3D highly prevalent at ISE 2012

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Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) is the largest professional AV and systems integration trade show in Europe and 3D was highly prevalent.

review dividing line 3D highly prevalent at ISE 2012


Displays were being showcased in ever imaginative ways including curved screens, super bright OLED screens, transparent displays and even a 4D theatre that could be potentially installed in the home.

DynaScan were showing their latest 360 degree video display which offers the equivalent area of a 120” LCD screen. Designed for indoor high traffic areas, such displays can be found in rail stations, exhibition halls and airports displaying information and advertising.

Barco’s stand was huge and very busy. One of their many solutions was a 1920×1080 resolution OLS 3D LED video wall. Designed for the control room and simulation markets it combines its OL series with active 3D technology using LED rear projection. “For control rooms, the ease of switching between mono and stereo mode allows the 3D to be integrated into existing video wall applications” said Peter Baumgarther, Barcos product manager for video walls. 

A Barco representative told 3D Focus “For cinema, 3D is important for us, with more and more movies coming out in 3D, so we need to follow that. 3D is also very important for applications like simulation where in cave walls people need the 3D experience to improve their designs. In pro AV, 3D is more like an enabler where if you don’t have it, people will ask 'why have you not invested in this'?”

MMD were exhibiting their 42” glasses free 3D display that offers up to 28 views and the ability to ‘look around’ objects depending on the angle of view. It also offers the “widest 3D viewing angle available on the market”. Tridelity were showcasing the world’s only portrait glasses free 3D screen although the company has long decided 5 views “offers better quality”.

Dimenco revealed a new autostereoscopic 3D display range in sizes 23”, 42” and 55”. Speaking to 3D Focus, Bas Ploeger said “Improvements have been made to the lens design which provides a better performance in terms of pop out, viewing angle and picture quality”

Dimenco were also showcasing a 2X2 glasses free 55” 3D video wall based on a narrow thin bezel display. The bezel is only 5.7 mm which provides a pop out effect over the entire wall. Dimenco say they can build a 3X3 set up which is the equivalent of a 165” glasses free 3D display.

Bas Ploeger continued “We are convinced that 3D has real stopping power. The content is not widely available but that is changing very rapidly. A lot of content gets shot in stereo these days and that is very suitable for our displays. We are confident that in the near future, we will see these type of displays in large quantities”

Dimenco are currently looking into 4K resolution technologies and have partnered with stereo to autostereo conversion experts Triaxes.


Stewart Filmscreen were showcasing their Silver 5D solution (3D plus 2D HD video) which provides a cinematic passive polarised 3D experience without losing HD picture quality according to the company.

Transparent displays designed for point of sale marketing were everywhere. Such screens can display full video but can vary their transparency level to show real objects behind up to 100% transparency. One futuristic application is for vending machines to attract the attention of passing traffic as shown in the video below…


LG have entered the transparent display market and were showcasing their C-Thru LCD panel which is available in sizes from 26” to 55”. As you would expect, LG had a large stand, offering opportunities to listen to the company’s 3D Sound Zooming technology, interactive white boards and live video conferencing solutions.

CL Corporation entertained visitors with its “dynamic sensory seats” with hot and cold ventilating fan, smells, vibrations and ticklers. We tried it – it was fun, but with virtually no sync between the video and motion of the seats, we never felt like we were suddenly transported away from the bustle of the RAI exhibition halls and in to the driving seat of a rally car (although the squirt of water/'puddle splash' was refreshing after walking around for hours!). A four seat unit can be yours for the day for 1900 Euros (excluding tax) with a choice of 15 films to get ‘immersed in’. 

One company was seeking distribution for its 3D NOW THEATER processor, 3D NOW Eyewear and 3D NOW Emitter system which converts current 2D TVs and projectors to ones with stereoscopic 3D capability. It is claimed to work with NTSC 480i/p, PAL 576i/p, HDTV 720p/1080i/1080p and can convert many sources including cable, 3D Blu-ray and PS3.

However, when we viewed the results on a 60Hz 2D television, the flicker was simply unbearable. When it was shown using a regular EPSON 2D projector, the results were very impressive due to the increased Hz.  It is not cheap with the processor costing a suggested retail price of $699 and the starter kit (which includes the emitter and one pair of active shutter glasses) costing $199 (with additional glasses costing $149 each). When we asked Director of Sales Doug Smith why people would want to spend more than the cost of a new 3D TV, he replied …

"Initially this product is aimed at this [ISE] audience – the custom installer or integrator. Over the past few years they have probably installed innumerable high dollar projectors and large screens that were very expensive and that consumer probably isn't going to want to spend that type of money again. This allows them to go back to that customer and say 'I have an opportunity here to show you how to make your current system produce a whole 3D capable Hollywood image' in a very cost effective manner compared to replacing that unit."

Clearly there might be a professional (rather than consumer) market for this, especially the venues and organisations who want to upgrade their existing high end projectors to 3D but the cost of the glasses might persuade the very large venues (with capacity for over 100 people) to switch to the passive format where glasses cost less than a dollar each.


Strong Confidence in 3D

One thing for sure – ISE illustrated the growth 3D is experiencing. The 3D Theatre (only launched last year) series of talks were very well attended, more so than many other 3D dedicated events we have visited in the past, with some people having to stand. There were several talks and demos each day from Alcons Audio, Volfoni, DACHS Digital Video systems AG , DNS Consult and others.

It seemed that nearly every projection exhibitor included 3D as part of their line up and the words 3D! seemed to be unavoidable. After the uncertainty of 2011, professional AV companies are clearly regarding 3D as an essential element of their product line ups.

The ubiquity of 3D at ISE was perhaps best summarised by a spokeswomen from the 3D Innovation Center in Berlin who said "the ISE was much better and had much more to offer – 3D everywhere! – much more than I expected!"

Finally, check out this simple but highly watchable and creative LED performance featuring Leuro's matrix display technology. How did they time it this well?!?