LG Aims at 3D

Look out, Panasonic and Sony, you’ve got another player walking onto the court. And LG is a force to be reckoned with. According to a report in Reuters, the company is drawing a bead on the emerging 3DTV market. LG has stated that it intends to sell 400,000 3DTVs in 2010, then skyrocketing to 3.4 million units in 2011. Note that these still remain modest shares of their total sales; the company expects to sell a total of 25 million LCD TVs in 2010.

Still, these are ambitious goals. As I’ve said before, the keys to adoption will be (1) ready access to plenty of 3D content, and (2) a very small price premium — if any — for adding stereoscopic 3D capability to existing flat screen televisions. I still think that next year is too soon for any sizeable amount of 3D content. 2011 is probably still too early, but with Sony controlling the process from studio to TV set, we may see more 3D content sooner than later.

In any case, it’s starting to look like 2011 will be the last year when 3D support will be an appealing option for home televisions. It could be that the competition will heat up so rapidly that by 2012 3D will be like 1080p or 120Hz are now for LCDs: a feature you expect to find in any mid-priced model or above.

I’m also predicting that there will be a ton of 3DTV news at CES in Las Vegas next month. I’ll report from the show and let you know where it looks like we’re headed.