Samsung-Sony TV Competition Extended to 3D
by Kim Yoo-chul
Top-tier global TV makers are engaging in stiff competition to secure the leadership in the next-generation and probably more profitable 3D TV sector.
The sci-fi blockbuster "Avatar" and other recent titles have sparked massive interest in 3D films and prompted studios to plan a stampede of new movies, boding well for 3D TVs.
Manufacturers hope the 3D technology will be as big a boost for the industry as the transition to color televisions from black and white.
On the top front, there are the two long-time bitter rivals but ironically partners ? Samsung Electronics and Sony Corp. of Japan.
Attention is being focused on whether the hardware-driven Samsung to successfully deny fresh and bigger challenges from Sony in 3D televisions, analysts and officials say.
The Tokyo-based entertainment conglomerate, which relinquished as the TV leader position to the South Korean company since 2005, has been set an aggressive 3D TV sales target for 2010 at 2.5 million units.
The target is an increase of more than 20 percent than Samsung`s 2 million units. Analysts say Sony`s such upbeat target is based on the strengths of its comprehensive 3D-related software.
"We`ve already been acknowledged that. Samsung is tasked to continue the recent TV momentum after the soft-landing of last year`s LED-backlit LCD TVs. Sony hopes 3D TVs will be the right revenue source to revive its sagging TV momentum," a high-ranking Samsung executive told The Korea Times, Friday.
"The key questions are how manufacturers will effectively attract general consumers by promoting the sets for an initial boom-up. In contents, Samsung is in near to finalize the partnership talks," according to the executive.
It is working with online movie providers to stream 3D movies from the Internet to television sets, though Samsung spokesman declined to provide the names of service providers.
Samsung has just begun to roll out the 46- and 55-inch 3D TV models in the U.S. market, which is three months earlier than Sony`s June release.
The models are priced at $2,599 and $3,299, respectively. In terms of prices, Samsung`s models are attractive. Sony will sell a model with a 46-inch screen, including two pairs of 3D glasses for $3,875, media reports say.
"We are slightly worried about Sony`s moves and firm stance toward 3D TV business. But in TVs, we have better distribution channels, enhanced brand recognition and promotion capability," a senior official at Samsung`s marketing team said, asking not to be identified.
Samsung said everyone who buys one of its 2010 3D TVs and 3D Blu-ray player or home theater system will get a kit that includes viewing glasses and a 3D version of Monsters vs. Aliens, under a deal with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.
Howard Stringer, Sony`s chief executive, said there would be a 3D set in every home by the end of 2010.
Read the whole story here: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/bi … 62250.html
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