September 30, 2009

Panasonic Unveils 50-Inch 3D TV

Panasonic Corp. unveiled a 50-inch high-definition 3D plasma TV on Monday, along with glasses that make images appear as if you can reach out and touch them.

The company demonstrated the new TV at its corporate office in Osaka, showing F1 racecars speeding by viewers and gymnasts flipping toward the audience.

"We've introduced concrete plans to deliver the first 3D into people's homes. It won't disappoint," Yoshiiku Miyata, the company's managing executive officer responsible for audiovisual products, told Reuters.

While Miyata did not disclose a precise release date, or say how much the new TV would cost, he told Reuters that the company hopes they will hit store shelves sometime next year.

Panasonic's main rival, electronics maker Sony Corp., announced earlier this month that it also plans to launch 3D TVs next year.

The technology behind Panasonic's new TV works by tricking the brain into seeing 3D as high-speed shutters in the glasses.  This works in sync with the TV to provide a double-layered image at twice the speed of conventional TV.

"When the TV is showing the left image, the shutter closes the right eye so people can see only the left image," said Keisuke Suetsugi, Panasonic's manager in charge of high quality AV development.

"And the next moment, when the TV is showing the right image, the shutter glass is covering the left," he told Reuters.

Panasonic hopes its smaller, 50-inch model will be a hit with those with home theatres, and that the more living-room friendly size will appeal to those looking for a smaller model than the 103-inch TV the company debuted last October. 

The new 50-inch model will be publicly displayed at the CEATEC Japan tech show Oct 6-10.

Last August Panasonic announced it would partner with Twentieth Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment in the making of director James Cameron's new 3D film "Avatar," set to hit theatres in December.


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