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Everything you need to know before you buy




Why Panasonic's Viera VT20 3DTV is the world's most advanced TV yet









How Panasonic has helped shape the new era of home entertainment


Everything you need to know about Full HD 3D before you buy


We review the world's most advanced 3DTV yet


3D HAS BEEN hailed as the most important development in TV since the advent of colour. But it’s much more important than that! 3D is revolutionising every aspect of popular entertainment, from movies to TV to games. And now, with the launch of Full HD 3D from Panasonic, the jaw-dropping experience of hi-def 3D is finally available in the home. Through the pages of 3D Live magazine we reveal the equipment you'll need to go 3D and explain why making that first leap into the third dimension isn’t as difficult as it may appear. 3D is here to stay. Join in the fun! The Editor

3D Live magazine, produced by Future Publishing Ltd in association with Panasonic. All rights reserved, no part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of Future Publishing Ltd

3D Blu-ray, online access, DVD playback – the DMP-BDT300EG does it all!


Why Panasonic's SC-ZT2 sound system brings movies to life


The technology behind state-of-the-art 3D eyeware

MILESTONES IN 3D MOVIES p18 From the world's first 3D experiments to Avatar and beyond

W W W. PA N A S O N I C . C O . U K / 3





brings the Full HD 3D f g clarity o astoundin to the a m e n ci D modern 3 u et what yo home. Forg s y' a rd e st ut ye know abo le o a wh 3D – this is of TV d rl o w w ne nt e m e excit

Breakthroughs in technology were required to make the new age of 3D happen. All it took was one brand with a vision... 4 / 3D LIVE

FACT FILE There’s a lot of new technology associated with 3DTV. Here’s what you need to know...

ONE COMPANY HAS LONG been involved at heart of the new 3D revolution. Years before Avatar became the world’s most successful movie, Panasonic signed up to support the production with hi-tech equipment and technical support,

recognising early on the potential of James Cameron’s amazing vision. Since then, the brand has played a pivotal role in the development of Full HD 3D for the home. The company operates a Blu-ray authoring house in Hollywood, called

The majority of new 3DTVs on the market work with Active Shutter eyewear (pictured above). They are optimised to make the most of pictures from 3D Blu-ray players and use LCD lenses that synchronise with the left/right information displayed on a 3DTV to create a 3D image. Panasonic and other major brands support this system. Some companies offer Passive Polarisation 3DTVs. While these are fine for use with Sky's 3D channel they do not give Full HD resolution from 3D Blu-ray. The only benefit is that the polarizing glasses are much cheaper to make. All Active Shutter 3DTVs are fully compatible with Sky 3D, too. Make sure your new set uses Active Shutter technology if you want the most detailed 3D image possible. For more about Active Shutter 3D glasses turn to page 17. W W W. PA N A S O N I C . C O . U K / 5


F R O M H O L LY W O O D T O Y O U R H O M E 3D maker: The AG-3DA1 is the first 3D camcorder

PHL: Full HD 3D Blu-ray was developed here Panasonic Hollywood Labs (PHL), which over the years has pioneered a number of innovations. Located a short drive from Universal Studios in Los Angeles, it led the way in hi-def picture quality with the world’s first MPEG-4AVC encoded Blu-ray (Disney’s Eight Below), and then pioneered interactive BD Java, with the release of the first ever AVC disc to use the software, Fox’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Its most recent

development is the advanced new system used as the 3D Blu-ray standard.

Full HD 3D Blu-ray Although there are other sources of 3D, including games and satellite TV, 3D Blu-ray is the only way to get a Full HD resolution 3D movie experience. The key is a video codec called MVC – or Multiview Video Coding. It’s an extension to the AVC technology used to make regular Blu-ray releases. This

