Panasonic says it will win home 3D race
by Ian Campbell
PANASONIC CLAIMS it will be first across the line with a 3D home entertainment system that it plans to launch in late spring, although it could be a photo-finish, as Sony is working to similar timelines.
At an event in Munich this week, Panasonic unveiled new products spearheaded by the VT20, a full HD, 3D plasma TV, initially available in 50 and 65-inch screen sizes, bundled with two pairs of active shutter glasses.
The DMP-BDT300 3D Blu-ray player will also go on sale supported by around 15 3D Hollywood titles, expected to increase to over 30 by year-end. Other 3D content will include an as yet unlaunched dedicated Sky channel, although the launch date is still to be confirmed, and 3D games now in development.
Sony will launch 3D LCD TVs and Blu-ray disc players, and upgrades to some existing Blu-ray decks and PS3s, to make them 3D-compatible.
No prices were announced by Panasonic, but only a modest premium is expected for the 3D functionality. According to Bill Foster, a trends analyst with Futuresource Consulting, the 3D chips only cost around $20 (€15). He expects active shutter glasses to hit a $99 (€73) price point.
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