Being a nosy Witch-Doctorite and passionate owner of the remarkably excellent Panasonic PT-AE4000, the thought of a 3D replacement has been nagging away in my voodoo mind for a few months. So this morning I finally got around to having a chat with Rick Haywood – he’s the Manager for Broadcast & Display Systems, and as if that wasn’t enough responsibility he’s also the Technology spokesperson at Panasonic New Zealand. He’s a guru regarding projectors and an all-round tech hound, and I hoped I’d score a news scoop when I phoned him.
I wish I could report otherwise, but sadly there was no scoop for me today. However, the chat I had did reveal a few interesting points of order – hence this blog update.
Perhaps tantalisingly, Rick said that he hadn’t heard of any specifics regarding either a replacement for the 4000 or a all-new ‘3D’ projector, but as the model turnover usually happens around October we’d be best to ‘watch out’.
He did explain some of the technical difficulties with 3D projection: either the use of shutter glasses/silver screens/polarised lenses would need to be employed, and it is a very tricky process projecting a credible 3D image.
And it certainly seems to be. Looking at the Web for news/reviews regarding 3D Home Theatre projectors (and they are available, at least in the ‘States) and they all appear to have issues when it comes to providing a plausible 3D image – choppy frames, ghosting and other nasty artifacts seem de-rigeur for 3D projection at this stage of their development.
That’s not to say that Panasonic aren’t addressing these issues with a potential replacement/additional 3D device: the fact that they’re late to market with their (possible) first offering may be because they’re debugging and ironing out those problems in their R&D Dept – and not getting the unsuspecting public to ‘beta-test’ immature technology at an exorbitant price.
One thing I’m confident of, when Panasonic do release a 3D projector it’ll be something special, if their history with excellent Home Theatre projectors is anything to go by.
Perhaps the best reason why the PT-AE4000 hasn’t been replaced yet (usually models are replaced yearly) is its excellent performance. If it aint broke, why fix it?
Still I’m picking the end of the year for at least a 2D replacement for the 4000, market forces dictate that when the competitors introduce new models you have to follow suit.
Watch this space for future developments – I’ll have that scoop yet.