3D TV still has a long road to reach market

10:01, January 19, 2010      

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The success of the movie Avatar has brought with it a frenzy for 3D entertainment programs and attracted multinational and Chinese TV manufacturers to speed up the release of 3D television products, but analysts said it will take at least three years for the new technology to reach Chinese households.

Global electronics giants Sony and Samsung, Chinese TV manufacturers TCL and Sichuan Changhong Electric announced they would release 3D TV product lines in the Chinese market in 2010.

Ding Guohui, communication manager of Sony China, confirmed Monday the company will release 3D TV products in its markets around the world this year, including China, but did not disclose the exact date.

Xu Ming, chief manager of Changhong's new media business, said the company will release 3D Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) TVs and 3D Plasma Display Panel (PDP) TVs ranging in size from 46 to 58 inches sometime this year, without giving the exact dates.

TV manufacturers including China's Hisense and South Korea's LG exhibited 3D TV products at the 2010 International CES, the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow, held in Las Vegas from January 7-10.

"We haven't set a timetable to make the sample commercially, as the industry chain for 3D TV has not been established in China," said Yu Haitao, a Hisense spokesman Monday.

Yu said currently there is not a lot of content designed for 3D TV.

"Chinese TV stations and production companies are focusing on producing high definition programs, and have no immediate need to follow the pace of 3D programs due to limited audience," he said.

"In the short term, TV manufacturers are releasing 3D TV products more as a show than to make them a commercial success," said Zhang Bing, director of China Market Research at DisplaySearch, a US-based research company.

"As far as I can see, 3D TV will become popular in three to five years," he said.

DisplaySearch expected global sales of 3D TV to reach 1.2 million in 2010, amounting to $1.1 billion in revenue, with sales rising to 15.6 million in 2013.

Zhang said high prices, limited 3D TV programs, lack of standardization and consumers' viewing habits are the main barriers for the popularization of 3D TV sets.

"I would prefer to watch 3D TV programs at home without wearing special glasses. Then I could share the programs with my friends or families," said Chen Gensi, a 26-year-old Beijing resident who is a fan of "Avatar" and other 3D movies.

Chen said he won't hurry to buy a 3D TV set. "I will wait for an affordable price and more 3D programs such as sports games or live shows," he said.

"The China Electronics Standardization Institute is mulling a national standard for 3D TV. Once the standard is established, TV manufacturers and content providers will follow up more quickly," said Tang Bin, chairman of the China 3D Industry Association.

Source: Global Times

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