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3D TV Is Here

This week Samsung and Panasonic (shown here) announced that the next generation in consumer electronics is here -- 3D TV products. So are you ready to throw away your HD TV equipment and upgrade to the latest new thing?


Certainly 3D TV can look great -- as when you experience a basketball game shot from the corner of the court, and the players fast-break down for a dunk. But 3D is yet another new technology, with the usual issues of early products with high prices and limited content.

To start, you'll need to get new 3D TV with new display technology, plus a new 3D Blu-ray player to watch movies in 3D. (Access to 3D content should be improved over time with new 3D cable boxes and broadcast 3D digital TV receivers.)

But unlike earlier new technologies, 3D has an additional issue -- the glasses. Eyewear does not fit well with casual viewing, and yet also is not great for hosting a big party to watch the big game -- when you have to buy tens of pairs of glasses at $150 each, and then check that all the batteries are charged.

As a result, the consumer electronics industry recognizes that 3D TV will require an gradual ramp-up, much like the early adopter days of HDTV and DVD, with emphasis on event and sports programming to drive interest. Still the Consumer Electronic Association is optimistic -- projecting that by 2013 over a quarter of TV sets sold will be 3D TVs.

See my full article for One to One Magazine: CES: to 3D and Beyond (digital edition).

See my Consumer HDTV Gallery for more on 3D TV technology and deployment.

Find the Samsung 55” LED 7000 Series 3D TV on Amazon.com

The new products:

Samsung announced its new lines of 3D LED TVs going on sale this month, plus LCD and Plasma models, 3D Blu-ray player, and 3D home theater system.

Samsung has also expanded its partnership with DreamWorks with a 3D Starter Kit that includes two pairs of Samsung 3D active glasses and the DreamWorks 3D Blu-ray title, Monsters Vs. Aliens.

You also can visit the Samsung 3D Cube outside The Samsung Experience at Columbus Circle in New York City -- This is a mega screen display composed of 36 55” LED 7000 Series 3D LED TVs.

And Panasonic is selling its Full HD 3D capable VIERA Plasma HDTVs and 3D Blu-ray Disc at select Best Buy stores.

The full Panasonic 3D Home Theater System $2899, including the 50-inch VIERA VT20 Plasma 3D HDTV ($2,499), Panasonic 3D Active Shutter Lens Eyewear ($149), and BDT300 3D Blu-ray Disc Player ($399).

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