September 2, 2009 Sony plans to put 3D TVs in homes by end of 2010Lucy Bannerman Recommend? Sony will announce today that it is aiming to put 3D televisions in homes by the end of 2010. Sir Howard Stringer, its chief executive, is due to announce that consumers will be able to buy 3D Bravia television sets, Vaio laptops, Playstation3 games consoles and Blu-Ray disc players that are compatible with 3D technology. It will be an important boost for the 3D industry, which until now has concentrated on enhancing the cinema screen experience. Sir Howard will tell a technology trade show in Berlin: “3D is clearly on its way to the mass market. As with high-definition a few years back, there are a variety of issues yet to be addressed. But the 3D train is on the track and we at Sony are ready to drive it home.” Related Links Exclusive: Avatar trailer 3D films back in cinema, but porn will lead Brace yourself for 3D television The burgeoning 3D market is poised to revolutionise the consumer electronics industry. British Sky Broadcasting has already announced plans to introduce a 3D satellite channel in the UK next year. Avatar, the new sci-fi epic by James Cameron, who directed Terminator and Titanic, uses the latest 3D technology. The film, which reportedly cost £180 million to make and is due to be released here in December, is one of the most eagerly anticipated films in years and is expected to take more than $1 billion at the box office, largely because of the new technology. A number of specialist film companies are reportedly preparing to exploit the hype for the 3D medium. Uptake of 3D has taken off over the past three years, with 7,000 screens expected to be in use worldwide by the end of this year. It has been a long time coming. Sony’s plans to venture into the domestic consumer market come 115 years after the 3D film process was patented by the British film pioneer William Friese-Greene. The Queen’s coronation in 1953 was filmed in 3D and will be shown for the first time on Channel 4 later this year as part of a week-long series of programmes celebrating the technology. Those who want to enjoy the full 3D experience will need special spectacles, which will be available free at branches of Sainsbury’s in the week before the programmes air. They will be shown in ColorCode 3D, which looks almost like an ordinary image when viewed without glasses. The experience is brought to life when viewed through the ColorCode spectacles, which have an amber and a dark blue lens. ColorCode does not need a 3D-ready television and works on computer monitors and flatscreen televisions, programme-makers said. The electronics industry has yet to agree on a 3D standard format, however, leading to the risk of a format war. Sony is planning to use “active shutter” technology, which uses electronic glasses containing small shutters that blink rapidly in time with a television image to create a three-dimensional effect. Cinema 3D uses a simpler “polarisation” technique.