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First review of 3D television

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« on: February 20, 2010, 07:13:27 am »

First review of 3D television

IF YOU were thinking about heading out and buying that new flatscreen this weekend you may want to hold off for a couple of months.

Panasonic allowed The Daily Telegraph to have the first look at 3D TV in Australia - a 127cm (50 inch) Viera plasma model in the country for industry testing - and our reaction can be summed up in one word: Wow.

And the good news, according to Panasonic, is the first wave of 3D TVs due to hit the market mid-year will be "surprisingly affordable".

The panel offers 3D in full high definition but does require the viewer to wear battery-powered glasses to enjoy the full immersive effect.

For the demonstration we watched a number of clips including sports such as beach volleyball, baseball and basketball with the ball seemingly firing out from the screen.

Another video showed footage of the Grand Canyon which stretched into the distance as though we were standing on the edge looking in.

A section showing tropical fish swimming in and around a coral reef gave the illusion that the colourful creatures had broken free of the boundaries of the panel.

We also viewed scenes from the 3D animated film Astro Boy.

With the success of Avatar and the fact it has made most of its money from 3D screenings, it is clear the market is ready for the same experience at home.

Harvey Norman head of consumer electronics Dave Ackery said 3D TV would drive a whole new market.

"There's enough buzz around it now and enough information to get the usual cycle with the early adopters," Mr Ackery said.

"It's very exciting because the technology is quite good. The interesting thing from a pricing point of view is it's not going to be much of a premium to get the 3D experience."

Panasonic Australia director of consumer electronics Paul Reid said pricing was yet to be determined -- however it would be within the reach of everyday customers.

"Our intention is to bring 3D to the market at an affordable price and to make sure that the average Australian consumer can step up to 3D in an affordable way," he said. "We think consumers will find them affordable."

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