may simply be a question of "when," not "if."
-- Dennis Sellers