CES 2010: 3D Blu-ray player roundup – what you need to know

One of the biggest trends at this years CES was 3d entertainment, from 3d capable televisions, gaming devices, computers and of course blu-ray players.

The players

There were four 3d capable blu-ray players announced with the Panasonic DMP-BDT350, Samsung BD-C3900, Sony BDP-S770 and Toshiba BDX3000. Sony also announced the BDV-HZ970W home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) system with a built-in 3D Blu-ray player. Samsung announced a 3D Blu-ray HTIB (no specific model name mentioned).

Panasonic DMP-BDT350

  • 3D Blu-ray player
  • Two HDMI outputs
  • PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus video processor
  • Supports Panasonic’s VieraCast streaming content portal, which will feature content from Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Netflix, Pandora, and Twitter
  • SD cart slot and USB port
  • 14-second boot up time
  • Wi-Fi ready; requires USB dongle (not confirmed whether or not this is included)
  • No release date or pricing announced

Samsung BD-C3900

  • 3D Blu-ray player
  • Slim design with a transparent cover
  • Supports Internet@TV/Samsung Apps, which will provide content from Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, Blockbuster, Picasa, and Twitter
  • 15 second disc load; 15 second boot up
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • No release date or pricing announced

Sony BDP-S770


  • 3D Blu-ray player
  • HDMI 1.4 output
  • Access to the Bravia Internet Video platform, which includes Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, Pandora, Slacker, and NPR streaming capability
  • Built-in Wi-Fi; Ethernet also available
  • DLNA compliant; capable of sharing photos, music, and videos from a connected PC
  • Front panel USB port
  • SACD-compatible
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Available in the summer of 2010, no pricing announced

Toshiba BDX3000

  • Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow, Pandora-streaming capability
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • 7.1 analog outputs
  • Wireless ready with a USB dongle (sold separately)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 3D Blu-ray player
  • Additional features to be announced later
  • Available in the third quarter of 2010; no pricing announced

What you need to know (Source: CNET)

The Panasonic DMP-BDT350 is the only player with dual HDMI outputs

That’s important because 3D Blu-ray players will use the new HDMI 1.4 standard, and existing AV receivers only support HDMI 1.3. That means you won’t be able easily connect a new 3D Blu-ray player to an existing AV receiver. With the DMP-BDT350, you can send the high-bandwidth 3D video directly to the display and the audio directly to the AV receiver. It seems like the best option if you don’t plan on buying a new HDMI 1.4 receiver.

No pricing or release dates have been announced

The only release date we’ve heard is “Summer 2010” (US release date) for Sony’s BDP-S770. And nobody is talking prices.

The PS3 will play 3D Blu-rays after a firmware update–and Sony claims it can handle full 1080p resolution

We don’t doubt Sony’s claim that the PS3 will be able to playback 3D Blu-ray movies after a firmware update, but we’re definitely skeptical that it will do it at full resolution. A Sony representative emphatically told us that we’ll get “full 1080p resolution to each eye”, but we’re under the impression that full 3D 1080p resolution requires HDMI 1.4–and the PS3 only has HDMI 1.3. Either way, it’s the only existing Blu-ray player we’ve heard is getting a 3D update.

You need a new 3D-compatible TV and glasses

The new 3D Blu-ray format uses active shutter 3D glasses and requires one of the new 3D HDTVs that have been announced at CES 2010. Some manufacturers are bundling the glasses with the new TVs, some aren’t, and we’ve heard the going rate for the glasses will be around $100. We don’t think 3D Blu-ray will work with older DLP HDTVs that were billed as 3D–or at least not at the full resolution.

Don’t expect more than a handful of 3D Blu-ray movies in 2010

Sony is promising “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” by summer 2010, Disney says “A Christmas Carol” by the fourth quarter, and Dreamworks says “Monsters vs. Aliens” in 2010–and that’s about it. More announcements could be coming, but we’re betting there won’t be many 3D Blu-ray titles in 2010.

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