Sony, RealD partnering for home 3D

Companies hope to boost technology from fledgling status

Sony and RealD will partner on home 3D.

Timed to coincide with next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the announcement comes as Sony Electronics begins its market rollout of the first 3D-capable TV sets. RealD has been a key vendor of 3D systems to movie-theater operators around the world as exhibitors aggressively outfit thousands of digital movie screens for extra-dimensional capability.

Film distributors and exhibs see 3D cinema as vital to efforts to distinguish the theatrical moviegoing experience from increasingly sophisticated home-entertainment systems. Boxoffice has been boosted by premium ticket charges from 3D, and most believe that Hollywood can ride that extra-dimensional gravy train for at least a few years before consumers embrace home 3D in earnest.

But the Sony-RealD pact should help the technology eventually graduate from fledgling status. Sony will license RealD's stereoscopic technology and eyewear as the companies seek to boost consumer interest in home 3D.

"This collaboration enables the distribution of high-quality 3D content to Sony displays through the existing HD infrastructure, a vital element to the widespread adoption of 3D in the home," RealD chief Michael Lewis said.

Sony will use the technology in its Bravia line of TV sets.