CES 2009 Day 2: 3D TV in high definition

One of the highlights of CES for me so far has been the Panasonic demo of 3D high-definition TV on Blu-ray Disc.

Yes, I know what you're thinking: we've seen all this before, with those silly red and green cardboard glasses people used to wear in the cinema. Well yes, but this is better. So much better.

After I'd dutifully queued for the 3D Theater on the Panasonic stand (see picture), a small group of us was ushered into a mini cinema room and given a large pair of dark glasses to wear.

I must admit I was quite sceptical about the whole thing at this stage, but as soon as the demo clips started playing, they took my breath away.

Remember the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics? Pretty impressive in high-definition, wasn't it? Well, believe me, nothing prepares you for seeing it in 3D high-definition. For once, all the PR guff about feeling that you're actually inside the stadium rings true.

Next up we saw some underwater footage of the wreck of the Titanic – film director James Cameron is a big supporter of 3D HDTV, as we reported earlier – but perhaps the most impressive footage was a clip of some Pixar-style animation. A 3D version of Toy Story 2 is likely to be the first 3D Blu-ray title, as magazine ed Rich Melville reported in his Sony blog yesterday.

It's hard to convey just how spectacular it looked using the written word, but if this is the future of high-definition TV and gaming, I want in.

Other highlights for me at the show so far include:

Samsung's OLED super-slim TVs

LG's wireless HD TVs

Panasonic's portable Blu-ray player with Viera Cast networking

Panasonic's flagship wireless HD, super-slim Z1 plasma

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.