|Photo credit: @Twentieth Century Fox France
|The success of James Cameron’s 3D film “Avatar” is stimulating demand for 3D content
Three-dimensional (3D) television sets are already
on sale in some countries, but it is in 2010 that major
electronics manufacturers are truly starting their
drive to expand the global market. An article in ITU
News of March 2010 described the technical issues
that must still be addressed, and a supply of 3D content
will be needed from broadcasters. Nevertheless,
3D television is expected to surge in popularity.
Samsung makes the first splash
On 10 March 2010, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd,
of the Republic of Korea, hosted a spectacle in New
York, United States, to mark the launch of its full
high-definition, 3D television sets with LED screens.
They are the first of their kind to be made available to
the public worldwide.
The event in the city of New York’s Times Square
included a performance by The Black Eyed Peas, and
Samsung said it will give customers 3D footage of
the hip-hop group’s world tour. Also present was
James Cameron, director of the 3D film “Avatar”,
whose success has stimulated demand for 3D content.
Samsung announced earlier that it has joined
forces with DreamWorks Animation to make 3D versions
of the highly popular “Shrek” series of films, in
addition to other projects.
LG in partnership with broadcasters
Also from the Republic of Korea, LG Electronics Inc
is a leading manufacturer of 3D television sets, and it
understands the need for content too. In December
2009 it signed an agreement with SkyLife, a digital
satellite broadcaster, to offer 3D programmes to
viewers in the Republic of Korea. LG described the
partnership as the first of its kind in the world between
an electronics maker and a broadcasting company.
It aims to introduce similar services in Europe
and North America, and on 9 March 2010 it announced
that it will introduce 3D LCD television sets
in India via a partnership with Indian media company,
Valuable Group, which will broadcast premier cricket
matches live in April.
Sony aims for market share
On 9 March too, Sony Corporation, of Japan, said
it aims to sell two-an-a-half million 3D television sets
by the end of March 2011, or about 10 per cent of its
total sales of televisions. The 3D sets are likely to go
on sale in June 2010 in Japan, and elsewhere soon
after. By then, Sony also expects to have updated the
software on its PlayStation 3 games console so it can
display 3D content.
The games market is seen as an important driver
of demand for 3D, as is the creation of more movies
in that format. In February 2010, a “Sony 3D
Technology Center” was opened at the Sony Pictures
Studios in Culver City, California, United States, aimed
at training professionals in 3D productions. Sony is
also setting its sights on selling 3D cameras and other
equipment, such as the outside broadcasting trucks
for 3D services that are now being developed.
Panasonic showcases the winter Olympics
At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver,
Canada, in February, a 3D theatre was set up by
Japanese firm Panasonic Corporation. It screened
high-definition 3D pictures of the games’ opening
ceremony and highlights of various events. In January
2010, Panasonic announced a new range of full
high-definition 3D-capable VIERA plasma television
sets, as well as a 3D-compatible Blu-ray disc player.
The company also said it has tied up with DIRECTV,
a digital satellite broadcaster in the United States
and Latin America, to offer pay-per-view 3D films,
sports videos and other programmes. In addition,
Panasonic announced on 12 February that it is taking
orders in the United States for what it says is the
world’s first professional quality, full high-definition
|Photo credit: AFP
Philips goes back to glasses
Royal Philips Electronics Inc, of the Netherlands,
originally developed a series of 3D television sets that
could be viewed without wearing special glasses.
However, to better prevent eye strain, the manufacturer
has decided to offer “active” glasses with its
new range of 3D LED Pro 9000 sets to be launched
in Europe in the summer of 2010. These accessories
are similar to those being sold by the other major
makers of 3D television sets. Many companies expect
consumers to pay extra to buy as many pairs of
glasses as their family needs — which could prove to
be equivalent to a significant proportion of the price
of the television set itself.