Skip to main content

Vending machines stocked with $70 3D glasses added to theaters


Being unveiled at theaters in San Diego and Huntington Beach this week, Marchon3D is rolling out vending machines that dispense designer 3D glasses at UltraStar Cinemas and Cinemark theaters. Using a credit card at the self-service vending machines, patrons of the theater can purchase 3D eyewear starting at $22 and ranging up to $70 for the limited edition models. While designed for RealD 3D equipped movie theaters, the glasses will also work with passive laptops, gaming consoles and high definition televisions. Similar to movie theater kiosks that dispense tickets, the vending machines use touch panels to select and pay for the various models of 3D glasses.

3d-designer-glassesWhile the theaters are continuing to pass out free sets of glasses for 3D showings, Marchon3D representatives believe that customers want to pay a premium for the EX3D-branded glasses in different styles, colors and shapes. Marchon3D is also attempting to cater to customers wearing prescription lenses with clip-on models of the 3D glasses as well as frames that slide over the prescription lenses. The vending machines will be unveiled at two launch events, Huntington Beach on August 12 and San Diego on August 13. Marchon3D didn’t mention any further expansion of the vending machines at this time. 

According to the official company website, Marchon3D claims that the glasses are superior due to a “patented lens process” that provides “excellent optics”, “minimal distracting lens reflections” and “vivid colors”. However, there’s no specific comparison to standard issue, free models of 3D glasses provided by the theater. Passive 3D glasses can be found on Amazon for as inexpensive as $2 and models in various colors or styles can be purchased for around $10 from the online retailer.

Earlier this month, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Xpand 3D announced a partnership to create a standardized version of active 3D glasses that will work on various brands of displays as well as 3D-equipped theaters.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Flacy
By day, I'm the content and social media manager for High-Def Digest, Steve's Digicams and The CheckOut on Ben's Bargains…
More than half of new HDTV owners are shunning 3D

According to new research from Retrevo, approximately 55 percent of people that are planning on purchasing a HDTV during 2012 aren't interested in paying for a model capable of 3D. Twenty-three percent are interested in buying a 3DTV if the price difference compared to a regular HDTV is small and 22 percent of people planning on purchasing a new HDTV will pay for a 3D model despite the increased cost. Between the months of July 2010 and July 2011, the average premium cost of a 3DTV over a regular HDTV decreased by about $550. While consumers are likely to see even deeper cuts during Black Friday and the shopping season, the premium cost of a 3DTV is still $400 greater than a regular HDTV.
When asked for a reason beyond cost for avoiding a 3DTV purchase, 40 percent of respondents sited the continued lack of 3D programming on prime time television and 30 percent of the group pointed to wearing 3D glasses as the main problem. The sample size for this survey was 1,000 people and the group was spread across various income levels, ages and locations within the United States. When asked if any HDTV purchase was planned in 2012, only 33 percent of the group responded in the affirmative. When asked what the difference between passive and active 3D sets, three-fourths of the group had no idea. Passive glasses are typically found at movie theaters while active glasses have a heavier build and actively sync to the television. 
Both Panasonic and Sony have suffered due to the lack of consumer interest for 3D televisions. Panasonic recently reported a 5.4 billion dollar loss attributed partly to the lack of television sales and Sony also suffered a 1.2 billion dollar loss over the last year. The television portion of Sony's business is bleeding money to the tune of $6 billion over the last seven years and Sony is looking into restructuring that portion of the business. Sony also had to recall 1.6 million Bravia flat-panel TVs earlier this year due to a faulty component that may melt the television.

Read more
LG unveils the LW9800, first passive 3D TV to earn THX certification
lg unveils the lw9800 first passive 3d tv to earn thx certification

LG chose the first day of CEDIA 2011 to announce the release of its new top-of-the-line display, the 55LW9800. The 55-inch LED backlit, passive 3D TV retails for a fairly hefty $3,799 and is available now.
LG is quick to point out that this new model is the first passive 3D TV to earn THX certification, proving it passed crucial gamma, luminance and color temperature benchmarks. In total, over 400 individual tests were administered and passed for the set to earn both 3D and 2D certification.
More interesting to us than the THX badge, however, is the fact that LG has chosen to use an LED backlighting array with "over 200 addressable sectors" that, in addition to facilitating a 1.08-inch deep cabinet,  suggests that the set's local dimming prowess may be on par with that of the Sony XBR-HX929 that we tested earlier this year. This indicates to us that the performance of the TV should be quite good, but we'll report back more definitely after we get a closer look on the show floor tomorrow.
The new model sports LG's recently expanded Smart TV online content package, which now includes access to Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and MOG. Packed in the box will be four free pair of LG's passive 3D glasses.
We'll be checking out the new 55LW9800 on the show floor tomorrow and will be sure to bring you our initial impressions. We're curious to see how sharp the 3D images are, but just as  interested in checking out how uniform the backlighting is.

Read more
Toshiba ditching 3D glasses with new glasses-free 3D HDTV

Discussed in a presentation at the IFA show in Berlin, Toshiba is diving headfirst in glasses-free technology with a 55-inch flat-panel high definition television. The Toshiba 55LZ2 doesn't require any glasses to view images in 3D and sends separate images into each eye using a technology called "lenticular lenslets". In order to accommodate multiple viewers (up to nine), the television uses head-tracking technology to identify faces and direct different images to all the eyes in the room via a built-in camera. In addition, the television is four times the resolution of 1080p at an astounding 3840 by 2160 pixel resolution, otherwise known at Quad-HD.  The television also offers built-in Wi-Fi as well as 2D to 3D conversion.
Unfortunately, this technology isn't priced for the mainstream market just yet. The television is scheduled to launch in the UK for a steep price of about $8000 Euros (a bit over $11,000 in the United States). Toshibs has already launched glasses-free 3D televisions in Japan, but consumers have been slow to purchase the displays due to massive prices for small screens. For instance, the Toshiba 12GL1, a 12-inch sold for about $1400 with a 20-inch version of the set selling for double that price. While Toshiba is getting a head start on previewing glasses-free displays, it will likely be years until costs are driven down for the average consumer electronics consumer.
In addition to the high-tech 3D display and massive resolution, the Toshiba 55ZL2 has many similar features to Toshiba's currently lineup of displays. The high definition television also includes auto-calibration functionality for getting an accurate 3D image, an integrated Freeview HD tuner, USB-HDD recording and DLNA compatibility.  Using the Wi-Fi connection or direct wired Ethernet port, consumers can also access the Toshiba Places platform to utilize apps for YouTube, Cartoon Network, the BBC iPlayer, Dailymotion, Viewster and Woomi. 

Read more