Samsung adds 3D technology to its High Definition DLP TV

Samsung adds 3D technology to its High Definition DLP TV

Summary: What do you get when you mix Digital Light Projection (DLP), Hi-Definition TV, and 3-Dimensional (3D) stereoscopic technology? You get the 3D HD DLP television that Samsung was showing off at its gadgetfest in NYC last week.

TOPICS: Samsung

What do you get when you mix Digital Light Projection (DLP), Hi-Definition TV, and 3-Dimensional (3D) stereoscopic technology? You get the 3D HD DLP television that Samsung was showing off at its gadgetfest in NYC last week. While at that gadgetfest, I spotted some cool consumer technology and couldn't leave the building without finding out more.

This TV, which uses DLP-based rear projection and ranging in price from $1499 to $4500 (depending on which size TV you go for), caught my eye (literally and figuratively for a couple of reasons).

First, to understand what's special about the TV's internals, you need to know a thing or two about light, video, the human eye, and display refresh rates. If I turn a flashlight on and off at you 30 times per second (30 times on, 30 times off in one second), it will appear to you as though the light was never turned off (and both eyes are looking at the same light). One reason we often hear about video operating at 30 frames per second ("fps", the NTSC "broadcast" standard for video) is that 30 fps does an excellent job of emulating what we normally see in real life. Even 25 fps (known as the PAL standard, the European equivalent of NTSC) is pretty good. Some of the better video cameras can be toggled to record at 30 fps or 24 fps. At 24 fps, you start to get a cinematic quality to video where the on/off cycles are frequent enough to make the human eye think it's seeing fluid video, but infrequent enough to give it that slow motion-like cinematic quality that you see in a lot of movies.

Most displays use something called interlaced video. In layman's terms, imagine the display (or TV) has bunch of horizontal lines of light stacked top of each other, each one stretching from the left edge of the display to the right edge. Now imagine each line is numbered in sequential order. To produce 30 frames per second of video (technically, it's 29.97 fps), one full frame is produced every 1/30th of a second. But in order to produce that one full frame, half of it (just the odd-numbered horizontal lines) are displayed or "refreshed" during one half of that 1/30th of a second (in other words, in 1/60th of a second) and the even-numbered lines are refreshed during the other 1/60th of a second. Each of the two full collections of lines -- one the odd, the other the even -- are called fields and when you have fields of odd and even numbered lines like that, one refreshing before the other, those fields are said to be interlaced. Thus, every frame of NTSC video that takes up 1/30th of a second is made up of two fields. They're interlaced and each takes 1/60th of a second to refresh. Finally, for a new field to be refreshed every 1/60th of a second, most NTSC displays have a 60 Hz refresh rate.

Why does this matter to Samsung's new 3D HDTV? 3D video actually delivers two separate streams of video; one to the left eye, the other to the right. Particularly in the case of HD video where users have high expectations of the final image, Samsung re-engineered its HD DLP TV to deliver 30 fps video to each eye (this requires stereoscopic 3D glasses in order to work). Essentially, that means a total of 60 fps. Mathematically though, it's impossible to deliver 60 frames of interlaced video per second with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. So, what did Samsung do? It increased the refresh rate of its HD DLP TV to 120 Hz. As you'll see in the video above, even though it's only available in Samsung's DLP offerings, Samsung plans to bring the 3D technology to its LCD and Plasma displays as well.

One other important point: to use the 3D technology, you need a PC with a DVI card and a software package from Samsung that takes any 2D video and converts it into 3D. Because there's nothing like an NTSC standard for broadcast 3D, it remains to be scene if Samsung's technology will every work with such a standard, if it emerges.

Topic: Samsung

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  • What about programming

    Looks great, but where are you going to find 3D programming? The PC can't create a 3D signal from a 2D program. Video games, their video being created in the PC, can be created in either 2D or 3D. But a 2D football broadcast is just that, 2D. It may be a long time before broadcasters start providing 3D programming.
  • Delivering two seperate streams to both the left and right eye...

    Question: How can I see two streams if I'm blind on my left eye but have vision on my right eye? This tells me I can only see the right video stream, as I don't get the other video stream from the left len that goes toward the left eye.

    To me, this defeats the purpose of three dimensional.

    I'm visually impaired, which is why I ask.
    Grayson Peddie
    • Good question.

      I have some others myself:

      1. How can that new-fangled color TV and color photography work for me if I’m acrhomatically color blind (total inability to perceive color)? To me, this defeats the purpose of color. I’m chromatically impaired, which is why I ask.

      2. How can I tell directionality of sound with hi-fi stereo or 7.1 surround sound since I’m totally deaf in one ear? To me, this defeats the purpose of surround sound. I’m hearing impaired, which is why I ask.

      3. How can I drive a car if I’m a quadraplegic? To me, this defeats the purpose of operating a vehicle. I’m mobility impaired, which is why I ask.

