New Standard for 3D Glasses – M3DI

One of the big advantages of the New Passive (FPR) 3D TV over Active Shutter 3D TV is that the Passive Glasses work on all Passive TV Models, even different manufacturers while Active Shutter 3D TV Glasses work Only on the TV Model and Manufacturer set they were designed for.

Passive 3D glasses are similar to polarized sunglasses whereas Active Shutter 3D glasses are battery powered and use active electronics to decode the 3D images on the screen.  Different TV manufacturers use different flat panels and technologies which is why the Active Shutter 3D glasses only work on specific sets but if  Panasonic and Xpand 3D TV have their way “Active Shutter 3D Glasses” will soon become standard across ALL TV brands.

Panasonic and Xpand 3D on Monday March 28, 2011 put out and initiative to settle on a standard for Active Shutter 3D glasses.  The standard is labeled M-3DI ( m-3di.com )and includes support from Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Viewsonic and Seiko Epson.  The M-3DI standard would create a consistent approach to active shutter 3D for TVs, theaters, computers and home projectors.  Ideally the new standard would allow a viewer to take the same pair of active 3D glasses and view 3D content on different manufacturers TVs, projectors and computer monitors.  While this is a good first step in standardizing Active Shutter 3D glasses it’s questionable how effective it would be when missing from the consortium is support from Samsung, Sony and LG, who combined have more than 85% market share in the Active Shutter 3D television consumer market.

M-3DI Licensing is due to start in April however it is unclear whether any of the manufacturers adopting the standard will need to make changes to their current 3D technologies and 3D glasses for M-3DI compatibility.

The M-3DI standard conflicts directly with the 3D Technologies Working Group (3DTWG) who is backed by the Consumer Electronics Association.  The 3DTVWG formed back on March 8th over concerns that Active Shutter 3D Technology may become obsolete as Passive 3D TV with it’s light weight, universally standardized glasses is introduced and begins to gain market share.  Active Shutter 3D TV’s have been criticized for their expensive set prices and expensive, heavy, active shutter glasses which require perpetual battery charging and are only usable on certain manufacturers sets.

All manufacturers agree that for Active Shutter Technology to succeed in the wake of Passive 3D technology a Standard for Active Shutter 3D Glasses is necessary but unfortunately like several format wars in the past (HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray, VHS vs Beta etc ….)  Japanese Electronics Manufacturers just can’t play nice with each other.  We predict the Passive 3D sales with their inexpensive glasses and lower set pricing will overtake Active Shutter 3D TV sales this year and eventually dominate the 3D TV market until NO Glasses 3D TV comes to market which if you ask the consumer is Really what everybody wants!

 

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