By Grant Shepherd
SYDNEY: Earlier today, Panasonic Australia unveiled one of the most eagerly anticipated pieces of technology, with an exclusive preview of its first 3D TV to Australian media and retailers.
With the first Panasonic 3D Viera Plasma TV just arriving in country, the team at Panasonic was keen to get the news out about why its product offering will set the benchmark in terms of 3D technology.
The model on show was a Panasonic 50-inch 3D Full HD Viera Plasma. It measures around 3 inches thick and is totally backward compatible. According to Pearce, it is expected that 3D will only be featured on screen sizes of 50 inches and above.
Paul Reid, director consumer electronics group, Panasonic Australia and Matt Pearce, group marketing manager – Viera, consumer electronics group, Panasonic Australia, both spoke about this release.
According to Reid, Plasma is the format to show off three-dimensional content, due to its superior speed.
“Our position is that plasma is the best for TV viewing and we will focus on this for our 3D TV offering,” he said.
“The quality of these 3D plasma TVs will still be that of our premium Viera models on the market, 3D will not reduce this at all.”
In the demo, Panasonic ran snippets on its new 3D Blu-ray player showing off various pieces of 3D content including shots of the Grand Canyon, sporting moments and a trailer for the animated film Astro Boy. The images must be viewed through Panasonic’s own battery-operated eyewear. The eyeware talks, via infrared, to the TV to generate the 3D imagery. Importantly, the 3D effect was retained when watching the screen from different angles.
In addition to the 3D TV, the 3D Blu-ray player and the eyeware, consumers must also purchase an HDMI 1.4 cable. This effectively makes the consumer transition to 3D a 4-product commitment. Part of Panasonic’s message at launch will be its end-to-end solution, with the supplier not only marketing all four necessities, but also a 3D camera for the enthusiast who wants to create their own content.
According to Pearce, consumers are ready to experience this technology in the home environment.
"At Panasonic we want to offer consumers a complete 3D solution,” said Pearce. “It has become very clear that consumers are ready for 3D.”
At this stage no official release date has been confirmed, but Reid did say that the first models will be out midyear after a media and trade release event to be staged in Melbourne in April. He also said that 3D glasses will come bundled with purchase but the quantity is still yet to be confirmed.
Additional reporting by Patrick Avenell