Sky 3D launches this Autumn ■ Satellite broadcaster Sky claimed a world's first this year when it screened a Premier League football clash between Manchester Utd and Arsenal in 3D – the catch was you had to go to a pub to watch it. Later this year, Sky will launch a 3D service on its home satellite service, too. The channel, which is compatible with Panasonic's 3DTVs, will show a mix of 3D sports action, movies, live events and documentaries/ entertainment programmes when it launches around October. It's already snapped up Flying Monsters, a 3D wildlife documentary hosted by David Attenborough. Sky 3D will initially be available at no extra cost to customers who subscribe to Sky's top TV package and Sky HD pack. 6 / 3D LIVE

means that regular Blu-ray players should be compatible with 3D movie discs (they just see the 2D part and not the extension). It also means that a 3D movie takes up only 50 per cent more (data) space than a standard Blu-ray movie on a disc. Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, Panasonic’s Chief Technology Officer, is one of the boffins behind the 3DTV revolution. 'We've successfully moved from black-and-white, to colour, to high-definition television,' he says. 'Immersive, totally realistic 3D imagery has been the final frontier, but with these Full HD 3D products, we will conquer that as well.’ Tsuyuzaki is in little doubt that modern 3D will catch on in the home: ‘I think it may be a catalyst to change all of our products,’ he says. ‘Not just TVs. It’s immersive. It’s like 7.1 audio. It’s better. One could argue that audio was already providing that immersive experience. Well, now, the picture is catching up.’

Future 3D Panasonic’s groundbreaking new 3D plasmas (the TX-P50VT20B and TX-P65VT20B, see page 10) and Blu-ray player (the DMP-BDT300EG, see page 14) are in the shops now, but the company is already looking ahead at what comes next. Its first 3D camcorder, the AG-3DA1, will be aimed squarely at professional users when it launches later this year but it’s a tantalizing hint of things to come. Current 3D video systems use cumbersome twinnedcamera systems with two recorders. With the AG-3DA1, Panasonic has merged

The 3D viewing room at the PHL labs in Hollywood

lenses and camera head into a single, lightweight body. Images are recorded sequentially onto two SD memory cards, and the results are astonishing.

The good news is that it can only be a matter of time before we all have an opportunity to film our friends and family in eye-popping 3D

Full HD 3D at the Olympic Games ■ Panasonic is involved in all areas of 3D content creation, from shooting material in HD on its 3D cameras to mastering 3D onto Blu-ray. It’s also an Official Worldwide Olympic Partner, which is why earlier this year it brought 3D to the Winter Olympics. The company set up two Full HD 3D Theatres in LiveCity Yaletown, Vancouver (pictured), where the games took place. Highlights from

the games were screened on a pair of 103in Panasonic 3D plasmas, as well as the Opening Ceremony. Look out for similar 3D theatres at the London Olympics in 2012! ■ Panasonic is also behind an innovative film competition for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Called Film Nation: Shorts, it sets out to encourage young filmmakers to submit

short movies which represent the Olympic spirit and its ideals. To support it, Panasonic is supplying state-of-the-art video equipment, as well as expertise for training sessions taking place across the UK. The best of the submitted entries will be screened around and in Olympic venues before and during the London games. ‘The hardware we are supplying at the moment is hi-def 2D,’ says Andrew Denham, Panasonic UK’s Marketing Director for Consumer Products. ‘But it’s not a massive leap to imagine that before the competition closes in 2012, these young filmmakers will be able to shoot their films using 3D equipment. That will be really amazing.’ For more on Film Nation: Shorts, visit W W W. PA N A S O N I C . C O . U K / 7



YOUR 3D QUESTIONS ANSWERED When a new form of home entertainment arrives it can often be a little daunting. Here we answer some of the most common queries about 3D

"3D is just a gimmick, isn't it?" Not at all. While it's fair to say that earlier incarnations of 3D were a bit of a gimmick (turn your mind back to certain movies from the 1980s), the technology has now advanced dramatically. It's all about creating realism and a sense of depth, not just poking things out of the screen at you. Both the film industry and the home electronics manufacturers see 3D as the next step in home entertainment after Full HD, and are putting all their weight behind it. It's not a fad – it's the future! 8 / 3D LIVE

"Is it safe to buy a 3D system, then? I don't want to end up in another format war!"

"Can my existing TV be upgraded to Full HD 3D?"

Yes. The Full HD 3D format is supported by all the major Hollywood film studios (Fox, Universal, Disney, Sony, etc) and hardware manufacturers (including Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and LG). This time, thankfully, there's no rival format squabble.

