Wednesday, 03 November 2010 19:29

Pana deals 3DTV package, Sony projects in 3D


Panasonic goes in for the big gun of a free 3D Avatar Home Theater pack including 3D Blu-Ray system with one of four new eligible 3DTV models while Sony launches its first ever 3D projector capable of projecting to screens 150+ inches!

The Christmas ranges and promotions from various consumer electronics companies are all falling into place as the end-of-year holiday shopping season gets into the first week of November, still 7 and a bit weeks away from December 25 and what will be the most important part of the year for retailers and manufacturers.

Panasonic is going in all guns blazing, introducing four new Neo Plasma 3DTVs that also happen to come with a free 3D Blu-ray home theatre system, a 'bonus pair of medium sized' 3D glasses and the Avatar movie in 3D on Blu-ray disc to a 'total value of AUD $1348 RRP'.

The company is also offering all existing Panasonic 3DTV purchasers, who bought before November 1 this year, a bonus free copy of the 3D Avatar movie as an early Christmas gift, with Panasonic 3DTV owners simply needing to visit Pana's website or call its Customer Care centre on 132 600 for a claim form.

Panasonic's new 3DTV customers have four sizes and price brackets to choose from. There's the largest 65-inch model at $5,999, the 58-inch at $4,499, the 54-inch at $3,999 and the 50-inch at $3,299.

Presumably as we get ever closer to Christmas, these RRP prices will be subject to bargaining by those wishing to get the best value for their money, but it shows the continuing evolution and competition in the 3DTV market, as LED, projection and plasma fight it out in the market, with laser 3DTVs will probably on the way too.

Naturally, Panasonic's Viera range features all the bells and whistles, from Skype integration to DLNA networking, USB HDD playback, Viera Cast which enables IPTV channels and Twitter, as SD card slot for viewing AVCHD videos and JPEG images, Viera Link which unifies all of Panaonic's AV equipment through one remote control and Plus7 content by Yahoo!7 'later this year'.

In addition, the 'bonus 3D eyewear has an Auto Power Off function which automatically turns the eyewear off if they are placed in a location outside the viewing range for 5 minutes, even if the TV remains switched on'.

To show its support for 3D content beyond the 3DTV deal and the free copy of Avatar in 3D for existing Panasonic 3DTV owners, Panasonic's Director of its Paul Reid, Director, Consumer Electronics Group, has spoken of supporting initiatives 'over the past few months' such as 'the first 3D AFL Grand Final broadcast and will continue to help drive consumer interest in this exciting emerging technology'.

On the other side of the 3D fence to LED and Plasma TVs is the world of projection. Sony's new Full HD 3D home projector, predictably coming with an alphabet soup of a model number, is the VPL-VW90ES, and unlike Panasonic's 3DTVs which are available now, Sony's 3DTV projector is coming in December.

Projections about Sony's 3D projector are projected over on page two, please read on!

Sony naturally says its new 3D projector is the 'perfect Christmas present for home cinema buffs and gamers', but at $9999, you'll want to have been a very good boy or girl for Santa - and your own bank balance - to be so generous.

Promising a vibrant, bright 3D picture to satisfy 'what 3D connoisseurs demand', Sony says the projector combines its 'established SXRD panel expertise with Frame Sequential 3D technology', which is 'the same technology used in 3D BRAVIA televisions.'

Speaking in the lofty global and visionary tones that major electronics manufacturers like to speak in, Jason Lee, the product manager for projectors at Sony Australia and New Zealand says 'The launch of our first Full HD 3D home projector marks the latest step in Sony realising its 3D World vision.

From Sony 3D broadcast cameras capturing live events and the latest Hollywood blockbusters, to Blu-ray 3D movies and PlayStation3 games, Sony now brings 3D into your lounge room on a home cinema scale.'

Sony says the projector is built around its' 'renowned' and 'cinema-quality SXRD panel technology and display system' to deliver 'a smooth, film-like display with vivid colours and ultra-wide dynamic contrast ratio of 150,000:1.'

Inside are 'three separate SXRD panels and new optical engine, with Advanced Iris3 technology, combine to give an unparalleled performance, with exceptional detail in every frame.'

Additionally, the projector is 'sleek', with a 'highly effective cooling system means that fan noise is kept to a whisper quiet 20 decibels', with lens adjustments able to be made after installation with 'the remote control to perfect the picture quality'.

In addition, Sony's 3D projector can 'convert 2D images into realistic 3D' and that 'using Sony's advanced real-time technique for converting 2D source material via HDMI, Blu-ray, DVD, HD TV broadcasts and digital still pictures can be transformed into 3D.'

Sony also reminds consumers its 3D Blu-ray Home Theatre System is also separately available, and aside from the obvious accessories of extra 3D glasses available to add to the two separate pairs that come with the 3D projector as standard, Sony's projector is also able to make use of an optional extra transmitter.

This device 'allows 3D pictures to be delivered to screens over 150 inches', which is in addition to the 'built-in transmitter [which] covers a screen up to approximately 150 inches', something that requires a 'seating position approximately 5m from the screen' - meaning screens larger than 150 metres will mean sitting back even further should you be lucky enough to have so much spare space in your adobe!

So, even though the true flood of 3D content is yet to come, more movies are being made in 3D, more cameras are being made in 3D, even still cameras are now available in 3D, and 3D gaming is a reality for many, with several laptops now sporting 3D displays and separate desktop PC sized screens also available.

This time, the 3D revolution seems here to stay, even if it still might take many a year, two or more before they jump on the 3D bandwagon, with plenty of fantastic 3D gear available for those who want it today, from the lower end right through to the top level.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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