Mitsubishi offers kit to convert existing HDTVs to 3-D

Mitsubishi will offer customers of its existing DLP TV sets an adapter kit that will allow them to watch 3-D. The first models compatible with 3-D were manufactured in 2007 — three years earlier than many 3-D competitors.

The company said customers can now preorder the Mitsubishi 3DC-1000 3D HDTV Starter Pack. It includes everything needed besides a 3-D source to watch 3-D on an existing DLP TV. is selling the kit online.

The Mitsubishi kit includes two pairs of active-shutter glasses, an emitter for 3-D glasses, a 3-D signal adapter, an HDMI cable and a Disney 3-D Blu-ray showcase disc. The user plugs the transmitter into the HDTV’s VESA sync port and switches the TV set to the 3-D mode to begin watching. The shipping date of the 3-D kit was not announced.

Nick Norton, Mitsubishi’s senior marketing manager, said Mitsubishi 3-D TVs use a technology called “checkerboard” to display 3-D content in split resolution. This means half of the 1080p signal is dedicated to the right eye and half to the left eye. It’s not as detailed as the new full-HD 3-D systems from Panasonic and Samsung, which can support full 1080p resolution to each eye from a compatible source (e.g., Blu-ray 3-D), but images on the Mitsubishi 3-D-enabled DLP TVs are still crisp and detailed.

The Mitsubishi 3-D-ready TV sets also feature DLP Link, a transmitter that emits through the TV screen and syncs with the 3-D glasses. “Pretty much all 3-D eyewear will work with our 3-D TVs,” Norton said.

Representatives of Samsung said at a recent press briefing that they expect the Mitsubishi converter box to work with Samsung’s own 2008 and 2009 models of 3-D-ready DLP and plasma TVs, which supported the early 3-D content in a similar fashion. In this case, users need to buy the glasses separately.

The kit is expected to work with more than 30 models of Mitsubishi TV sets.