Unfortunately, no. This is a brand-new technology which requires some very intelligent signal processing that has to be built into the TV. So if you connect a 3D Blu-ray player to a standard non-3D TV, you won't get a 3D effect.

"Is 3D just about movies?" No. 3D is also being used for TV broadcasts and videogaming. Sky has already announced its 3D channel (see page 6) and the cable provider Virgin Media has confirmed that its new V HD set-top box is 3D-ready. On the gaming side, Sony's PlayStation 3 console will use its Blu-ray drive to deliver 3D gaming later this year, while Microsoft's Xbox 360 can also play 3D games. This wealth of content comes on top of all the 3D Blu-ray releases that are heading your way this year (see page 18).

"Okay, so the 3D does look cool, but I'm not sure it's practical to have to wear those glasses to watch TV for prolonged periods..." Don't worry – your fears have been shared by the glasses' manufacturers, and Panasonic's 3D eyewear (see page 17) has been designed with maximum comfort in mind. You might feel a little weird at first, but after a minute or so you probably won't even notice you're wearing the specs.

"Will 3D give me a headache?" 3DTV programmes and movies have been designed to create an involving, comfortable 3D experience. Some brands of 3DTVs promise an 'on the fly' 2D-to-3D conversion. As this takes material intended to be viewed on conventional TVs, the 3D effect is much more unpredictable and prolonged viewing may prove uncomfortable. Viewer discretion is advised.

"When can I get a 3DTV that doesn't use glasses?" Well, Nintendo has said it will make a 3D version of its DS handheld console that doesn't require glasses, but at present there are no commercial plans to make 'auto-stereoscopic' 3DTVs. And anyway, only Active Shutter-based 3DTVs offer a wide viewing angle that all the family can enjoy – auto-stereoscopic technology requires you to be directly in front of the screen W W W. PA N A S O N I C . C O . U K / 9



D plasma The first 3 ffer the screens o possible st e smooth rces om 3D sou pictures fr ke a m o ls a – but they from D H f o st the mo and Freeview t sa e Fre

BETTER THAN BLACK FILTER The new TX-P50VT20B plasma screen has an Infinite Black Pro filter, which not only gives best-in-class black levels but also reduces annoying room reflections

THX CERTIFIED With a plethora of controls at your disposal you might think it difficult to get the best picture for movies from these TVs. However, a single-button THX Movie Mode optimises all the settings for the best possible picture, so that you are viewing it the way the Hollywood directors intended


THE FUTURE OF TELEVISION IS HERE! Panasonic’s VT20 series plasma 3DTVs offer an out-ofthis-world viewing experience – plus HD Freeview and Freesat channels and cutting-edge online interactivity 10 / 3D LIVE

ABC... A: Next-gen plasma

The VT20 is built around advanced NeoPDP plasma panels with crosstalk reduction technology


B: Smooth mover

Its 600Hz IFC Pro Processing means images don't suffer from blur C: Size matters

To fully appreciate the depth and detail of 3D in your home you need a screen that can deliver big images. Small sets are available but for the best 3D effects pick a screen size 50in or larger

IT'S ALL ABOUT DEPTH When 3D first made a splash in cinema it was all about things popping out of the screen. Today's 3D is more about creating depth for a more realistic and involving experience

THERE ARE TWO things you need to know about Panasonic’s award-winning VT20 range of 3D plasma screens. One: they are (probably) the best 3DTVs in the world. Two: they are certainly the most advanced plasma screens ever made. Packed with the latest picture processing

innovations, styled to stun and optimised for power efficiency, they will take the TV viewing experience to a whole new level. Available in 50in (TX-P50VT20B) and 65in (TX-P65VT20B) screen sizes, these flagship sets come with a distinctive finish that sets them apart from


the crowd, and incorporate groundbreaking NeoPDP panels that deliver four times the brightness of previous generations of plasma screen – which means they need less power to give superior contrast. So why are they so great for 3D? Well, the key to a great 3D performance in the home is minimising image blur between the picture frames intended for your left and right eyes. Any blur causes the 3D image to lose definition and an effect called 'crosstalk' makes 3D FX look a little fuzzy. 12 / 3D LIVE

PA N A S O N I C T X - P 5 0 V T 2 0 B

Only Panasonic plasmas have superfast 600Hz Intelligent Frame Creation Pro technology to ensure absolute clarity from moving images. As the display time between each left/right image is reduced, there’s virtually no crosstalk between the two images. This translates to ultra-crisp and involving 3D. Furthermore, no other display technology is as fast as plasma when it comes to reducing motion-induced image artefacts – it’s almost as if 3D was created for plasma!

