No matter how much you spend, there just doesn't seem to be any clear way to future-proof your home theatre system. You can have the biggest HD screen on the block, but suddenly, if it can't do 3D, it's all but obsolete. With the rush of 3D content that's under development in the gaming, TV and cinema worlds, 3D is set to become the new HD within the next couple of years - and with that in mind, Optoma has pulled the covers off its HD66 digital projector at CES - a US$699 home theatre projector capable of showing 720p content in 3D with a max image size around 300".
No matter what you think of this generation's constant need for entertainment, you can't help but be impressed by how quickly technology responds to every shift in the market. 3D was dead as a doornail 30 years ago, written off as cheesy rubbish, but it has come back with a vengeance in the last 12 months, and shows every sign of becoming virtually ubiquitous, with moviemakers, game companies, TV stations, camcorder manufacturers and even porno producers rushing to add an extra dimension to every conceivable content stream.
Home theatre fans needn't fear that the 3D revolution will leave them behind, either - there are plenty of spending opportunities to come. CES 2010 is chock-full of 3D TV options, and this is one of the cooler devices we've seen so far: the Optoma HD66 digital projector.
So far it's only 720p-capable, but the image is bright and clear (2500 ANSI lumens, 4000:1 contrast ratio)and the 3D effect is great when viewed through active-shutter glasses. Max image size is 300" (minimum 23"), which will suit most lounge rooms. It's small and easily portable, and can accept most normal video inputs up to 1080p (HDTV, EDTV, SDTV, NTSC, PAL, SECAM). It's got a small speaker in it if you need to use it as a standalone unit, and comes with a remote.
Naturally, it only works with a 3D source, 3D content and active shutter 3D glasses - which are not included. That's annoying, because active shutter glasses are expensive - but then, it lets you choose your own 3D goggles, and has helped Optoma keep the price down to US$699. The HD66 is shipping now.