Sony backs 3D TV

Murmurs from the Sony camp suggest the electronics giant will use the IFA technology tradeshow in Berlin to announce plans to sell LCD 3D TVs. Sir Howard Stringer, Sony chief executive, is expected to deliver a speech that says 3D technology is on the verge of breaking into the mass market. The German tradeshow runs from September 4-9.

Sir Howard is also expected to announce that Sony will provide compatibility for 3D technology on its Bravia television sets, Vaio laptops, Playstation3 games consoles and Blu-Ray disc players.

The Sony announcement will buoy the expansion of 3D TV and spread the technology further than the very cinema focussed roll-out. The news will also be welcomed by British Sky Broadcasting (BSykB) which had already announced a 3D satellite channel and will be expecting the hardware required to view this channel to hit the market.

Many major TV manufacturers, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Panasonic, have said they will also release 3D products, seeing the technology as a potential boost to the struggling TV market.

Sony is expected to use "active shutter" technology, rather than the polarisation technique used to make 3D films. The polarisation technique is more suitable for a cinema audience as it only works when viewers are at a certain angle to the screen. The "shutter" technology uses signals to control shutters that darken one lens while the other remains transparent.

With several types of 3D technology available there are calls for the electronics industry to agree on one standard.