      I think you get the point: just because you have no depth perception and cannot have any no matter what the technology, don’t rain on the parade of the 90+% of us who do and can take advantage of this.
      Joel R
    • 3D HDTV

      If you are blind in your left eye currently, you are not seeing stereoscopically (3D) now. This television system will not overcome that limitation for you, so it would not be wise for you to purchase it for that reason. It still looks like a nice HDTV though.

  • Details on Samsung software package

    Hi David,

    >>software package from Samsung that takes any 2D video and converts it into 3D

    Can I have more information on this Samsung software package. Could you please point me to the website etc...

  • 120 hertz?

    Is this the so called dlp technology that was supposed to use an interlacing technology to create 1080p? No thanks. I want true 1080p, not some half assed attempt at it.
  • 3D TV

    Wasn't there an Israeli company putting out a similar product for PC CRT monitors a couple of years ago where you did not need the glasses? Also, I would like to know more about the software that needs to be run to allow the 3D imaging to take place. It sounds like you do not need special 3D broadcast programming. From the report it sounds like the 2D TV signal is processed to make two images on the screen resulting in a 1080i not 1080p picture. Sounds cool. I'd take a look at it in the store first before I buy 'tho as someone may come out with "glassless" technology soon.
    • Glassless 3D

      I've been a stereo photographer for over 20 years now and have followed 3D television quite closely. There is no "glassless" technology that will give you anywhere near the kind of depth that glasses will. The glassless systems are limited in the amount of depth they can produce, and how far off axis the depth will continue to be produced. I wouldn't not purchase the Samsung system to wait for some glassless technology to arrive.

  • Answering some of the questions


    Our comany, i-O Display Systems, manufactures the shutter glasses used to view the 3D image on Samsung monitors. We have been manufacturing 3D shutter glasses for over ten years and have sold over a million 3D shutter glasses.

    The 3D DLP is by far the best 3D I have ever seen outside a movie theater. The raw image quality is excellent, and adding depth makes you want to reach out and touch the image.

    The software will convert video and still images from 2D into 3D. It will also display content that is formatted as 3D. The native 3D content looks the best, but the converted content looks really good as well.
    Marty Holloway
    • 3-D software

      Hi Marty,

      What "native 3D content" are you looking at? The 3-D field-sequential DVD's? They are 480p. So is the 480p being converted to 1080i? Anyone looking at producing HD or Blue-ray field-sequential DVD's?
    • 3D DLP

      Where can we see this 3D? I've seen the Samsung TVs at Fry's and other places, but the staff knows nothing about the 3D and has nothing to demonstrate. When is the rollout? And do you have to play the 3D movies on a computer to get them to work in 3D on the TV?
      • 3D Movies

        You can buy the field sequential glasses and software for the PC at . You need a PC that outputs 120hz. I don't think there are any DVD players that output 120hz.
        • 3D Movies

          You can buy the the DDD 3-D DLP Starter Packs from this website These packs include the wireless shutter glasses, the transmitter and a suite of software to allow you to watch 2D DVDs in 3-D, the field sequential 3-D DVDs that you can buy from Amazon and other sites, 10 of the top PC games in 3-D, Goggle Earth in 3-D and any JPEG file in 3-D all on the Samsung 3-D enabled DLP TVs.
    • 2D-3D Content Conversion


      Can you verify that since the re-formatting is a product of the television, that any source can be re-formatted. Therfore, any standard DVD or HD DVD could be viewed in 3D with the appropiate software. Also what about a native game signal provided by an Xbox360 or PS 3 ?? Would any game work or is there specific drivers required for each. If so, than would all games be 3Dable or only those with the drivers provided ??? Are the drivers commercially available by the developers or will this be an added cost to any that one wishes to view/play in 3D format ???
  • programming

    There are already many DVDs available in this 3D format. The 3D format is called 'field-sequential'. Movies such as Spy Kids 3D, Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, IMAX Transitions, Imax Alien Encounter, Imax Haunted Castle, as well as many 3D films from the 50s and 80s as found on ebay.
  • Very Promising

    I've been following 3D for awhile now. This looks like very promising technology. DLP is the only large screen solution for 3d at the current time. Cruise some web boards to find out why. It can be done on a CRT monitor for small screens. I do doubt that it will work well with standard movies. Some movies will work better than others but there will be some artifact in all of them and the 3d effect may not be worth the trade off in image quality. It should work however... but don't expect footballs to fly out of your screen. It's hard to describe if you haven't experienced it. It will make your TV look like a portal. Like you are looking through a window that extends many feet beyond your flat tv screen. You'll look at the football players and the y will appear to be inside the portal (shadow box).
  • What's happening?

    I have to say that Samsung sure isn't pushing this aspect of their HD sets. I didn't run into one sales person who knew of the sets being 3D ready or how to show it off in the store. Anybody else run into that?
    • Store salesman

      Trouble may be last week they were selling dishwashers,
      or cars or ... There are always exceptions, but store staff
      not generally your best source of info esp. for new