Panasonic said its 3-D TVs sold out in the United States in the first week, boosting the morale of those that hope that 3-D technology can extend to living rooms and help boost profits. TV makers are gambling on movies like James Cameron’s “Avatar,” and sports events like the 2010 FIFA World Cup, to increase demand for the televisions. However, a limited number of programs and the need to wear special eyewear may make consumers more hesitant to purchase a 3-D TV, reasons that have stopped previous attempts to push three-dimensional technology into homes. On the other hand, according to Samsung, improved technologies like enhanced glasses and better flat-panels with higher definition can help viewers watch 3-D TVs in a more comfortable fashion.
Panasonic was the first company to sell 3-D television sets in the United States at outlets of Best Buy, along with a pair of glasses and a 3-D Blu-Ray player for a total of $2,899.99 on March 10. Samsung followed suit soon afterwards, and Sony is planning to sell their own 3-D TVs starting June.
Global shipments of 3-D TVs may reach up to 4.2 million this year and more than triple to 12.9 million in 2011. Samsung plans to sell more than two million 3-D TVs this year, and Panasonic expects to sell as many as one million globally. LG Electronics is targeting sales of 400,000 sets in 2010. Last week, Sony announced that they planned to sell at least 25 million TVs in the year starting April, with 3-D sets accounting for about ten percent of the total.