2010: Year of 3DTV?

Hannah Montana and U2 proved it. Chicken Little and UP! proved it. 3D movies are a big hit for Hollywood, and becoming a key part of the industry’s strategic plans. In spite of being available at far fewer cinema screens than traditional 2D movies, the 3D versions consistently pull in more revenue than their flat versions. Clearly, consumers are willing to pay extra to see a movie in 3D. And now we’ve started to see movie theaters experiment with showing live events — such as sports — in 3D for audiences.

It’s no wonder that companies think that the time is right to bring 3D technology into the home. There’s lots of action on this front, but two recent announcements have emphasized the movement in this direction. I’ve already written about Panasonic’s tie in with the new movie AVATAR. The company is equipping trucks with 3D home entertainment equipment and will be rolling around the country to show them off to consumers.

And now Sony has jumped on the 3D bandwagon. The company has announced plans to release LCD HDTVs and Blu-ray players next year that will support 3D content. Note that Sony already markets a variety of professional video cameras and other equipment used in the recording of 3D content. Perhaps this approach will help Sony regain some of the technological high ground that was an essential part of the company’s reputation back in the days of the Trinitron TVs and Walkman personal audio devices. Clearly, Panasonic and Sony have set a fast pace out of the blocks, and it will be interesting to see how hard it will be for the competition to catch up.