Long the dream of television fans, the world’s first high-definition TV capable of projecting three-dimensional images will be released in Japan on April 23.
Home electronics companies have been focusing their recent efforts on creating a home-use 3D TV, but Panasonic has beaten its rivals to a launch date.
The 3D systems are based on the company’s existing Viera plasma display panels, enabling the company to keep the price increase down to just Y70,000.
The 50-inch screen is expected to cost around Y430,000 (â‚¬3,476), while the 54-inch version will retail for Y530,000 (â‚¬4,285).
The new screens are being released in conjunction with a range of Diga Blu-ray disk players that are capable of recording and playing back 3D images.
All are expected to be available in overseas markets a short while after their launch in Japan.
Announcing the launch at a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, Shiro Nishiguchi, head of Panasonic’s Digital AVC Marketing Division, said, “With a resolve to start a sort of 3D revolution, we have set prices for the new products that consumer will find easy to pay.”
The decision to limit the price increase comes at a time when the market for conventional flat-screen televisions is experiencing sharp price falls due to the stiff competition and will put the onus on Panasonic’s main rivals to follow suit.
Sony and Sharp are known to be investing similarly heavily in next-generation TV technology, driven in part by a boom in the number of 3D titles that are available, such as James Cameron’s recently released Avatar.
Panasonic says its new line of TVs enables viewers to “feel” a movie as opposed to simply “watching” it, and the company’s developers managed to get around the long-standing problem of “double images” — created when the dual images of an object on the screen overlap — through patented technology that controls light emissions.
Viewers are also equipped with active shutter glasses, which are battery-powered and rapidly block out each lens alternately to produce the 3D effect.
The major Hollywood studios have already been impressed with the technology and signed up to produce 3D films, including Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros.
Industry analysts expect 2010 to be the breakthrough year for 3D video technology as it becomes available for home use.
An estimated 1.2 million units will be sold this year, according to research unit DisplaySearch, but that figure will rocket to 15 million units in 2013.
Source: AFPrelaxnews, 2010