Panasonic Touch the Future TourSee all photos
Without the crowds of CES or CEDIA we got a longer look at the new displays than before and could appreciate the clarity and sharp picture produced by the improved refresh rate, although the bright lights of the demo room didn't make for the best environment to evaluate image quality. The glasses and everything else were the same as we'd seen before, but we could move around at wider viewing angles and get a clear picture from any reasonable seating position, with one caveat. As the IR sync is integrated in the frame, if someone else sits (and stays, simply walking by didn't cause any problems) between the viewer and the specific segment blasting its signal, the glasses can lose their wireless connection. Unless your living room has an obstructed viewing section it shouldn't be a problem but it's something to think about before moving the furniture around.
Speaking to several of the executives on hand little information was available on what's next, other than to expect larger sizes like the 54-inch version within the month, followed by 58- and 65-inch plasmas throughout the spring and into the summer. Those active shutter glasses should squeeze about 250 hours out of the included watch battery, but we couldn't get an answer to whether they would work on competitors hardware, leaving that as one thing we're still waiting to try out for ourselves. 3D is still waiting for its first killer live event to move buying interest among anyone other than the earliest of adopters, but this exhibit lives up to its name, with DirecTV 3D broadcasts, games and movies just bleeding into the "available" category it's about time you went from reading about 3D at home to experiencing it firsthand.