Nvidia To Consumers: 3D Is Happening Now27 Oct 2010
In a bid to get scepticism out of the way, Nvidia held a high-profile press event at Mumbai. A large screen projection of 3D video, watched using special 3D glasses was only the opening shot. Nvidia executives then went on to speak about how 3D Vision has revolutionized PC/laptop gaming, and announced 3DTV Play as the next step in 3D entertainment.
On display were desktop computers, laptops, televisions, and more, from a number of technology brands - Acer, Asus, Dell and Alienware, Connoisseur, BenQ, Fuji, HCL, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Viewsonic. Fully loaded laptops with top-of-the-line configurations, huge TVs, and desktops with three monitors (for immersive gaming) were a sight to see. Besides the display related devices, also shown were digital cameras and camcorders that were capable of recording the image/video content that can be watched on these displays. Self/user generated content of course, is only now catching up - games and movies from major studios will still be the major draw at the initial stages at least.
NVIDIA's Head of Sales for South Asia, Mr. Nishant Goyal said that the company has partnered with the 12 companies mentioned above, and is adding more partners, to better serve consumers in the quest for 3D entertainment. He demonstrated how sports events could be broadcasted in 3D by showing footage from a Golf tournament, and said the Indian Premier League (IPL) could be broadcast in 3D as well, in its next season.
A website (currently in beta), http://www.3dvisionlive.com was also spoken about as the place where users could share 3D photos taken by themselves, with others from around the world. The site uses MS Silverlight to display existing content, and is probably the first 3D-enabled website for surfers. Also mentioned, was the latest release of CyberLink PowerDVD (version 10 Mark II), as one of the movie players that were capable of up-converting existing 2D video for 3D viewing. This would be important in the uptake of the new technology, as a lot of the video content you already own might be unlikely to be re-recorded in 3D.
Demonstrating the extent to which 3D technology supported by Nvidia has already taken root on the ground, he said more than 400 PC games and Blu-Ray 3D movies were already available in the market. Since Nvidia in the consumer segment resides on the desktop computer and laptop, for the most part, expanding their reach meant bring TV manufacturers onboard as well. A number of them were present at the event, with 52-inch monster televisions on show and announcements of even a projector capable of a 300-inch display. All these will have to connect to a PC or laptop with Nvidia graphics and HDMI 1.4 display output, in order to display 3D. This capability is called "Nvidia 3DTV Play".
Building an eco-system around a new technology does take time, seeing as how Nvidia 3D Vision has been around in the consumer market for almost two years now. But yesterday's show of strength from OEMs seems to indicate that viewing video and games in a three-dimensional manner is no more something of the future, or sitting years ahead in time. Indeed, as Nvidia's Senior Product Manager Patrick Beaulieu was at pains to explain - 3D is now, set in the present.
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