Friday, May 7, 2010

3D Technology Unveiled

After all the hype prompted by the success of Avatar in cinemas and the
flood of 3D technology unveiled at trade shows like CES 2010, 3D TV is
finally becoming a reality in living rooms. All the major players are well
and truly on the 3D bandwagon and they’re set to make a lot of noise to
try and entice consumers on board too. To help you navigate the 3D waters
as various companies spruik their particular brand of 3D technology we’ve
taken a look at what's on offer, when it will hit shelves and how much it
will cost.

Panasonic debuted the world’s first 3D Full HD Plasma Home Theater System
at CEATAC Japan in 2008 and is aiming to sell the world’s first Full HD
3D (FHD3D) home theater system through a partnership with US retailer Best
Buy. The system will consist of a 50-inch Panasonic VT25 plasma 3D TV, 3D
capable DMP-BDT350 Blu-ray player and one pair of active shutter glasses.
The retailer will be selling the system at a launch event at the Union
Square Best Buy in Manhattan on March 10 with plans for several hundred
Best Buy stores to have VT25 displays in the near future.

Panasonic’s VT25 series are FHD3D sets that provide full 1080p resolution
to both the left and right eye and will be available in four screen sizes
ranging from 50- to 65-inches.

The system is expected to sell for around US$3,000, while a 50-inch VT25 on
its own is expected to cost around US$2,500. These prices represent a
discount of close to 50 percent compared to Japanese prices recently
announced by Panasonic and is designed to help the company achieve its
target of selling one million 3DTVs worldwide this year.


In a sign that 3D TVs will be a major battleground for manufacturers this
year Samsung also announced its 3D capable C7000, C8000 and C9000 Series
LED TVs will also be hitting store shelves in the US from this month. The
rollout will begin with 46- and 55-inch models from the C7000 Series,
followed by 46- and 55-inch models from the C8000 and C9000 Series
appearing in April. May will see the availability of the 40-inch C7000
model, while the biggest and best 65-inch C9000 Series will be the last to
arrive in July.

Samsung also plans to be the first to bring 3D TVs to the UK and other
countries in Europe with models appearing in stores sometime this month in
presumably roughly the same order as the US releases.

Prices range from US$2,000 to $3,300 for the C7000 Series, US$2,800 to
$5,000 for the C8000’s, and US$6,000 to $7,000 for the C9000 Series.
Samsung won’t be bundling any glasses with their 3D TVs, but has
announced it will include a starter kit consisting of a 3D Blu-ray Disc of
Monsters vs. Aliens and two pairs of Samsung 3D active shutter glasses with
the purchase of a Samsung 3D-ready HDTV and Blu-ray player from March 21.

For those looking for a cheaper option Samsung is also releasing a non-LED
LCD TV in the form of the 46-inch 750 Series, which will be available from
May for US$1,700.

Although Samsung has been pushing its LED LCD TVs the company hasn’t
abandoned plasma with six of the eight models in the company’s 2010
Ultra-Slim Plasma HDTV line being 3D-enabled. The 7000 and 8000 Series will
both feature 50-, 58- and 63-inch screen sizes and will range in price from
US$1,800 to $3,500 for the 7000 Series and US$2,100 to $3,800 for the 8000.
All models and sizes are due to be available this May.

Along with the ability to display 3D content from a 3D capable Blu-ray
player all of Samsung’s 3D HDTVs feature a built-in 3D processor that is
capable of rendering 2D content into 3D in real time – although just how
well this compares to native 3D content remains to be seen.

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