Perfect pictures While these tellies deliver great images straight out of the box, they also offer lots of user control for those that like to tinker. For years, THX certification has guaranteed top-notch performance for all types of gizmos, and it’s a badge to covet if you are serious about movies. This is why the VT20

FACT FILE ■ Panasonic’s 3DTVs are designed to be the focus of your home entertainment system. Via Ethernet or Wi-Fi you can browse your home network for photos, music and video. They also go online to Panasonic’s

Out of this world: 3D evolves telly to another dimension entirely Funky: Each VT20 plasma is supplied with two pairs of stylish 3D glasses to get you started SOUNDS GOOD A VT20 TV packs three loudspeakers – one dedicated to low-frequency bass – ensuring pictures are accompanied by punchy stereo audio

series are THX-certified, and offer a one-push Movie Mode setting to adjust their pictures to deliver an image that accurately reflects how filmmakers intend their movies to be seen. The sets can also be fine-tuned by an ISF professional installer.

Free hi-def The VT20 screens incorporate Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, giving you easy access to subscriptionfree hi-def TV, be it through a regular TV aerial or satellite dish. Both services include BBC HD and ITV 1 HD, plus

the usual raft of standard TV channels, and more HD stations are on the way. To make the most of the high-clarity of HD broadcasts, Panasonic's VT20 TVs also have Infinite Black Pro technology. With a native contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1, this means rich, deep black levels which give even 2D images tangible depth. There are no details lost in the shadows and textures are brought to breathtaking life. In short, the VT20 plasmas are the most advanced TVs yet. Hunt one down on the High Street today!

own Viera Cast internet portal, where additional content is available, including YouTube, Picasa and Dailymotion. You can even Skype call your friends and family, using a Panasonic webcam to make free video calls over the internet – and, if both callers have a compatible Panasonic telly, these calls can be in high-definition! ■ These TVs are also great for sharing your digital snaps or watching your home movies, and there’s no need to worry about cables. Each TV has a Viera Image Viewer – an SD card reader that allows quick viewing of both JPEGs and hi-def AVCHD video footage. ■ Panasonic's VT20 series may offer best-in-class picture quality with stunningly rich black levels, but they’re also very green. The models have a 100,000 hour life-span before they reach half-brightness, and use improved electronics for environmentally-friendly lower power consumption. W W W. PA N A S O N I C . C O . U K / 1 3


PA N A S O N I C D M P - B D T 3 0 0 E G

GO ONLINE FOR EXTRA CONTENT Connect this Blu-ray player to the internet and you can access the interactive BD-Live features found on Blu-ray discs, which can include trivia tracks, brand-new trailers and web chats with a film's cast and crew



D movies Enjoying 3 0EG P-BDT30 on the DM ore m g in oth involves n g it in ct e n n than co MI TV via HD to your 3D r u yo g in n and don s. It's 3D glasse that easy!

BEST-EVER BLU-RAY Building on Panasonic's previous award-winning Blu-ray players is its 3D-capable DMP-BDT300EG. This state-of-the-art machine offers top-quality pictures, surround sound audio and much more YOU WOULDN'T KNOW it, but beneath the slimline exterior of Panasonic's DMP-BDT300EG lurks some seriously heavyweight silicon. Just pair one of Panasonic’s new 3D plasma TVs with this deck and you'll get a unique Full HD 3D experience. The beating heart of this player is an enhanced version 14 / 3D LIVE

of the brand’s UniPhier chipset, which uses P4HD and PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus technology to suck every last drop of detail and colour nuance

from high-definition Blu-ray material. Then there's its HDMI Jitter Purifier, which is on hand to ensure the

