To clear hurdle Panasonic shrinks 3D plasma

At CEATEC in Japan Panasonic unveiled a new plasma HDTV with stereoscopic 3D (S3D) capability.  What drew the eye of show attendees, including the folks at Engadget?   The new model is trimmed down, in display size and price, presumably, from the original S3D, from the CES demo model.

True, Panasonic’s 103-inch 3D television is more desirable, but Panny’s new 50-incher will be more affordable when it comes time to buy your first 3D set.
Panasonic’s 50-inch 3D plasma announced, seeks fine family home

It makes complete sense to launch a shrunken version in Japan, for several reasons:

  • space is a premium
  • history of early adoption
  • the current economy may not bear a pricy 100+ inch display

In the same timeframe, Panasonic also tempered expectations of S3D display’s adoption.  Due to the digital transition, many households have recently purchased one or more new HDTV displays and are not ready to trade up for a technology that is still emerging in S3D.

This approach differs significantly from Mitsubishi’s  S3D strategy.  Mitsubishi managed to include S3D technology in their product line, price it in accordingly, and hide the feature until unveiling it once the other components were mature for the market.

The price point and willingness to upgrade factors being equal, the speed of adoption will come down to the ease of putting together the whole system, beyond the display:

  • stereoscopic glasses, polarized or shutter
  • source delivery either OTA or Blu-Ray
  • high production value content

And the latter may be the biggest driving factor of all.  Fresh off the success of re-issuing Toy Story in S3D, Disney  has announced plans to keep the pipeline filled, not only with A Christmas Carol this holiday season, but Beauty and the Beast in 2011.  Coupled with the previously announced Blue Man Group S3D movie, HDTV owners may be ready to upgrade at that point.  Wouldn’t it be easier if the display was already in your home theater and you just had to buy the content?

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