3D TVWe recently installed a Panasonic 3D TV system. We had previously installed a Samsung system with some success. This system gave us a better sense of what is currently available for 3D. This Panasonic TV was installed as an upgrade to a system we had installed last year. It included a 58″ Plasma TV and a 3D Blu-Ray player. When we first installed the system last year, all sources went through the Integra AV receiver. However, this receiver was not 3D compatible (Integra currently has 3D capable receivers, but didn’t at that time) so we connected the 3D Blu-Ray player and the DirecTV receiver directly to the TV via HDMI. When we install systems, we typically give the client a gift that shows off the capabilities of their new system. For example, when we install a Blu-Ray player, chances are good that they don’t have any Blu-Ray discs laying around, so we provide them with one. I wanted the client to be able to see 3D Blu-Ray so I went to Wal-Mart to see what they had. Nothing. Not a single 3D disc. How can they sell 3D equipment, but not have 3D content? I ended up getting 2 of the only 3D discs available for purchase at Best Buy: Monster House and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I don’t personally like either movie, but they do the trick.
After the install was complete I showed the client the movies and he was blown away. He had not seen any 3D movies in the theater (at least not since the days of paper 3D glasses) or any 3D demos in the stores. He couldn’t believe the depth of field that we were experiencing. Also, the quality of the image on the plasma TV was as good as we have ever seen. We then turned to the DirecTV 3D channels. There are currently 3 channels, one of which is ESPN3D. There was an IMAX movie playing on one channel that would have cost $6, so we didn’t watch that. ESPN3D wasn’t currently showing anything. The 3rd channel was only showing previews of shows coming up, so we watched some of that. Still pretty cool. Ultimately, the best 3D we saw that day was actually a couple still images. My client had recently gotten a 3D digital still camera from Fuji. I was excited to see some of the images he had taken on the 58″ TV. He popped the SD memory card out of the camera and we put it into the TV memory slot. When we brought up the picture and put on the glasses we both exclaimed “WHOA!”. It was scary how realistic the image was. It really did feel like we were where the picture was taken. Due to the lack of other content, my client was ultimately impressed by the 3D pictures the most, but will not doubt soon be enjoying programming on DirecTV and Blu-Ray even more. Many 3D movies are being released in mid-November and Avatar is coming out in December. On top of all this, the new TV and Blu-Ray player give my client many more advanced functions such as Netflix, Skype (yes, video calling on the 58″ TV), Amazon.com movies, Pandora, and many other apps.
This is by far the most cutting-edge system we have installed to date in regards to video format and internet functions. I expect to be installing many more of these through Christmas. With the introduction of more content I’m sure  we’ll see demand increase.