3-D enabled 1080p Projectors
When will 3-D enabled 1080p projectors get here? So far most vendors are silent on the issue.
If you've got many tens of thousands of dollars to spend, there are several very high-end models from Digital Projection and Christie available right now. If you are not quite so flush with cash, the only 3-D 1080p projector under $15,000 announced so far has been the LG CF3D, priced at $14,999. A prototype of this model was first unveiled at CES last January, and we are still waiting for shipments to commence in any volume. Beyond this one model, there hasn’t been much else in the rumor mill.
Where are they, you wonder? Some vendors say they are waiting for standards for the various content delivery methods (disc, broadcast, online) and required hardware to be set in concrete before rushing to production. The only thing worse than being late to market is being early with a product that customers are having problems with due to compatibility issues. Vendors do not relish the prospect of having their customer service lines jammed with frustrated consumers demanding to know how to hook A to B so the 3-D will work. The inexpensive XGA and 720p models that have come to market are already manifesting compatibility issues, so there is understandable caution going on when it comes to flagship 1080p models.
This is mid-July. Vendors are always quiet this time of year anyway, since many of them gear up for product releases at CEDIA in September. Vendors don’t pre-announce products long before they are ready to ship, simply because it kills off sales of current models and leaves them with gaps in revenue. So even if there were going to be a plethora of new 3-D 1080p projector models announced this fall, we would not be hearing about them yet.
Nevertheless, the rollout of 3-D enabled 1080p models is likely to be much slower than the public would expect. Some major brands will not be announcing any 3-D enabled 1080p models at all this fall. Of those that do, the first generation machines we see at CEDIA will most likely be in prototype stage. Realistically, consumers should anticipate that products announced this fall may not be ready for shipment until early next year. Prices are likely to be much higher than the $2,000 price point we currently see for some of the most popular 1080p models today.
The good news is that 3-D enabled 1080p projectors are on their way. Unfortunately, the logistics of getting these products to market are more complex than normal. From our vantage point, it looks like some patience is going to be required as the projector industry moves forward into the uncharted waters of 3-D projection for the home consumer.