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Philips Axes 3D Display Division

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Philips is throwing in the towel on its 3-D display division.

Touted as the future of television and computing, 3D display technology took a major hit recently as Philips has decided to shut down its 3D Solutions division.

Sources indicate that a letter from Philips 3D Solutions was sent out to resellers of its 3D explaining the stoppage in supply. The letter, drafted by 3D Solutions CEO Jos Swillens, informs recipients that they will no longer be shipping the 42-inch 42-3D6W02 TV. "Unfortunately, the current market developments no longer justify such a pro-active approach," says Swillens. "The point in time where mass adoption of no-glasses based 3D TV will occur has shifted significantly. As a consequence of this, Philips has decided to scale down its investments in this area."

Swillens cites a struggling economy and lack of adoption as the primary reasons behind the move over at Philips. It's unfortunate, but it is hard to imagine consumers buying 3D HDTV's during one of the worst recessions in recent memory.

Philips started its 3D display campaign back in 2006, when it introduced a 42-inch prototype display at SID2006, which went on to win a Gold Award at the end of the event. Up until now, Philips had offered several different WOWvx-based 3D models, including 22, 42, and 56-inch displays. Perhaps the biggest advantage of these Philips displays is that no 3D glasses were required - just a regular pair of eyes.

With one of its major players out of the business, 3D displays and 3D technology in general are being pushed by only a handful of companies. iZ3D still selling its 22-inch 3D LCD monitor, which requires special glasses and retails for $399. Nvidia is also pushing 3D gaming with its new 3D Vision platform. The Nvidia system also requires 3D glasses, but this eyewear communicates to your PC via USB and infrared. The $598 3D Vision package comes with the glasses, all necessary accessories, and a 22-inch Samsung 2233RZ 120Hz LCD monitor.

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  • 1 Hide
    krazynutz , April 15, 2009 11:41 PM
    The use of autostereoscopic displays in the home are years away anyway. The price point is too high and the support is too little. Plus absolutely no standard (at least three different technologies right now. Well, make that two.) Passive polarized displays will hit first in homes. Shutter glasses technology might work for gaming but there's no way I'll sit through a whole movie with those clunky things on.
  • 1 Hide
    krazynutz , April 15, 2009 11:48 PM
    To ammend my above statement, I meant three different autostereoscopic (no glasses) technologies. With Phillips' WOWvx gone it leaves lenticular and parallax-barrier as the remaining two. Passive (polarized) and active(shutter glasses) are the two leading standards in stereoscopic (glasses) technology.
  • 0 Hide
    thundercleese , April 16, 2009 1:16 AM
    I saw some 3D displays @ Siggraph and, honestly, Philip's was the worst of the bunch. It had some weird "stepping" along the horizontal axis that the others did not have and also seemed to be of a lower pixel count. But man, they were all very impressive!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 16, 2009 1:29 AM
    the market and economy is really bad to start investing there!
    But hopefully things will get better once the house crisis passes,and the carsales start rolling again.

    Unfortunately for some reason we're no longer in the '80's,where there was sufficient money to spend on perfection.
    There's barely enough money to spend on the basics, so many people will probably still have a regular TV in their rooms for the coming 5 to 10 years.
  • 1 Hide
    deltatux , April 16, 2009 1:47 AM
    I still don't know why I want to watch TV in 3D. I think the only uses for me for this tech is gaming?

    The only reason why this would be useful is if I'm actually in it and not just 3D figures because I rather have a higher resolution 2D image than a same resolution 3D image.
  • 0 Hide
    Studly007 , April 16, 2009 2:26 AM
    (arrgh ... curse ...*@#$%)

    When are Toshiba, Samsung, Philip's, Sony going to pull their head out of their arse, and just forge ahead with 1440p SED TV's !! It was scheduled to be released in 2007 for Pete's SAKE !!

    The market is their - just let it stabilize, give it 18 months, do some more R&D, make some deals with Hollywood's Production studios to film at 1440p, and then Time Warner, Cox, and Comcast to offer UHD (ultra high-def), and set up the sufficient bandwidth cabling network

    - AND JUST DO IT !!!
  • 0 Hide
    krazynutz , April 16, 2009 2:44 AM
    3D still has a long way to go to be watchable daily. I, personally, have no desire to put on glasses at home. I say we're at least 5-10 years away from autostereoscopic HDTV that doesn't have dead zones/stepping.
  • 0 Hide
    ooo , April 16, 2009 4:52 AM
    http://gamerslastwill.com/2009/02/02/3d-left-4-dead-for-free-oh-yeah-heres-how/

    Well i prefer the old fashion way but with the iz3d drivers u can use polarized no just red/cyan glasses...
  • 0 Hide
    krazynutz , April 16, 2009 5:21 AM
    3D films are gaining popularity again. We'll have more 3D films in this year and last year than we have in at least the last decade. And it's getting a lot better. Far from perfect but it's getting there.
  • 1 Hide
    hixbot , April 16, 2009 12:33 PM
    joeman42Has 3D ever succeeded at any level? Displays, glasses, theatrical films have all tanked commercially.

    Are you madd?! 3d theatrical films are selling like crazy! RealD setups are almost mandatory in most cinemas now. They are selling so well, the studios are pushing more 3d movies this year than ever before. Nvidia's 3d platform is a hot seller. Many people are very anxious for this tech to develop, including myself. Samsung are releaseing 3D ready plasmas, DLP projectors and TV's are moving ahead with 3D. The market is there. I personally wish for 240hz displays that can handle no-judder 24 film content in 3d AND 120hz gaming in 3d. I probably won't buy a TV until it supports all these features. I don't mind light weight shutter glasses. I don't think auto-stereo will ever be satisfactory for home theater, viewing angles will never be sufficient.
  • 0 Hide
    solymnar , April 16, 2009 2:45 PM
    I'm with hix on this one. Granted the decline of DLP in favor of LCD made things trickier for the HD home theater dept as very few LCD HDTV's are fast enough to work with nvida's solution. But that doesn't mean a ton of us aren't drooling at the idea. ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    monkeysweat , April 16, 2009 3:29 PM
    Man, I'd love to watch Baywatch in 3d and not for hasslehoff
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , April 16, 2009 4:05 PM
    NNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 17, 2009 2:46 PM
    yawn. Who cares - besides theaters, who want you in their seats and at home in your own...