During the slide presentation, Mr. Livingston noted that sound bar sales are on a major upswing, with a projected US sales rate for 2011 at more than 8,000,000 units, which means that about one in four HDTV purchasers will go the sound bar route.
At the end of the presentation, Panasonic presented us with some tasty goodies as parting gifts, which included a copy of their exclusive 3D Blu-ray of James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar. That disc isn’t yet available to the general public for purchase, and won’t be until sometime in 2012, but is currently provided for free as an incentive to purchasers of some Panasonic 3D TVs and Blu-ray players.
Obtaining the Avatar 3D Blu-ray nicely coincided with the arrival of Sharp’s new 3D 1080p DLP projector (click here to read the review), and having seen the film in 3D in a movie theater, I was keen to see how it fared on 3D Blu-ray.
Watching the movie at home in 3D via active shutter LCD glasses once again confirmed my belief that 3D at home looks better than in the theater. The cheap passive (polarized) 3D glasses handed out in theaters simply can’t provide the high level of stereoscopic separation that’s needed for a really immersive 3D experience, and seeing Avatar on the big screen at home was a revelation. Director James Cameron had previously commented that he kept Avatar’s 3D effects on the “mild” side, which I think was a smart move on his part. Cranking up the 3D effect for extra pizzazz might have been enticing for some, but for others sitting through Avatar’s original 160+ minutes runtime, excessive 3D effects can become wearisome quickly, and possibly cause unpleasant side effects such as dizziness or nausea for some viewers.
Via the Sharp 3D projector, the movie’s 3D effects produced no visible artifacts such as ghosting or flicker, and the image quality looked great throughout. A lovely transfer, and a disc I’ll be using regularly as new 2011 3D TV review samples starting showing up soon.