Kiwi production houses first to snap up 3D TVs

With the success of Avatar, the start of the 3D broadcasting era for sporting events and a steady increase in the amount of 3D content being created, 3D is all the rage at the moment, leading some to conclude that the new goggle boxes are destined to be the next must-have for couch lovers this year. At present, however, it’s visual effects houses and production studios doing the buying in Australasia.

At the massive Consumer Electronics show (CES) held recently in Las Vegas all the hype centred on 3D. JVC has seen demand for its commercially released HD 3D LCD screens grow significantly in recent months in Australasia and Gencom Technology sales specialist Lyndsey Thompso, who resells JVC screens, has sold two in New Zealand in the last few weeks, one to Digipost and one to Park Road Post.

“Both are being used in review of stereo shoots for 3D film production and 3D animation. Clients are happy with them and I believe most of the larger post houses will purchase them over the next twelve months and the Rugby World Cup will drive some corporate sales too.”

JVC Pro national sales and marketing manager Australia/NZ Noel Oakes thinks there will be a significant uptake in of 3D LCD screens in people’s living rooms throughout this year as more 3D content becomes available (25 games will be broadcast in 3D at the Soccer World Cup, the next Rugby World Cup will be in 3D and the 2012 Olympics are expected to follow suit).

More than twenty 3D movies were developed by Hollywood in 2009 following the establishment of several full-scale 3D movie production and distribution companies in 2008.  But Kiwi broadcasters say 3D programming is a long way away because it’s so expensive to produce and broadcasting requires the use of much more bandwidth.

Sky TV spokesman Tony O’Brien told Stuff.co.nz the technology isn’t likely to appear in New Zealand homes for another four or five years, particularly if they’ve just forked out for HD televisions.

It’s still unclear how much the 3D TVs will cost when they’re released in New Zealand as early as April, but Samsung and Mitsubishi 3D TVs were on offer at CES for between US$1,000 and US$2,800, depending on functionality.

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