Tasty: Watch the 3D smash hit Coraline with the DMP-BDT300EG

ABC... A: Full HD 3D playback MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MEDIA Many of us store our home movies and digital photos on a PC. By linking the DMP-BDT300EG to your home network, you can view these files on your TV. Panasonic's new Blu-ray recorders will also stream recorded HDTV content to this player

Thanks to a frame sequential output and HDMI v1.4 connection, Panasonic's player can deliver faultless Full HD 3D Blu-ray discs to your 3DTV B: Easy playback


The DMP-BDT300EG features slots for both SD cards and USB devices, through which it can play AVCHD, JPEG, MPEG and MP3 files from your camcorder, camera or music player C: Multimedia maestro

audio passed over the digital HDMI connection, be it music from your CDs or a film soundtrack, retains its integrity from the player to your TV or amplifier. And, if you're a fan of the old-school sound delivered by analogue tube amplifiers, you can even engage the DMP-BDT300EG's Digital Tube Sound emulator to recreate that authentic 'warm' feel with your CDs. Usability has been improved on the DMP-BDT300EG, too. A previous criticism of Blu-ray players was the time it took them to boot up, but

this new deck will go from standby to full power in only half a second.

By connecting the DMP-BT300EG to the 'net via its Ethernet port or Wi-Fi, you can access Panasonic's Viera Cast portal, browsing content on popular websites such as YouTube, Picasa, Eurosport, Dailymotion & more

Modern marvel With the DMPBDT300EG, these technological advances combine to deliver an eye-catching home entertainment experience, not only with 3D Blu-ray, but 2D Blu-rays, DVDs and CDs as well. Factor in the machine's interactive talents such as Viera Cast and home networking, and you have a true 21st century product

Plug 'n' play: An HDMI cable is all that's required for hook up

FACT FILE ■ Like all of Panasonic's Blu-ray players, the DMP-BDT300EG is compatible with your existing DVD and CD collection – and it'll upscale your DVDs to Full HD, too. W W W. PA N A S O N I C . C O . U K / 1 5


PA N A S O N I C S C - Z T 2

SOUND OF 3D The immersive nature of Full HD 3D is made even better when partnered with 7.1 surround sound. While it can involve multiple speakers and wires in you living room, Panasonic's new home theatre system does away with all that. Enter the SC-ZT2...


em Home cin metimes so re a rs speake hard to d n a big, bulky , yet ving room hide in a li m li 'S g n ri e these tow sure a e m s it n Pole' u in only 32mm r te e diam

Sonic magic A traditional 7.1 audio setup (pictured) places speakers all around your room. Panasonic's SC-ZT2 creates a virtual 7.1 soundfield from just two speakers positioned either side of your flatscreen TV.

TWO FACTORS THAT stop many of us installing a home cinema system are the number of speakers involved, and the cabling required. The SC-ZT2 overcomes both these problems. Firstly, it can deliver the 7.1-channel surround of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Blu-ray soundtracks from only two loudspeakers, thanks to clever processing and the alignment of the four speaker drivers in each Slim Pole cabinet. This means that 16 / 3D LIVE

listeners will still hear the bombastic rear- and sidechannel effects of modernday movies without needing to have speakers positioned behind them. Deep bass is delivered by the 12cm subwoofers located at the foot of each speaker.

Wireless wonder Secondly, the SC-ZT2 uses wireless 2.4GHz technology to stream audio signals from the control box – which you can place under your TV – to

the speakers. This eliminates the need for extra wires and means fitting the system into any living space isn't a problem. The control unit can also support additional wireless speakers, so you can have dedicated rear speakers if you want. Compatibility with 3D Blu-ray is guaranteed because the system has two HDMI v1.4 sockets. Extra inputs mean you can beef up the audio of your TV or games console too!




