3D is still an extremely new format for the home. The surprising thing is that despite this, there is already a large range of 3D TVs available, and more on the way. In fact, there are many more 3D TVs available than actual 3D movies to watch on Blu-ray 3D!
The four brands into the market so far are Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG. Sony and LG models are all LCD. Panasonic models are all plasma and Samsung offers both technologies. All four brands also have matching Blu-ray players and home theatre systems which support Blu-ray 3D.
All four brands support the new Blu-ray 3D video format, of course. And all support broadcast 3D in the side-by-side and up-down formats. Consequently, they will also work with material you have PVR’d, or recorded from a Foxtel 3D broadcast.
The Sony and Samsung models also have a kind of pseudo-3D mode, in which they convert regular 2D material to 3D on the fly. The results with these can be effective, but are rather variable. Neither the LG nor Panasonic TVs have this function, although in the US, Panasonic markets two Viera GT25 series 3D plasma televisions (in 42 and 50 inch sizes) that integrate 2D-to-3D conversion circuitry.
Samsung’s Series 9 is features 3D support.
Samsung has six LED 3D TVs in its 7, 8 and 9 Series, ranging from 40 inch (102cm) to 55 inch (140cm) in size, and it also has three plasma models from its 7 Series, ranging from 50 inch (127cm) to a massive 63 inches (160cm).
Sony is all LCD, of course. Its two fully 3D models are in the LX900 series and are both large at 52 inches (132cm) and 60 inches (152cm), but it has two other Series – the HX800 and HX900 Series – that are upgradeable to 3D with optional glasses and 3D transmitter. These have a total of five models from
40 inches (102cm) to 55 inches (140cm).
LG has two series (LX6500 and LX9500) with a total of five models ranging from 42 inches (107cm) to 55 inches (140cm).
Panasonic has one 50 inch (127cm) plasma model out now, to be followed in October and November by three more: 54 inches (137cm), 58 inches (147cm), and the mother of them all at 65 inches (165cm). This was displayed at an industry expo in Sydney in August.
Just months after the arrival of the first 3D products, LCD, plasma and LED-type televisions, Blu-ray players and home theatre in box systems are available to support 3D.
You may be lucky to find some Panasonic and Samsung TVs with free Blu-ray 3D discs bundled (Coraline and Ice Age 3 for the Panasonic, and Monsters vs Aliens for the Samsung), but these promotions have essentially finished. Sony’s promotion is by redemption for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3D and Deep Sea 3D, and requires online registration by 30 September this year.
Smaller TV brands such as Hisense and Soniq have said they expect to market 3D models by the end of the year or early-2011.