California startup HDI is already creating buzz with the 100-inch laser-based 3D HDTV it's been demoing. If the claims made by the company rep I corresponded with today turn out to be true, we could be looking at a Holy Grail of sorts for the next generation of television.
According to the spokesperson, the set draws 80-percent less power than a 100-inch plasma, which equates to 200 watts instead of 1.5 kilowatts. More green claims about HDI technology: It reduces manufacturing pollution by 95 percent and offers a 60-percent cut in chemical and radioactive materials compared to current HDTV manufacturing. HDI also says that its technology could be used by a third-party manufacturer to create the laser set that would have a street price 60-percent lower than an equivalently sized plasma. Of course, that plasma would set you back 50 grand, more or less, so you wouldn't be an 100-inch HDI-powered TV at Wal-mart, but the manufacturer could create a smaller set (say, 65 or 70 inches) with a market that wouldn't exclusively be multimillionaires. As for such a manufacturers, HDI would not comment on if it was in discussion with any to actually produce this set commercially.
The HDI prototype's most eye-popping spec is its 1080Hz refresh rate, which means that over 1,000 frames per second are being sent to each eye (for the brain to pull together as the 3D effect). The rep claims that it solves the issues with shutter-based 3D glasses, such as the nausea and headache that some people suffer from after watching 3D video using slower refresh rates. I guess it would be a (literal) case of seeing is believing.
HDI has been invited to be part of Intel CTO Justin Rattner's keynote address on the future of television at the upcoming Intel Developers Conference later this week. The company also quotes Steve Wozniak's reaction to a demo of the laser 3D TV: “Without a doubt, this is the best demonstration of 3D technology I have ever seen." The question that remains for the rest of us is when will the viewing public get a demonstration of the technology in the form of a set it can purchase.