A: Perfect sync

Panasonic's TY-EW3D10 3D glasses combine cutting-edge technology with comfortable, flexible design INTELLIGENT POWER USE A small, replaceable CR2032 Alkaline battery powers the active glasses and will give around 70 hours of continuous 3D viewing – and the glasses switch off when a 3D signal is not detected


A built-in infrared receiver picks up frame sequential pulses at up to 120 times per second, keeping the glasses in perfect sync with the 3D images displayed on your TV B: Timing control

Each active shutter LCD lens closes fully before the other opens, eliminating crosstalk C: Stable delivery

Unlike passive glasses, even tilting your head won't affect the brightness of the 3D image


FLEXIBLE FRIEND The glasses are supplied with two bridge supports so they're suitable for both adults and children. They can be mounted in three different positions, too, so you can find the one that best suits your face

GOT SPECS? NO WORRIES! The TY-EW3D10 have been specifically designed to be worn over the top of prescription glasses – gaps at the side of the lenses allow all styles of specs to be accommodated comfortably W W W. PA N A S O N I C . C O . U K / 1 7



MILESTONES IN 3D MOVIES 3D has finally arrived in the home in full high-definition, and its journey has taken longer than you might think...

100 years of 3D

The Golden Age

3D gets bigger

3D is at the forefront of home entertainment technology, but the concept has been toyed with in cinemas for more than a century. It was patented in the 1890s, with the first 3D film released in 1922. Called The Power of Love, it was shown using an early two-projector process. How effective this was remains a mystery, as the film is believed to be lost. A shame that Chaplin (pictured) didn't see the potential....

Hollywood took serious notice of 3D in the early ‘50s, as it provided something that the public couldn’t get from their newfangled televisions. Early highlights included the 1952 flick Bwana Devil, which promised audiences ‘A lion in your lap!’, and the classic 3D horror The House of Wax (1953). But this first 3D boom was already fizzing out by the time Alfred Hitchcock made Dial M for Murder in 3D in 1954.

After the 1950s, 3D made frequent comebacks at the box office, but the tech didn’t really come into its own until the debut of IMAX 3D. The format made waves in 2003 with James Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss, the first 3D IMAX feature shot using HD video cameras. Since then, it has wowed audiences in animated movies and 3D sequences in the likes of Superman Returns, paving the way for today’s 3D revolution.

18 / 3D LIVE

ALL 3D ABOARD tly in

s curren 3D movie om n range fr productio and rs ckbuste action blo fi isc to s family film s like ic ss a cl d flicks. An l also be Titanic wil d in the re-release at! rm fo w ne

■ Hollywood has embraced 3D technology for the cinema, and the major film studios are currently primed to start releasing the biggest and best movies on 3D Blu-ray in the second half of this year. If you buy both a Panasonic 3DTV and Blu-ray player together you will get Coraline and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs on 3D Blu-ray free of charge. See your local dealer for more details.

■ Music videos take on a new dimension when viewed in 3D. Panasonic has teamed up with HD-Music.TV to record a series of 3D concerts. The first, featuring Paul Carrack (ex-Mike & the Mechanics), was filmed at London’s AIR Studios on Panasonic 3D cameras for release on 3D Blu-ray at a later date.

The ‘game-changer’

Full HD 3D

Having clearly fallen in love with 3D during the making of Ghosts of the Abyss, Cameron then spent the rest of the decade preparing to change the face of movies by embarking on the production of his 3D sci-fi Avatar. With the film’s global box office takings surpassing $2.6billion, it’s clear that Cameron’s vision of the future of cinema meshes perfectly with the desires of movie-goers around the world.

Thanks to Panasonic, you can now enjoy 3D in the comfort of your home. The company helped develop the tech that lies at the heart of the Full HD 3D Blu-ray specifications, and opened the world’s first 3D Blu-ray authoring centre in Hollywood. All of which, coupled with its expertise in HD image processing, has helped Panasonic craft a range of 3D hardware that lets you experience cinema in your home like never before

■ Expect to see 3D Blu-ray releases of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and the SFX extravaganza Clash of the Titans later in 2010. And coming in 2011 is the 3D Blu-ray of James Cameron’s Avatar, the biggest box office smash in the history of cinema. W W W. PA N A S O N I C . C O . U K / 1 9

Photos © Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, © Walt Disney Home Entertainment, © BFI

3D on Blu-ray

3D Live  

20-page guide to the state-of-the-art world of Full HD 3D in association with Panasonic

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