Jumping Right Off the Screen: 3D Televisions Coming Soon
Nearly every major electronics company is now competing to develop the next generation of modern 3D TVs. The latest and greatest prototypes are appearing at big technology fairs, like the IFA in Berlin this past September.
Sure, 3D movies with those iconically goofy glasses have been commonplace since the 1950s, but now the industry that induced us to get rid of our old TVs in favor of plasmas and flatscreens is giving us another reason to shell out more money to buy new TVs again when they become available to consumers.
Each company is unveiling a slightly different version of 3D TVs as part of their strategy to corner the market. Philips
has created their WOWvx
, which will not require viewers to wear special glasses but places tiny lenses over each of the TV's pixels, effectively mimicking the the same technology. Viewers can sit at a 120 degree angle from the screen and still see the same quality of picture.
Sharp's 3D TV is plasma and will require that viewers sit perfectly still directly in front of the screen. Sony, Samsung and LG are all in the process of developing their unique versions of the technology too.
will require the user to wear glasses but is teaming up with Hollywood to promote James Cameron's December release of Avatar
in 3D, hoping the marketing strategy will raise consumer awareness of their product. This may be a smart move, because in 2010, Hollywood plans to release about 30 new movies in 3D, and will continue to convert past films
into three dimensions too.
At the earliest, the first of the 3D TVs will be for sale next year. Some early estimates price them in the $25,000 range, though Philips reportedly will be able to sell their 20" for $3,000 and their 42" for $12,000. Still, these price points mean that the TVs will first be marketed to businesses, like hotels and casinos, until the cost can be brought down to a consumer-friendly level.