Best Buy and Panasonic announced plans to launch a new push for 3DTVs in the living room, and will introduce new displays meant to draw attention to 3DTVs.
The new Panasonic 3DTVs will mark their arrival in the United States on Wednesday, with Best Buy agreeing to show a 3D DVD clip of scenes from select movies in retail store locations.
The first batch of interactive ads will be shown at 300 Best Buy locations spread across the U.S., with the number of demo sites expected to eclipse 1,000 by the end of the year. The 3D video will be shown on the Panasonic TC-P50VT20 plasma 3D HDTV using the DMP-BD350 3D Blu-ray player.
Not surprisingly, Best Buy shoppers will have to wear a pair of custom glasses to see the full benefit of 3D imagery.
The Japanese electronics company hopes to sell 1 million 3DTVs by fiscal March 31, 2011, and hopes 3DTV sales will help push the company’s TV unit into profitability again. It will also offer American consumers a discount on select models — the 50-inch Panasonic 3DTV will retail for $2,500. The same model in Japan currently costs approximately $4,800.
Panasonic has been one of the strongest supporters of 3D technology – the company recently opened a 3D Blu-ray authoring facility in Hollywood last month – and is rushing to launch 3D HDTVs and 3D Blu-ray players. Blu-ray 3D specifications have also been finalized, with movie studios anxiously awaiting for the home 3D arena to develop.
Analysts expect 3DTV sales to increase from around 200,000 units sold in 2008 up to 1.2 million by the end of 2010. That number is expected to increase further once consumers become more familiar with the growing technology. Samsung, Sony and other 3DTV manufacturers also will play a pivotal role in promoting 3D in the future.