Panasonic has come out with all-guns-blazing in an attempt to convince consumers that they should invest in 3D this year.
At the company's annual product launch – this year held in Munich, Germany – new Lumix cameras, camcorders and AV systems were left in the shadow of Panasonic's new 3D offerings.
The actual product announcements came yesterday before the event started. 13 new ranges of plasma and LCD TVs were launched, including new 3D-ready Viera VT20-series PDP TVs, and many other AV products – the biggest being the DMP-BDT300 3D Blu-ray player.
3D was always going to be a big thing for Panasonic at this show, but it was surprising to all who attended exactly how much time was spent going over the 3D products and the technologies inside them, at the expense of other product ranges.
This is especially puzzling when you consider that the number of 3D-ready products Panasonic has actually launched totals just three – two VT20 50 and 65-inch 3D TVs, and the BDT300 3D Blu-ray player. That's three products amidst dozens of other TVs, Blu-ray players and other AV products, cameras and camcorders.
Pushing 3D TV
In fact, instead of going over some of these other new products, Panasonic chose to further ram the 3D message home by wheeling out a French broadcasting exec, who made a complete hash of extolling the virtues of new 3D broadcasting services from the likes of Sky in the UK and Orange in France.
Panasonic, of course, has more than a small interest in seeing to it that 3D in the home catches on.
It's one of the key members of the Blu-ray Disc Association, and is also heavily involved with the authoring of Blu-ray discs themselves – the company has close ties with some of the biggest publishers and studios.
And despite Panasonic's conviction that 2010 is the year of 3D, the reaction among the vast number of European journalists present was muted.
The AV industry, it seems, is going to have a hard job convincing even the most staunch AV enthusiasts that 3D on the small screen is a winning idea. Winning the hearts and minds of Joe Public is going to be another job entirely - and judging from the mood at the event, the AV press is not going to bend over backwards to do the job for them.
2010 is certainly going to be a very interesting year in AV.
Expect to see hundreds of millions of marketing pounds spent across the board in an attempt to convert you to the ways of 3D. Just how successful such campaigns are, will be entirely up to… you.
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